Between school, work and keeping the family afloat, sometimes it’s tough for mother-daughter activities to come front and center. In order to help you keep that bond strong, we looked around and found 35 of the very best ideas. Whether your daughter is five or 15, keep reading to discover mother-daughter activities you’ve got to try at least once.
1. Play a game of basketball. Even if you aren’t the next Steph Curry, you can still shoot hoops with your daughter. Plus, it’s a great workout!
2. Have a spa day. Every mom and daughter deserves the royal treatment at least once. A soothing mask, manicure and pedicure, and a glass of refreshing cucumber water will make for a very memorable day.
3. Write in a journal together. Sometimes talking about our feelings is tough. But using a mother-daughter journal to share our dreams and disappointments can be a great bonding experience (and a wonderful keepsake for the future).
6. Read together. Whether your daughter is two-years-old or 12, pick a book to read aloud together. You’ll never forget the experience of bonding over words together.
7. Set up a science project. Studies show girls lose interest in science by age 15, so start early and keep her engaged to fight this startling statistic. We’ve got the best science experiments here.
8. Go to high tea. Find a fancy hat and get your pinkies up. High tea is a luxurious activity that every mom and daughter should do at least once.
9. Volunteer or do a community service project. There are lots of community activities for families. Pick an activity that will help mom and daughter give back to others while spending time together.
10. Schedule a professional photoshoot. Most moms have hundreds of photos of their daughters, and we all love a good selfie. But having a photographer other than yourself capture lasting memories is a gift you’ll enjoy well into the future. We love Shoott, the company that connects local photographers with people who want to have their pictures taken.
11. Travel to a new city. You can take a plane ride to another state or drive to the next town over. Explore a new city with your daughter, and see what you both find interesting.
12. Have a good cry together. Showing your daughter that’s it’s okay to express her feelings is important. And, it’s important to show her that you’re human, too.
13. Take a hike. Find a trail to explore. Wander through your local park. Stroll the beach, head up a mountain or discover the desert. Enjoying nature together may open your eyes to many new things along the path.
14. Bake a cake or cook a full dinner. You’ve probably enlisted your daughter’s help in baking cookies or peeling a vegetable now and then. Take the culinary skills up a notch and attempt to create an entire cake or a four-course meal.
15. Go on a shopping spree. While it’s probably worth saving up some money for this indulgence, an afternoon shopping spree is something every mother and daughter should do together.
16. See a play or musical. Dress up, have lunch and experience a play or musical at one of your local theaters.
17. Take a painting class together. Get artsy and do a painting or crafting class together. You’ll love seeing each of your unique perspectives come to life on the canvas.
19. Have regular mommy-daughter dates. Whether it’s a lunch date, a walk to the park, or visiting a local museum, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to spend time with your daughter.
20. Pick a Pinterest project to tackle. You know all those crafts and projects you have pinned? Find a perfect one for a mother-daughter team and make an afternoon of it.
21. Have a dance party. Blast your favorite playlist and dance, dance, dance.
22. Look through old photos and scrapbooks. Before the days of Facebook, we kept our memories printed in albums. Share your old photo albums and scrapbooks with your daughter, and tell her stories about those special times.
23. Go thrift shopping or antique hunting. It’s fun to hunt through thrift shops and see what treasures you can find.
24. Go fishing. Who says fishing just for the guys? Find a local fishing hole and spend an afternoon casting a line.
25. Play a board game. There are plenty of games that are perfect for a mother-daughter afternoon. You can even take the game to a local coffee shop or park to make the time more special.
26. Have a picnic. Pack a picnic lunch (or buy a delicious sandwich at a local shop) and find a pretty outdoor spot. Spend some time eating, chatting, reading or playing together.
27. Go to a fancy dinner. Make a reservation for a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try and have a date night with your daughter.
28. Have a water fight. Invest in some balloons and water guns and spend the day getting wet.
29. Learn to build something. Put your girl power into action, and perfect your building skills at a class through Home Depot or another hands-on workshop. There’s no reason the hammer and drills should be left to fathers and sons.
30. Have a one-on-one conversation. We’ve got 38 conversation starters right here.
31. Set up and finish a jigsaw puzzle. A puzzle guarantees hours of quality time with your daughter.
32. Run a race. Whether it’s a 5k or a 1-mile fun run, train with your daughter and show her that girls can do anything!
33. Bake cookies. Chose a recipe from our cookie roundup!
34. Pick out a new outdoor toy or game to get ready for summer. Here are our favorites.
35. Go bowling. This summer, kids bowl for free!
—Leah R. Singer