Parent-Child “Dates”: Fun Activities for One-on-One Time with Your Kids

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One of the things we try to include in our family calendar is regular time with each of our children in a one-on-one setting. The looks on their sweet faces when I say, “It’s just the two of us this time,” makes my heart swell. It’s worth the effort every time, and it doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. Some may call them “dates,” but you don’t even need to leave your house! Here are some awesome, Kidlist-approved ideas to help you spend less time planning, and more time making memories.

This article is sponsored by Corsalus Financial. They feel that nurturing your relationship with each of your kids is important and talking to your children about money is a great way to encourage a healthy financial future. Click here if you are looking for more tips on how to start talking to your kids about money and check out all of their family-friendly resources on their Financially Aware Kids page. Meet the Corsalus team by clicking on their photo below!

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Ideas for One-on-One Time With Your Kids

  • Start by using Kidlist each month to brainstorm. Our events calendar is the perfect place to start.
  • One of our favorite dates is to simply visit a local ice cream spot! Pick up a quart and make sundaes together at home, or grab a few flavors to-go and set up a blind taste test at home to rate your favorites. Later, you can share your delicious “research” with the rest of the family.
  • Get out those aprons and cook a meal at home. Crack open a cookbook (or your laptop) and let your child select a recipe that appeals to them. Hit the grocery store to shop, then cook to your heart’s delight. What a treat for the whole family!
  • More of a baker than a chef? Baking treats to share is one of the sweetest ways to spend quality time together! Maybe try a baking lesson for just the two of you. Many businesses are offering online options if you prefer to cook in your own kitchen.
  • Plan a movie night at home! This is one of our family’s favorite things to do. Pick a movie, and don’t forget your child’s favorite movie theater treats! Popcorn and candy make it extra fun. Once summer rolls around, you can level up by going to a drive-in movie near you.
  • Coffee shops near parks are such a perfect pairing for a simple, fun date! Coffee (for you), hot cocoa (for them), then some fresh air playtime afterwards — win, win!
  • Speaking of hot cocoa, have you tried the latest craze of hot cocoa bombs with your kids yet? Shop for them locally and then put together your own unique hot cocoa “charcuterie” board on the side!
  • Never forget the power of an indoor play space to burn off some energy and stay warm indoors. Call beforehand to check safety protocols, business hours and closures (if any). My kids love the freedom and fun of an open gym or trampoline park.
  • How about a donut date? Try a spot on our list for the best donuts in the suburbs and get your day started on a sweet note! My kids would happily compete to decide who gets to go with me to pick out the family’s morning treats.
  • Budding artists would love some one-on-one time to paint some pottery. I am terrible at painting and crafting, but I know my artistic child loves to giggle at my lack of skill which guarantees laughter for us both.
  • Winter, spring, summer or fall, anytime is a good time to take a hike on some wooded trails! Nothing is as good for the soul as time in nature together. If your snow bunny loves the cold, there are lots of awesome ice skating options as well as snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing!
  • Winter is a typical time for your local park district to be hosting parent-child events indoors: classes so you can try something new, parent-child dances, and affordable recreation of all kinds. Jump online, or reference the park district booklet, for more information.
  • For a longer and bit more extravagant date, plan a little staycation right here in Chicago! There are lots of kid-friendly local hotels and hotels with pools.
  • Tackle a project together, make or build something. Maybe it’s doing that 1,000 piece puzzle or gigantic LEGO set as a team. Older kids and teens may love to help with small renovation or craft projects around the house, and they’ll learn a lot in the process.
  • Pick up a local arts and crafts or cooking activity kit for an easy, at-home date! We are lucky to be surrounded by so many awesome art studios and restaurants that have creative kits custom-made for the kiddos! From painting to pizza, there’s so much to choose from.
  • Heard of local restaurants with igloo dining? What a unique and memorable dining experience to share with your child!
  • For a more active outing in the wintertime, check out a spot where you can go snow tubing, skiing, or sledding!
  • Snuggle up together under a fort and have a book date! You can search for new books at your local library or pick some up curbside at your local bookshop.
  • And last but not least, consider a volunteering date! Caring for, and about, people in need is such a meaningful experience to share with your child.

Not the plan-ahead type? Prefer to keep things spontaneous? Write down your favorite ideas on small pieces of paper, and put them into a jar or bowl. (Make sure to involve your child(ren) in brainstorming, so they feel some ownership and excitement! You can even sprinkle in some surprises, if you’re feeling festive.) Then, when the opportunity arises, just have your child of choice pick one out, open it up, and depart on your adventure.

Kidlist has all the inspiration for winter fun with kids in Chicago’s western suburbs! Do you have a favorite activity to do one-one-one with your child that wasn’t included? Please let us know in the comments below!

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