Good dads take time to enjoy laughing and playing together.

Things Fathers Can Do with Their Daughters

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Moms and dads have different ways of bonding and interacting with kids -- and that’s a good thing. You daughter doesn’t have to be Daddy’s Little Princess to enjoy spending time with him, and their activities together can give you a much-needed break. Your little girl's relationship with her father affects her relationship with boys later in life, so get it off to a good start by making sure they do enjoyable things together.

Indoor Activities

Daddy can spend time with your little girl doing lots of ordinary things. He could sit on the couch and read a story to her, talk to her about her day, sing silly songs or dance across the room with her balanced on the top of his shoes or in his arms. He could help her brush her teeth, take a bubble bath, get dressed in the morning or get ready for bed at night. He might pray with her or read her a bedtime story. It’s all time well spent, and these everyday activities build memories that last a lifetime.

Outdoor Activities

Daddy and daughter can enjoy the outdoors together. He could teach her to throw and catch a ball, play in the park, visit the zoo, go for a walk, chase butterflies or bubbles, jump in mud puddles or run in the rain. All he really needs is some dedicated time and a creative thought. If your daughter gets tired easily -- don't forget, his legs are longer than hers -- he might strap her into a bicycle child seat with a helmet and go for a ride. If she returns from her adventure a bit dirty, remember that clothes and bodies can be washed, so celebrate the fun they had rather than worrying about a little mud.

Daddy-Daughter Dates

Encourage Daddy to go on a "date" with his toddler or preschool daughter. They could have lunch at her favorite fast-food joint or dress up and go out to a nice sit-down restaurant. Suggest they see an animated movie together and ask who laughed the most when they return. Encourage him to attend father-daughter activities organized by your house of worship, school or community organizations. Many of those events include activities for little ones, including crafts, story time, movies, games and meals.


Pops can be your daughter’s biggest fan and cheerleader by taking a front-row seat at her preschool events, recitals, gymnastics or T-ball games. Encourage him to bring the camera and take videos or photos to share with family and friends and to store in your family archive. Have him praise her efforts and encourage her to do her best. You'll be proud as he cheers the loudest, and she'll know how proud he is to be her daddy.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

Photo Credits

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