The bond between a mother and her daughter is one of the most important relationships a girl will have in her lifetime.
And sadly society gives us the false expectation that moms and daughters are doomed to be at odds with one another as soon as our baby girl approaches puberty.
And just like self-fulfilling prophecies do, this expectation takes over and suddenly you look up and your once close relationship with your daughter feels more bitter than sweet.
If you’ve been dreading the teenager years with your daughter and fear what’s to come and change in your relationship, I’m happy to say it’s all a lie.
We have a choice to believe that lie and act accordingly or decide to expect differently.
I’m choosing the road less traveled.
Who’s with me?
I have both a teenage daughter and a tween daughter and I treasure those beautiful hearts.
And developing the mother-daughter bond we have now wasn’t always easy and I made a ton of mistakes in the process.
And these ideas are ones my girls and I all love and work for us!
Before I dive in these super simple and fun mother-daughter bonding activities, I want to take a moment to share why it’s so important to make time to bond with your child.
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Importance of Mother-Daughter Bonding
Creating a close bond with your daughter has benefits you’ll treasure for a lifetime as a mom.
And though the benefits for you are amazing, the benefits of a close relationship with you (for your daughter) don’t even come close!
That’s because she needs you… more than she’ll probably ever admit.
And she has a challenging road ahead as a girl finding her way in this rather upside down world.
She needs encouragement when she wants to give up and feels like she’s failing.
She needs unconditional love when all her friends decided over the summer they wanted new, better friends and she feels all alone.
She needs support as she steps out to try new and scary things.
And she needs a soft place to land when she really messes up… because she will. We all do.
You have the power to do and be all that for your daughter.
And I already know you want to because you’re still with me!
So let’s talk about mother daughter bonding activities!
1. Take an Interest in What She Loves
This step is a huge one because it can really challenge us as parents.
Our kids are all unique and have many interests and passions, many of which we may not be interested in AT ALL.
Or better yet, not be skilled at in the least bit.
That makes it challenging for us to jump in and do their thing with them.
But doing one of your daughter’s favorite things doesn’t mean doing it just like they do.
Let’s say for example your daughter is really into skateboarding.
I personally wouldn’t recommend buying a skateboard and learning new tricks.
You might be seeing the inside of an emergency room sooner than you think!
But taking an interest could look like going outside or to a park and shooting slo-mo videos of their tricks, searching for cool skateboarding tutorials on YouTube, and even watching and helping them practice their skills.
Who knows? You might just have a great time!
This all counts as a great opportunity for bonding time with your daughter and she’ll know how much you care about her and what she likes!
The possibilities are endless.
2. Have a Silly Question Asking Session
Asking questions is a fun activity that people love.
That’s why games like Truth or Dare and Would you Rather are so popular.
Getting to dive into someone’s head is fun but it’s also a fantastic way to get to know the other person’s heart!
And that’s exactly the prize we’re after when spending time with our kids.
After all, you can’t really bond with a person’s heart if you don’t know what’s in a person’s heart.
And that’s where the questions come in.
Asking totally hypothetical and wacky questions makes this activity both fun and insightful.
Try asking questions like:
- If anyone in the world could be your teacher at school for a day, who would it be?
- If you could change any of rules of this world which ones would you change?
Check out these questions for mom and daughter.
I use these questions at bedtime, just one per night, and it’s a perfect way to end our day in a connected way.
- Would you rather eat weird food or wear weird clothes?
- Would you rather have a lot of money or a lot of friends?
3. Read a Book Together
Even if your daughter isn’t really into reading and books for pleasure, almost everyone loves a good story!
I started reading books with my daughter every night a few years ago and it’s such a fun time for us.
We both take turns reading pages, as the latest adventure unfolds.
We both love mystery, adventure, and suspense books so that’s what we always read.
I actually recommend that type of book if you’re just starting out because they add so much fun and drama.
We’ve tried to read other genres but they always read rather slow and boring.
I think that just has to do with the read-aloud aspect.
This is such a fun activity because it gives you something common to talk about and share the ideas and life lessons learned in the book.
I mean, we’ve all read a fantastic book and were dying to talk to someone about it.
Hence, the popularity of book clubs.
That means reading books together creates instant and unlimited conversation possibilities!
I love to share a favorite book with my daughters.
4. Start a Mother-Daughter Journal
This is one of my favorite fun mother daughter activities.
