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7 Must-Haves for the Perfect Date When Spending One-on-One Time With Your Kids

2015-04-09 by Zina Harrington

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This post on spending one-on-one time with your kids is brought to you by Melissa & Doug and written by our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington. 

If you have a family with multiple children, carving out some one-on-one time is a great way to truly connect with your little one. Sometimes in the chaos of everyday life, we forget to slow down and truly notice our children.

Spending one-on-one time with your kids can mean free activities around the house like: gardening together, playing basketball, having a backyard picnic, or simply playing cards.

must haves perfect date spending time hero

When we’re looking to score some special time, we head out of the house on a hike, for ice-cream, or on a coffee-date. This ensures we can spend uninterrupted quality time together chatting. I find heading to the coffee shop works best for our family because of the slow pace of the date. I enjoy a latte while the girls sip on a hot cocoa or apple cider and we simply play.

Below are seven great go-to coffee shop resources for spending quality one-on-one time with your kids:

1. Shut the Box. This is our absolute favorite go-to grab when it comes to coffee dates. It is a simple game that is interactive, but also leaves room for conversation. The design of the Melissa & Doug version of the game is perfect for the on-the-go entertainment. The latching wooden box makes it travel-friendly and easy to store in a bag. The wood dice and felt rolling area keep this game quiet. We’ve been enjoying this favorite for years with our girls. It is a game that is fun for kids of all ages.

must haves perfect date spending time

2. Puzzles. Puzzles are another great quiet activity for short one-on-one dates. Melissa & Doug offers puzzles ranging from 30 pieces to 500 pieces. You’ll find the perfect puzzle for young and old alike. Here are a few of our favorites…


3. Suspend Jr. Y’all know I adore Suspend. I’d even classified the original as a “game closet must.”

We also have the newer Suspend Jr. The revised plastic game pieces are perfect for coffee dates, because they are quiet when they hit the table. Every time we play this game, we get stopped by curious people asking us to tell them more about it. Check out the game online here.

4. Children’s Books. Stop at the library and pick up a few books for your date. When my girls were little we used to read picture books on the coffee shop couch. Now that they are older, we take turns reading chapter books out loud.

5. Frame Drawing Paper. Yes, traditional paper will do, but this is just way cooler. Inspire your little artist on your date with this playful picture frame pad. Isn’t it awesome?

6. Triangle Crayons. You’ve got the cool picture frame pad, don’t forget the crayons. These ingenious, triangular shaped crayons won’t roll off the table. They pack into their own sturdy, plastic flip-top case for easy travel. Check out the different crayon options.



7. Sticker Collections. I admit, this is not a product I’d usually buy.  That’s why I can’t believe how many we ended up purchasing over the years. We received our first Fashion Sticker Collection as a gift over the holidays. My girls loved playing and dressing the different characters. We quickly realized these sticker pads are a great way to keep little fingers busy during a one-on-one date. Melissa & Doug offers a wide variety of these sticker collections to match your child’s interest.

must haves perfect date spending time

In the end…

The whole point of spending one-on-one time with your kids is to truly give them your full attention. This is guaranteed to make them feel like rock stars.

must haves perfect date spending time

What are some of your favorite ways to spend one-on-one time with your kids? Let’s chat in the comments!


P.S. A few Instagrams from one-on-one dates with the kiddos.

must haves perfect date spending time


Zina Harrington

Zina is the author of Let’s Lasso the Moon and Becoming UnBusy, where she inspires parents and children to interact creatively and enjoy the beauty of everyday moments. Facebook | Pinterest | Blog | Instagram

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