A Year of Dates

by Amy on December 16, 2011

parent and child date coupons

” Kids spell love T-I-M-E.” (John Crudele}

My husband and I have been wanting to plan regular one-on-one dates with the girls for a while now. We love doing things as a family, but having some “just me and you” time is really special, too.

With that in mind, we decided to give the girls a Year of Dates for Christmas this year – an envelope for each month, with a special surprise date inside.

We brainstormed date ideas and came up with a variety of fun activities. Some are outings, while some are doing projects at home. We also tried to keep them fairly inexpensive.

My dates with the girls will be:

  • Shop for and cook a recipe of your choice.
  • Choose a craft or sewing project for us to do together.
  • Go to the bookstore for a new book and a treat.
  • Go out to dinner at a restaurant of your choice.
  • Go shopping for a new outfit.
  • Kid’s choice!

The dates with Dad will be:

  • Do a woodworking project together.
  • Go on a nature hike.
  • Go out to breakfast at a restaurant of your choice.
  • Have a movie night – at home or at the theater.
  • Go bowling or miniature golfing.
  • Kid’s choice!

We made two sets of coupons and divided them up into envelopes for each month. The girls will get to open their envelope at the beginning of the month to find out their surprise date! They will alternate having one-on-one dates with mom or dad.

date coupons for parents and kids

I’m pretty happy to be giving the girls the gift of our time and attention – this is definitely one of those gifts that keeps on giving.

We can’t wait to give them their coupons – I hope they are as excited as we are! I’m thinking we should make a little scrapbook of our dates for the whole year – wouldn’t that be fun?

Update: Download and print our Parent & Child Date Coupons! I added 2 pages of blank coupons to the download so you can create your own dates, too. Enjoy!

Are you giving any experience-type gifts this year? Do you think your kids would enjoy a Year of Dates?

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily December 17, 2011 at 2:06 am

I love this idea so much. We have 2 girls too and they are always wanting special time with me and hubby. I hope you don’t mind me asking but is there any chance you can share these coupons as a download. That will be really awesome. Thanks.

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Leslie December 17, 2011 at 4:33 am

LOVE this idea for my 6yo! Would you be willing to share the coupons so we could download?!

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Erica December 17, 2011 at 5:13 am

Thanks for sharing your idea! I love it. Definitely a MUST for this Christmas. Thanks again!

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Myah December 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Awesome idea! I was thinking the same thing… can we download and print?! :)

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Amy December 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Okay, friends – you can now download and print our coupons! :) There’s a link at the end of the post.

Hope you and your kids have a great time with your own year of dates!

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Penny December 17, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Thank Amy! Great idea and an easy one to add to the stocking or under the tree.

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Veronique December 18, 2011 at 10:26 am

Love this :-)

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Laurie December 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm

This is fantastic! Thank you for the download!!

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stacy December 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Really, truly wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing this

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Christina December 18, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Absolutely!!! Thanks for sharing! We have a child that is particularly hard to buy for and all she ever wants is one on one time with us. I will be printing these for sure and giving them to her for Christmas. Thanks soooo much!!

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Rhiannon Parker December 19, 2011 at 1:32 am

Love this idea! Such a special way to make time to spend with your kids.

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Jennifer December 19, 2011 at 9:11 am

What a FABULOUS idea, I have just printed these and will DEF be giving them to my daughter as a Christmas gift!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sharing such a wonderful idea w/ us!!

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Shay Speer December 19, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Thank you for sharing this!! I just printed them.

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Christina December 19, 2011 at 8:15 pm

I just love this idea!!! My 6yo boy will love cashing theses in :-) What an extra special way to refocus on what’s really important each month next year

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Karen December 20, 2011 at 9:57 am

Thank you so much for the wonderful idea and the download- my kids will LOVE this !! Merry Christmas :)

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Jennifer December 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your hard work and allowing us to download them! Merry Christmas!

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Liz December 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Just saw this via Ladybug Limited on Pinterest – it’s utterly fabulous. I’m now trying to figure out how I can make time to make these so we can make time together!

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Amy December 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Thanks, everyone, for your kind words! It makes my heart so happy to know that you will be joining our family in a Year of Dates and enjoying some very special one-on-one time with your kids.

By the way, if you don’t have time to make these for Christmas, they would be a great New Year’s or birthday gift, too.

Happy Holidays!

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Kirstin December 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Thank you for making it easy for me to get this done this year! Awesome ideas and great cards.

Merry Christmas!!

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Melissa December 27, 2011 at 9:30 pm

I love this! We’ve been trying to have more “dates” with our girls, and this will make it even more fun and special. Thanks for providing the printables!

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Sarah January 4, 2012 at 2:16 am

lovely idea, going to use this. thanks!

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Dawn January 4, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Thanks so much for sharing your coupons!! I can’t wait to try this with my 2 boys!

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stacey January 5, 2012 at 7:56 am

We have been giving coupon gifts for years now and our kids love them. We have 3 kids and they get 10 each. We cover our Christmas tree with them and they enjoy finding their own cards on the branches. Our coupons are not just for time with us, but some are also for adventures they will enjoy. Our daughter is taking a cooking class in a baking school and we promised them each swimming lessons and a fun family vacation. The rest are dates with us, family outings, and projects we can do together. It is a great tradition.