Sharing a Mom and Me Journal like this one gives you and your daughter a safe place to connect and communicate.
Kids can be wildly creative but sometimes they just need a little push to get those juices flowing.
And that’s what all the fun prompts in this journal do!
Plus, you can keep them year after year and look back on their precious answers.
Sharing a journal is especially helpful if you’re experiencing challenges with communication.
Not every child is comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings directly to another person.
Allowing them a safe space to write and draw their emotions is helpful for both you and your daughter.
Do one of these At Home Fun Mother Daughter Date Ideas
Having a standing mother-daughter date or date night doesn’t have to feel overwhelming or an over-the-top event.
You can schedule these fun activities as frequently as works for your life.
They can be as frequent as once a week or once a quarter.
The point is, to set aside some special time to spend with your daughter… just you and her.
If you have more than one daughter as I do, you’ll need to schedule two mother-daughter dates.
5. Draw together using these ideas for kids to draw
6. Do each other’s makeup and nails
7. Have a spa day, complete with homemade facials, face masks and foot massages
8. Do a jigsaw puzzle
9. Look through old photo albums
10. Rewatch a favorite movie together
11. Have a picnic in your backyard
12. Have a movie night outside with an inflatable screen and projector
13. Do a fun fashion show by raiding each other’s closets
14. Watch old family videos together and take a trip down memory lane
15. Have your daughter pick out a new recipe to make together
16. Have an all day movie marathon
17. Make it a special day where you can’t say no. Dessert for dinner, anyone?
18. Make a favorites play list together
19. Have a dance party
19. Create a scavenger hunt for your daughter
20. Learn a new skill together
21. Do yoga
22. Plant a garden together
23. Take your sleeping bags into the living room or outside and have a campout slumber party together
24. Watch a painting tutorial and paint a picture together
25. Having a cooking contest
26. Have a selfie session
27. Take turns telling each other jokes
28. Write poems about each other
30. Tell her stories about she was little
31. Start a pillow fight
32. Start a tickle fight
33. Play hide and seek in the dark (it’s so much more fun that way)
34. Stay up late together
35. Make up a story together (one of you writes the first sentence, then you pass the story to the other person and continue until you’ve made a story)
36. Talk after lights out (this is usually when your daughter will be most likely to talk about things she might keep private during the day)
37. Involve her in your daily activities
38. Watch the sunrise
39. Watch the sunset
40. Make slime
41. Have a fitness challenge (See who can do the most push-ups, sit-ups, longest plank, etc)
42. Meditate together
43. Give each other massages
44. Give each other a back scratch
45. Color together
46. Do a crossword puzzle
47. Play Wordle
48. Go for a walk
49. Give each other a makeover
50. Have a photography competition in your backyard to see who can take the best picture
These photography prompts for kids would be perfect for this!
51. Paint rocks
53. Look at the clouds
54. Go geocaching
55. Do a craft together
56. Pick out books for each other at the library
57. Train for a 5k and run in one together
58. Do each other’s hair
59. Fly a kite
60. Pick your daughter up from school spontaneously and go for lunch
61. Visit the local farmer’s market and find something new to try
62. Buy a cake for a “I love you” day
63. Play a Board Game Together
Playing games with your child is a no-brainer but not just any games.
Board games are best for bonding time with your kids.
Playing video games with your kids isn’t bad, but usually doesn’t allow for good communication.
And you may be surprised to know that playing board games is actually good for our health!
They help with our cognitive functions, help reduce stress, and even keep our brains young for longer.
So that’s a total win!
Playing games is also great to help you connect and have fun with your daughter.
My kids love playing board games and my middle daughter is especially strategic and competitive when playing games.
I really learned about her competitiveness by playing games with her.
