Finlay is quickly approaching two and a half and whilst he loves being a big brother, occasionally it’s nice to spend some quality one-on-one time with him again. Even if it’s just for an hour or two every other week! These outings are a great opportunity to try something new together and be present in the moment, as we all know these early years pass far too quickly. If you’re looking for some inspiration, below are some simple yet fun ideas on what you could both get up to on your mummy-and-me-date!
1. Ride the Choo!
What is it with toddlers and transport? Finlay gets excited about travelling in anything out of the ordinary – even a taxi! If your toddler is also transport mad, why not pack a little bag with some snacks and jump on the train, get off at the next stop and enjoy exploring a new area before hopping back on to go home again. They’ll love it!
2. Attend An Outdoors Adventure Class.
Find out about any local nature classes! These are great for getting you out in the fresh air and doing something a little adventurous together. If you don’t have any similar classes in your area then simply plan your own class instead and invite a friend or two (if you don’t mind them crashing your date of course.) Use this free nature checklist activity sheet to take with you.
3. Visit Your Local Library
Nothing beats a cheap and fun outing! Our local library has a lovely kids corner with toys as well as books. You can enjoy letting them explore in a relaxed environment and maybe read a classic tale or two.
4. Pop To The Garden Centre
This is one of Finlay’s favourite things to do as there’s so much to see! Large Garden Centres often have a pets area, fish tanks, a little playground and a cafe. Basically everything a child could want under one roof.
5. Feed The Ducks
Kick off this date by going to your local supermarket and buying a loaf of bread (this adds to the build up and makes the outing feel more exciting). Then head off to your closest duck pond! Ok, so half the bread might land on the ground, but it’s a fun way to get your little one practising their throwing skills and interacting with nature.
6. Babyccinos & Croissants
A simple morning visit to a cafe whilst it’s quiet is a great way to kick off the day! We love to do this after a walk. This is a quick enough rendezvous to suit Finlay’s short attention span, though I always pack some activity books/stickers/small toys in my bag just in case. Whilst he’s distracted tucking into a croissant or playing with his toys I can enjoy my morning coffee in peace. Ahh…
7. Ready, Set, Bake!
Some simple baking can be the perfect rainy day activity. Again, take your tot to the supermarket to get them involved with the process from the very beginning. I tend to measure out everything in advance to make it as easy as possible for F to join in. Afterwards, why not drop one off at your neighbours? Your tot will love seeing their happy reaction and will get satisfaction from doing a good deed.
We also love these great creative cupcake kits from BKD!
8. Go For A Scoot At The Park
So easy but so fun! Grab their scooter or trike and visit your favourite park – they’ll have a blast scooting up to the play area. If all goes to plan the scooter will work as an enticing bribe when it’s time to leave again.
9. Visit The Beach
If you’re lucky enough to live close to a beach then this is a great outing for toddlers – you can run away from the surf, play with buckets and spades and draw shapes in the sand. I also bring plastic containers to collect pebbles and a recycled milk carton to work as a make-shift watering can! It’s funny how DIY-toys are always the most popular with toddlers!
10. Two Dreaded Words… Soft Play!
We all know the fastest way to a toddler’s heart is a good old outing to soft play! The trick to making these bearable is finding one that strikes the right balance. Our personal favourite is one that’s nice and bright and doesn’t feel claustrophobic. If you happen to be in London then you might love The Idol in Barking.
I’d love to hear what your favourite toddler dates are? What do you love to get up to for one-on-one time with your little one?
Img via Maggie & Rose
– Steph x