1. PLAYING WITH HER TOYS
Your little girl really loves her toys, especially those stuffed animals, dolls & Barbies – they are her friends! You should feel privileged when she asks you to join in. All you need to do is spend a few minutes playing with her dolls and toys, and she’ll love you for a long time! Make it fun by holding a stuffed animal or doll and talking in a cute and funny voice. Let your daughter run the show and be the boss of what you two will be playing and how you’re going to play. Remember, this is her arena and she’s the princess.
2. READING TOGETHER
When you read her favorite books to her, use your imagination and change your voice for each of the characters – you’ll have her laughing in no time! This would be a great time to help her reading skills as well. Take your time and don’t correct her pronunciation too soon. Wait for her cue as she looks up to you for help.
This is where getting dirty and messy is what it’s all about! Wear old clothes and really get into it when you create that finger painting masterpiece. Ask your daughter what crafts she would like to do. When you’re done, display the finished craft for the whole family to admire. Really dote on your daughter in front of everyone.
Whether you make cookies or tonight’s supper, cooking is a great time to show your daughter that you have skills! (Hint: if you’re not a cook, don’t be afraid to ask for guidance.) This is another opportunity to teach your little girl some things about measuring, pouring, cooking times, etc. But please, make it simple the first time – and make it taste good!
5. TAKING A WALK
Get outside and breathe in the fresh air. Listen to all those wonderful sounds of nature (or city sounds). As you’re walking, take your daughter’s hand and chat with her. Ask her questions about what’s going on in her life. Try to refrain from talking all about yourself unless she asks. Make it all about her and her world. Here is where you can find out neat and interesting things about your daughter. Don’t forget to bring a little money just in case an ice cream truck pulls up, or you pass by a store where you can stop for a soda and snack.
Warning! First things first – give your daughter a budget of what you’re going to spend. Remember, she really doesn’t care how much you spend, only that you’re spending time with her. Sure, you could shop online and have toys and clothes and jewelry delivered right to your door – but what’s the FUN in that?
7. EATING OUT
Think Date Night. Both of you really dress up for the occasion. Get Mom or someone to put a little makeup on your daughter, and to fix her hair nice. You – nice slacks and tie and shoes, please don’t be under-dressed. You want to show off your little girl! Don’t forget to be a gentleman and open doors and pull out her chair – she needs to see how a future acceptable boyfriend needs to act. Share a dessert.
8. GOING TO A MOVIE
Pick out a good family movie, one that will leave both of you happy in the end. If you feel comfortable, sneak in some snacks, but definitely get the popcorn and drink. After the movie, drive around for awhile and talk about the movie. Explain any parts that she didn’t understand.
9. GO TO THE ZOO, OR MUSEUM, OR AMUSEMENT PARK
Here is where an adventure can get a little expensive or take a lot of time, but it’ll be worth it. Don’t forget to bring a camera and/or video camera to record your adventure. Remember to take your time and not rush through any part where your daughter seems to be lingering. Enjoy the moment! Have joy in the journey, not the destination.
10. SPEND THE WEEKEND TOGETHER
Sometimes, you just need to scoop up your little girl in your arms and whisk her away to a fantastical adventure out of town! Take her camping, to a relative’s, to a neighboring town. But please don’t just fly by the seat of your pants – this will take planning if you want utter success. Also, when you plan the getaway, your daughter will know, and she’ll love you for it!
Let this short list be a starting point for you and your daughter to discover each other, grow closer together, and make wonderful memories to last a lifetime.