These are some of my family’s favorites:
- The Bears and the Bees
- Sleeping Queens
- Apples 2 Apples
- Kids Against Maturity
- Color Brain- Disney Edition
Mother And Daughter Days Out Ideas
64. Go to the movies
65. Go to the pool
66. Go to the beach
67. Go window shopping
68. Take a dance class together
69. Go hiking
70. Go on a lunch date to a favorite restaurant
71. Find a community service project that interests both of you
72. Go to an amusement park
73. Volunteer at an animal shelter
74. Go to a local park and walk, bike or swim
75. Go for ice cream
76. Go on a mini-road trip for the day or even for a long weekend
77. Spend an afternoon at the bookstore looking for the perfect new books
78. Go to the local nursery and plant new flowers together
79. Go to the zoo
80. Go to the aquarium
81. Go berry picking
82. Go for a bike ride
83. Go to a local coffee shop and try a new drink
84. Attend an art class together
85. Get a manicure
86. Get a pedicure
87. Go bowling
88. Play mini-golf
89. Act like a tourist for the day in your city or town
90. Have a stay home from school and work day
91. Take a day trip
92. Have a one-night staycation somewhere nearby
Bonding Mother Daughter Quotes
- It’s a special bond that spans the years, through laughter, worry, smiles and tears. A sense of trust that can’t be broken, a depth of love sometimes unspoken. A life long friendship built on sharing, hugs and kisses, warmth and caring. Mother and daughter their hearts as one, a link that can never be undone. -Unknown
- As soon as I looked into your beautiful eyes, I knew that we had a bond that could never be broken. – Brenda Kosciuk
Related: Poems For Daughters
Ask How You Can Help
This last step isn’t exactly an activity but it is one of the most effective ways to bond with your daughter.
This works really well for older daughters.
As our kids grow, they instinctively become more independent.
And it’s our parental duty to allow them the space to do things on their own.
And this helps us out by reducing a lot of little things off our plate like packing lunches, doing hair before school, or even making their own snacks.
My oldest daughter has gotten to the point of taking care of most of her responsibilities on her own.
And that’s awesome and allows me to focus on my other two that still need much of my help.
But I realized one day, that for a while I had been doing nothing for my oldest in terms of “helping” her do things.
So I decided to do a little check-in.
I sat down in her room, as I usually do, and complimented her on staying on task with most of her daily to-do’s.
I told her how impressed I was with her.
Then I followed up with an important question: “It looks like you’re handling your routine well on your own, but is there anything I can help you with at all?”
This question does two things: it first makes her feel noticed and appreciated (a really big deal!) and it also affirms that she’s not alone (also a really big deal).
Offering our help isn’t overbearing and allows our growing kid to make a choice.
My daughter just smiled and said, “no, I think I’m good.”
But I swear I noticed her shoulders pushed back a bit farther than usual and a light in her eyes twinkled just a tad brighter in that moment.
Our kids desperately need to know that we see them.
This age is also the perfect time to check in on your daughter and make sure that her self-esteem and self-confidence is where it should be.
You can use these questions to build self-confidence to help.
Making room to connect with your daughter is a joy and a privilege but should never feel overwhelming.
Making things simple and fun is your only priority here.
Try doing one thing on the list and seeing what your daughter enjoys most. Then do that consistently.
This sacred time is one you’ll both treasure and will help you create an unbreakable bond that will be enormously helpful as your daughter gets older.
Remember to use this time to connect, affirm her, and get to know her heart.
This is the very definition of time well spent!
Frequently Asked Questions
What do mothers and daughters do together?
Mothers and daughters can do anything together that interests them!
Let your daughter take the lead and decide what she wants to do with your mother-daughter time.
Try to have some interest in what interests her in order to get started.
How do I spend my mother daughter time?
It might be a good idea to have a day to brainstorm and make a list of mother-daughter activities that you are both interested in.
Then each day or each week, you can choose an activity from the list to complete! The most important is the quality of the time.
What can I do on my mother daughter night at home?
Some fun at-home mother-daughter activities are to have a movie night, have a spa day, play a game together, bake together or take a walk.
The most important thing is to do something that you’re daughter is interested in.
What can I do special for my daughter?
When I want to do something special for my daughter, I usually do one of these things: cook her favorite meal for dinner, put a handwritten note in her school lunch or hide little notes to her throughout her room that she will randomly find.
How can I be a fun mom?
Being aware of wanting to be a fun mom is the first step.
Do things with your kids that are out of your comfort zone.
Dance, sing, laugh, be silly… do whatever it takes to have fun with them and they will have fun, too.
This post was a guest post by Brandi Michel.
Brandi Michel is the founding mama at FamilyFelicity.com. While she’s most certainly chasing kiddos and holding a cup of lukewarm coffee in her hand, she’s also busy helping moms enjoy motherhood and connect more with their kids! Grab her FREE Ebook: The Foolproof Plan for Easy Communication with Your Kids!