The day your little girl was born, she became your world. You’d do anything for her, then and now. With sports, Legos and action figures, it seems there are far more ways for fathers and sons to connect than for fathers and daughters.
But dads play a crucial part in the development of young girls—you influence her self-esteem, self-image and confidence. Even though it’s not always easy to find activities you both enjoy, it’s important you spend quality time together.
Here are a few ways to connect with your leading lady:
Dinner and a Movie
Plan dinner and a movie on a non-school night. Go out to your daughter’s favorite place to eat, or pick up the ingredients at the market and cook a meal together at home. After dinner, plunk down on the couch with dessert and watch a movie. Disney’s “Frozen” is sure to hold your daughter’s attention. You may find she can sing along to all the songs.
Uno, Skip Bo, or a good-old fashioned game of War—these card games can keep you both entertained, and they leave room for having important conversations. Talk about what she’s learning at school and with whom she is playing at recess. Opening this dialogue will help her understand she can come to you when things get tough or she needs help. Visit PBS.org for strategies on talking with kids.
Have a Dance Party
Turn up the tunes and move. Hits like Taylor’s Swifts “Shake It Off” or One Direction’s “Steal My Girl” will get your feet tapping. Great exercise paired with a bonding experience—and she’ll be the only lady to ever find your chicken dance endearing.
Complete Home Projects
Little girls love to help their dads with projects around the house. Whether it’s rolling paint on the walls or holding the flashlight while you try to figure out the problem with a leaky faucet, helping out gives your daughter a sense of purpose and also some good quality time with her daddy.
Go to the Park
Kick around the soccer ball on the grassy field or break in your baseball mitt with a casual game of catch. Push her on the swing set or ride the merry-go-round until you’re both dizzy and tired. Some fresh air and little girl giggles are sure to be good for both of you.
Visit the Zoo
Wander the zoo together. Ask your daughter to take you to her favorite animals. Then, take her to your favorites. Enjoy an ice cream cone as you watch the monkeys swing from the vines. Your local aquarium will do the trick, too.
Take Her Out to the Ball Game
Baseball’s not just for boys. Put on your baseball hats and head to the stadium. Whether it’s a major, minor or little league, your little girl will soak up the sights and love spending time with you doing something she knows you love. Spring for crackerjacks and cheer wildly for your home team.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
Shopping may not be your thing, but if she loves it, she’ll love you for taking her. You don’t have to suffer the mall experience. Go to a department store or a toy store. Limit the scope so it’s not overwhelming for you. Let her pick out a new outfit for an upcoming special occasion.