Mother-Daughter Activity Guide
Family Fun for Moms and Girls, Including Crafts, Cooking and More!
By Karen van Kampen
Have an all-girls day of fun! From beauty tips and crafts to recipes and playtime ideas, choose a fun mother-daughter activity that will create lasting memories.
Crafts and cooking: Unleash your creativity
If you're looking for an activity that promises lots of fun without costing a lot of money, do a craft or make something delicious in the kitchen. No matter how old your daughter is, it's always fun to create something as a team.
Preschoolers (ages 2-5) Toddlers love to help out in the kitchen. Vivian Lee, a Manhattan mom, gives her two-year-old daughter, Hannah, some pots and pans and fills them with Cheerios, so she feels she's helping her mother cook. If your daughter is a little older, measure out ingredients and have her pour them into a bowl, or give her a spoon and let her do the mixing.
Set out a piece of MacTac with the sticky side up, making a collage of sparkles, feathers and beads. Cut out a picture frame from an old cereal box and decorate the plain cardboard side with macaroni, plastic flowers or found objects around the house. Find hundreds of cool craft ideas. Help your little one make our lady bug rocks, chubby fall crayons and sports crafts.
Grade-schoolers (ages 6-10) A great parent-daughter project that works for both moms and dads is scrapbooking. Pick a story to tell, like a family trip, birthday or school days. Then head out to local stores or retail chains and grab some supplies, including an album, adhesives, tools and a waterproof/fade proof ink pen. Gather photos and other memorabilia like letters, ticket stubs or certificates, and work together to create a parent-daughter scrapbook.
Or you could make a paper jewelry box (or treasure box to store necklaces and bracelets, or hockey cards, for that matter. Gussy up a plain barrette with pretty colorful ribbon or yarn. During the holiday season, have an ornament making party. If you like to make stuff with fabric, why not make a cozy fleece scarf for chilly days.
Tweens/Teens (ages 11 +) Teach your daughter to make her favorite dishes and if she doesn't have any, help her find some. Try baked macaroni, tomato and cheese casserole, old-fashioned chicken noodle soup or chicken schnitzel. For snacks, movie-style treats are always a hit. Plus, get more ideas in our Food section.
You can even help your daughter create a recipe book. Years later, she can take her own recipe book with her when she moves to her own place.
If your daughter's room still reflects her childhood days, work with her to redesign it. When Kristen Joyce's daughter turned 11, the California mom helped Lily create a more mature bedroom that would take her into her teenage years. The pair created a pattern of lavender, blue and turquoise striping with gold accenting on the walls, and restored a chair using the same color scheme. They replaced the seat cushion with material from a favorite childhood sweater. It was lots of fun – they even picked out new bed linens and framed a few pieces of childhood art.