quality time with daughter

7 Creative Ways to Spend Quality Time With Your Daughter

I had the keys in one hand and a fresh cup of coffee in the other when I felt a tug on my coat. I looked down into the bright face of my young daughter. She looked up at me and, in the sweetest voice possible, asked, “Can I come with you, Daddy?” This was a real dilemma. I was headed to the hardware store and planned to be in and out with whatever I needed in three minutes or fewer. Bringing her along would make the whole trip take longer. But the opportunity wasn’t one I was going to miss, so I took her along anyway. Quality time with my daughter is at the top of my priority list, as I’m sure it’s on yours.

A girl’s relationship with her dad strongly impacts her sense of identity and self-worth. Many of us try to spend lots of quality time with our daughters, taking them on dad dates or letting them take part in whatever job we might be working on anyway. But when life gets busy, it can be hard to find the time to spend together. Here are 7 creative ways to spend quality time with your daughter.

1. Make her breakfast.

Even if you leave for work early, you can make time for your daughter first thing in the morning. Get up early to cook up some pancakes and bacon. Set everything up on a tray and either leave it for her with a note or bring her breakfast in bed.

2. Surprise her at school.

If your work shifts mean you’re often home while she’s at school, you can still spend quality time with your daughter. Show up randomly at the school and take her out for lunch or an afternoon movie. If you don’t have time to take her somewhere, bring lunch with you and eat together on a bench near the school.

3. Do the dishes.

Kids don’t like to do chores, but they offer a great opportunity for you to spend time together. If your daughter’s job is to do the dishes, get right in there with a towel and start drying. If you happen to start a soap bubble war or water fight from time to time, it will create a memory you can both treasure.

4. Try a round of “recipe roulette.”

Recipe roulette is another great way to spend quality time with your daughter. Find a cookbook (go to a thrift store to find one if you don’t have any at home) and have her open it to a random page. Whatever recipe is on that page, make it with her and see what you end up with. You can level this up by trying different recipes from around the world and seeing what kinds of food you both like best.

5. Prank someone together.

Laughter has an uncanny ability to bond people. Find a good-natured prank and pull it off together. You might get up in the middle of the night and plant pink flamingoes on someone’s lawn to recognize a momentous birthday. She’ll remember sneaking out with you and laughing in the car all the way home. Whatever it is, keep it simple, keep it safe, and make sure you savor the time spent together.

6. Make splatter-paint artwork for your home.

Head to a crafting store and buy the biggest canvas you can find. Set up some plastic sheeting behind it in your garage or back yard and get into some old clothes. Dip paint brushes into runny paint (let her choose the colors), and flick it across the canvas. The end result will be one of a kind, and so will her memories of the day you created this masterpiece together.

7. Make a stranger’s day together.

Going out of your way to make a stranger’s day better can also be a great way to spend quality time with your daughter. You could pay for the meal of the car behind you in a drive-thru.  Randomly tip the bill at a restaurant by 100% (having your daughter make this tip in cash would be tremendously memorable). Spend a morning clearing snow or raking leaves in an elderly neighbor’s yard. Look for any opportunity to serve others, and pounce on it.

Sound off: What are some of the most memorable ways you’ve spent quality time with your daughter?

Huddle up with your daughter and ask, “What do you love to do most with me?”