Dads can often be lost when it comes to playing with their kids. I understand that it can be tedious playing toddler games sometimes, even if you love them, so how can dads bond with their children effectively that make dad feel appreciated and motivated to hang out with their toddler?

Find Common Interests
The first way to make dad feel appreciated and motivated is to find common activities. This is actually easier that you may think. Toddlers just want their dad’s attention, and usually they don’t mind doing activities they don’t normally do on their own just to be closer to dad. That being said, what does your partner enjoy? Is it gardening, arts and crafts, cooking? Any of these can be modified and turned into toddler activities.

If your partner loves to garden, why not try planting something or building a vegetable garden? You won’t have to try very hard to get your toddler to dig in the dirt and plant seeds and flowers. At their age, they can handle a small hand shovel, or just use their hands to dig holes. At the same time, dads can talk to their kids about gardening, even if they don’t quite understand all the words.

Joint Projects
Similar to finding common interests, find small projects that your partner can do with your toddler. While your child may not be up to rebuilding a car or installing a sink, they can help build a birdhouse and learn from dad. Dad can nail the wood together and your toddler can help paint it and designate a tree to put it in. Your toddler can even go on the trip to the hardware store for supplies and help pick out the necessary items.

Dads Like to Teach
My mom always encouraged me to explore on my own, and she would also teach me how to do some activities, but it was my dad that taught me how to swim, ride a bike, and use a hand pump to repair my soccer ball and basketball. Encourage your toddler and spouse to engage in learning opportunities like these. From the time I was able to walk, my dad took me on nature walks around our property and taught me the names for different trees and how to identify stinging nettles and a few other common poisonous plants around our house.

Basically, dads want to feel like they’re needed and toddlers want to feel like their dad wants to spend time with them. With these activities, your partner will feel appreciated and your toddler will have some quality dad time.

Zadig, H. (n.d.). Activities toddlers can do with their dads to make them feel appreciated. Everyday Life.