Back to School Date Night
I love my husband, but spending 24/7 in the same house with nowhere to go thanks to Covid can lead to some frayed nerves for even the strongest marriages. To be honest before the lock down of the pandemic, my dream was to spend all day every day with my husband. I love vacation for the simple fact that we get to be together every day all day. But, when every day all day became reality for 6 months it was a little much. The truth is that we all need relationships and experiences away from each other so we have new things to share with one another. A similar need is filled by date night. When we enjoy something novel and unique together it builds our relationship with shared experience. Even at home date nights can bring a break from the routine and help couples find that spark that may have dimmed. That’s why I created this Back to School Date Night for you to enjoy with your special someone.
Dates are important for you relationship
Date night is critical to your relationship. And I speak for myself when I say; it’s easy to put on the back burner. That’s why you need to schedule and plan it! Put it on the calendar, no really – stop right now and put it on the calendar. If you aren’t having regular date nights start with once a month, then after a few months make it twice a month. Spending time as a couple is so important according to the National Marriage Project, they recommend having couple time at least once a week. This may not be an all out date night, but time to focus on one another.
Most couples experience a decline in relationship quality after a few years, partly because they become habituated to one another and are more likely to take one another, and their relationship, for granted.4 The initial excitement associated with getting to know a person, growing in intimacy, and trying new things as a couple can disappear as the two people settle into a routine. By contrast, a growing body of research suggests that couples who engage in novel activities that are fun, active, or otherwise arousing—from hiking to dancing to travel to card games—enjoy higher levels of relationship quality.5 Thus, date nights should foster this higher quality, especially insofar as couples use them to engage in exciting, active, or unusual activities.
W.Bradford Wilcox and Jeffery Dew, The Date Night Opportunity,
The National Marriage Project
Date night becomes an even greater challenge when you become a parent. It isn’t that date night becomes more important, it’s that time together decreases while stress increases. So, as parents we need to prioritize date night even more!
Get creative with childcare
The biggest obstacle for date night as a parent is childcare. For the lucky ones we have grandparents or family nearby that can help. But, I know when my parents have already helped watch my child during the week; I can feel guilty asking for them to baby sit again. The simplest solution is to have date night at home after you put the kids to bed. So, put your little guy or gal down a few minutes early and breakout the date night supplies! Another option if you are headed out for date night on the town, is to swap childcare with another couple. If you have friends that have similar aged kids trade-off once a month watching each other’s kids. And your kids get to enjoy a slumber party as a bonus!
Back to School Date Night at Home
You can enjoy this date night fully at home or mix and match ideas for at home and out on the town. Either way you’ll need to head to Target or the dollar store for some supplies. This date night is all about the carefree fun and simple joys of childhood! You may feel silly, but that’s the point, laugh together.
The essential elements of any date night are food and fun. If you already ate with the kids, enjoy some fun snacks instead. Then enjoy the suggested activities, play dough sculptionary and crayon caricatures. If you can stay awake, end the night with one of the fun throwback movies.
PLAY DOUGH SCUPLTIONARY
What you need: playdough (at least 1 per person), and sculptionary cards
How to play: Each choose a play dough color or set out all the color options. Shuffle up the cards and place them face down in the center of the table. Set a timer for 1 minute. The first person picks a card and reads the category. Start to sculpt the play dough so the other player can guess what’s on the card. If they are having trouble, give them a hint. Whoever guesses the most cards correctly wins. What they win is for you to decide.
What you need: paper and crayons
How to play: Take turns posing for one another and follow these tips as your draw. What are the unique physical features of your model? What parts of their body could you exaggerate to express their personality? Sketch out the entire body. Start by blocking out the largest shapes. For example, if you want to emphasize your model’s nose, draw the nose much larger in your drawing than you normally would. Pay attention to their clothing: how is their personality expressed in their clothing? Add props. For example, if your model likes to sing, draw a microphone in their hand. If they like gardening, try drawing flowers growing out of their hair.
Remember the goal isn’t to be accurate. Use this as a fun opportunity to share what features and qualities you love about your spouse.
Before the date night share with each other some of your favorite foods and treats from childhood. Think macaroni and cheese and sour patch kids. Then make sure to have that food ready for date night.
If you can stay awake long enough, cuddle up and watch one of these back to school inspired movies:
- School of Rock
- Ferris Buller’s Day Off
- Sixteen Candles
Back to School Date Night Out on the Town
If you want to head out on the town for this date night, don’t forget to bring along your play dough and crayons! You can enjoy play dough sculptionary and crayon caricatures while you wait for your food.
Choose a restaurant that reminds you of your childhood, and order your favorite childhood foods. Maybe that means you head to the local pizza joint or something classic like McDonalds where you can order kids meals.
Enjoy dinner at a restaurant, or order food to go and take it to a nearby playground. Make sure to bring a picnic blanket and to up the romance factor bring some battery operated candles. If you ate at the restaurant you can have some childhood treats after dinner at your picnic. After eating it’s time to play. Spend time on the swings, the see-saw, and going down the slide. You’ll feel silly, but that’s the point. What was your favorite dessert as a child? Mine was fudgesicles. No date night is complete without dessert. You can bring some with you or make another stop on the way home for an ice cream sundae that’s perfect for two.
THIS MOMMY TRIED IT AND YOU CAN TOO!