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8 Great Father Daughter Bonding Activities

By on May 2, 2013

The need is greater than ever to connect with your daughter in a meaningful way. Taking time and energy to do this is essential, but there are actually a lot of different¬†father daughter bonding activities you can do with your daughter from the time she’s young to when she grows up. I’ve done a lot of these things with my own daughter and can tell you that they definitely brought us closer together.

I know as a man it can be hard to come up with ideas of what a girl would like to do, but it’s really not as hard as you may think it is. Try out these ideas and you might be surprised to find what both of you can learn from each other and how bonded you can really feel!

Up to 5 Years Old Bonding Activities

1. Tea Party

This might sound cliche, but little girls love tea parties, especially when they have people to play with them. Join in on a weekly tea party and really get into it. Yeah, this means you’ll have to wear a funny hat and pretend you’re eating cookies, but she will thoroughly enjoy herself. Make conversation with her animals, ask her questions and just have some fun.

Your daughter will remember these times you spent together, especially if you make it a point to do them frequently. Your weekly tea parties will mean more to her than you might realize, so stick with them.

2. Daily Park Trips

Taking your daughter to the park on a daily basis will create a strong bond, especially if the park isn’t packed with kids. While at the park you can teach her how to play on different equipment and you can even play on the equipment with her. Don’t be scared to be goofy and have fun, she will laugh and have a lot of fun if you are doing the same.

If you can’t fit in daily trips (let’s face it, who can?), then try and go during the weekends or on your days off. As long as you make park trips a regular thing, it will be something that you can truly bond over. Tip: Go to different parks, there are a lot of cool ones out there!

Up to 10 Years Old Bonding Activities

3. Learning Activities

Your little girls is probably asking a lot of questions at this point, which is why learning activities are so beneficial! Take her to regular trips to the zoo, museums, children’s centers or other things in the area. Not only will she get to experience a lot of things, she will also learn a lot of things.

If both of you are learning together, you will have things that you can bond over for years to come. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear her say “remember when we went to the zoo and we learned about white tigers?”?

4. Sports Games

Showing up to her soccer games, ballet recitals, talent shows, etc., is extremely important to your daughter, whether she admits it or not. Make a point to show up to these things as often as you can. And, for the really big events, make sure to turn it into something really special. For example, if she has a big soccer game, you should take everyone out for dinner and dessert after it’s over.

While you’re at dinner, make sure you talk about the game or event and tell her all the things that she did well. Your daughter wants to hear praise from you and to know that she is special to you. When she knows that you were actually watching her, she will feel bonded and loved.

Up to 14 Years Old Bonding Activities

The tween years are scary for parents, especially dads. Your daughter’s hormones are going crazy and she’s not even sure what she likes. Fortunately there are a lot of activities you can do that will make her bond with you, even through the tough times.

5. Group Activities
It’s probably pointless for you to suggest something to do with your daughter during these ages. So, instead of doing this, ask her what she wants to do! She will probably tell you about a local fair going on or dance at her school that she wants to go to. Let her plan this with a group of friends, but tell her you’re going to chaperone the entire thing.

Although you won’t be bonding closely with her at these outings, she will appreciate the effort you put in to making sure she has some fun. She’ll also appreciate the fact that you did something she liked instead of it being the other way around. I took my daughter to a local craft fair with three of her friends and they all had a BLAST!

6. Home Activities

You’re never too old to play video games or board games, so play them with your daughter. Let her pick the activity and make sure you do it together. For example, you could dance on your Wii to “Just Dance” or you could play Monopoly. Game nights are a lot of fun and worth having once in a while (especially if you bring out the popcorn and candy!).

Up to 21 Years Old Activities

7. Bowling

Bowling is an activity that you and your daughter can play and have a whole lot of fun with. You don’t have to do this weekly, but try and fit it in with your schedule at least a couple of times per week. Try and go during the weekends, as you can bowl in the dark at some bowling alleys.

8. Learning to Drive

So this is an activity that can be scary for both of you. But, if you want to bond, there’s no better way to do it than by teaching her a life skill. Just remember that you must be patient with her during this time so you don’t end up getting in more fights than you anticipated. This will be something that she will remember forever, so take advantage of it.

Adult Bonding Activities

When your little girl is all grown up you might find that she’s gone from the house and has moved thousands of miles away. Remember that this doesn’t mean that your bond is gone. You can still talk to her on the phone, have video chats with her and schedule regular visits. Keep your relationship alive and make sure she knows that you are always there for her. You’re still a parent, even when your little girl is all grown up and living on her own.

About Simple Dad

Steve is the founding editor of The Simple Dad. He has 3 crazy kids: 12 and 9 year old daughters and a 14 year old son. Married to his beautiful wife of 17 years, Alexandra.