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Amy January 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm

This sounds like an amazing tradition, Stacey! I love the idea of including special “adventures” that each child would love. So fun!

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jodi January 16, 2012 at 8:36 am

Thank You!!! These are great ideas. I struggle to make one on one time with each of my 3 boys.

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Emmy January 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Since before we had kids I have said that we need to do parent/kid dates. These are perfect- thank you!!

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Kerri January 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

I love this!!! I have a 5 and 4 year old little girl and 8 month old baby brother. With the addition of little brother it has been hard to have one on one time with the kids. I think this will definitely help!! Thank you for including the download.

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Brooke January 31, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Thank you for sharing! You are a talented gal that is for sure! We are excited to try these ideas!!1

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Laura@ComeTogetherKids February 2, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Hi Amy, I just wanted to let you know how much I love this idea. I was too busy to do it for Christmas, but I ended up just doing a version of it for Valentine’s Day. I can’t wait to give it to my kids but I know they’ll be thrilled. Thanks so much for the idea ( I linked back to you in my post).

http://www.cometogetherkids.com/2012/02/year-of-valentines-with-diy-scratch.html

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kim bryant February 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Oh my!! I just saw this on Pinterest!! I’m soooo excited to start this! Being Valentine’s Day is only a few days away this is going to be my gift to my little one!! Eeeek what a fabo idea love it :)

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Christy February 24, 2012 at 9:06 am

A friend shared this with me (she used the certificates as Valentine’s gifts for her kids) and I have printed them for our family! Thank you so much for sharing!!

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Amy February 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm

You are so welcome – enjoy your dates! :)

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Jodi Clardy March 13, 2012 at 9:01 am

LOVE this idea (including the scrapbook)! I have twin 3.5 year olds and really need to make it a priority to spend one on one time with each one of them. Great post!

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Ramey Burch May 13, 2012 at 7:42 am

I’m the oldest of 2 and am recently married, so my mom is having some serious withdrawals. This year for mother’s day I decided to put together a “coupon book” of events we can do together whenever she chooses :)

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Jamie Ivey August 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm

LOVE this idea! I’m doing this for sure!

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KatiefromTX August 28, 2012 at 7:57 am

I think these are just fabulous! What a great idea!

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Cassie. September 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I love this idea! My son will finally lose his only-child status after nine years: only a week after his birthday. This will be the perfect birthday gift for him!! I’ve been looking for something I can give/do for him to ease that transition from only child to big brother.

Thanks for sharing!

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Amy September 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm

What an awesome birthday gift for a new big brother – congrats on your growing family! :)

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Nanette September 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Just came across your blog and love this idea. Will be printing out sets of cards for our 3 boys and think they will love getting to spend some time with each of us alone. It’s one thing we struggle to do (now there are 3) is get to spend some one on one time, with 2 we kind of tag teamed but with 3 it’s more of a juggle! Thank you for sharing this. :) How about doing a set for mum & dad date nights too?

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toni October 24, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Making these for both our kiddos this year… so excited!

Also, writing an article on dating our kids for our church newsletter and including a link to this post.

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Jodie November 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Thank you for this wonderful idea! We are going to give them to our two boys for Christmas and we know they will be thrilled!!

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Alyssa November 16, 2012 at 11:21 am

Thanks for this! I’m going to adapt the idea for my little sister. We don’t spend enough time together and I never know what to get her!

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Denise November 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Thank you for posting this! We hav trouble trying to do individual times with our triplet 6 year old boys. I’m so excited to find this with some real down to earth ideas and give the gift of time to our kids :)

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denisetakespics December 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Love this! You inspired me to make my own. Thank you! http://pinterest.com/pin/232568768228784794/

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Amy December 16, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Thank you, this is just what I have been looking for this holiday season! :)

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Kendra January 16, 2013 at 9:23 am

I just found these today and am going to make them for our daughter for Valentine’s Day! Thanks for sharing the printables!

Kendra

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Michelle Jamie May 7, 2013 at 10:06 am

THANK YOU!!

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petacarey May 18, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Brilliant Idea for Grandmas too!

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http://eacsmc.com May 20, 2013 at 1:34 am

Hey! I understand this is kind of off-topic however I needed to
ask. Does operating a well-established blog like yours take a large amount of work?
I am completely new to blogging however I do write in my diary on a daily basis.
I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

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Susanna August 10, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Love this idea! This is really manageable for a 2-child family. Could you give me a suggestion for how to make this work with our 5 children? I look forward to your creative idea!

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Amy August 30, 2013 at 7:13 am

Hi Susanna – Individual dates for 5 kiddos will definitely take a little more creativity! I would recommend alternating months – one month, 2 kids get individual dates, and the other three get a group activity. Next month, 3 kids get individuals and the other 2 have a combined activity. During busy months, we do a lot of at-home dates, too – so maybe that would be an option for your family. My girls love having a late bedtime once in a while to do something special with me or Dad. Hope that gives you some ideas to get started – I hope you’ll come back and share how it’s working! :)

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Donna December 14, 2013 at 5:46 am

This is a great idea…I love it! Thanks for the inspiration :)

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