50 Father-Daughter Bonding Ideas Your Teen Girl Will Love

by Nancy Reynolds

This Post: 50 Father-Daughter Bonding Ideas Your Teen Girl Will Love

Since the time she was little and wrapped her tiny hand around your fingers, she needed you. She put you on a pedestal. She looked to you for unconditional love, guidance and unending support. You were her hero…

But even though your teen daughter isn’t quite so little anymore, she still needs you, perhaps now more than ever. 

According to Dr. Meg Meeker, author of the book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secret’s Every Father Should Know, “There is a strength and authority that comes with a father that daughters need. The time a girl really needs her dad to engage in her life, have an open dialogue and be there for support is during the teenage years.”

Your daughter needs your warm hugs and comforting words, she needs your cheesy jokes when she’s had a crummy day, she needs you to tell her she can when the rest of the world tells her she can’t, she needs you to be her role model and show her how it feels to be treated like a lady… she needs your time.

So, for all the dads out there, here are 50 fun father-daughter bonding ideas your teen girl will love. 

“Dad, it’s not optional: your daughter needs you to be her hero.”

50 Fun Father-Daughter Bonding Ideas Your Teen Girl Will Love

 

#1 Take Her Out for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner 

Whether you take her out for hot pancakes on a Saturday morning or a fancy evening out for a delicious steak and fries, time is everything with your daughter. Anyway, we all know teen girls (most, anyway) are always hungry.

#2 Help Her Repaint Her Bedroom 

If your daughter’s bedroom still has teddy bear wallpaper, it’s time for a makeover. Hit the paint store for supplies and then spend a few weekends updating her room. (If you really want extra brownie points, spring for a few new accessories or a new comforter.)

#3 Surprise Her with Concert Tickets

Teenage girls love music! Find out who her favorite band is and spring for tickets. (My husband took both my daughters to a Maroon 5 concert and it’s still one of their fondest memories with their Dad.)

#4 Teach Her Something New

Whether it’s how to fish, how to swing a golf club or how to fix a glitch on her laptop, take the time to teach your daughter something she’s clueless about.  

#5 Spend the Day Doing Something with Her and Her Friends

If your daughter’s friends are her world, spend time with your daughter and her friends. Host a BBQ for her and her besties or take them out for ice cream or smoothies. When it comes to father-daughter bonding ideas, you don’t have to be alone with your daughter to laugh and connect.

#6 Build Something Together

Maybe it’s a cool new headboard for her bedroom or a new set of shelves for all her knick-knacks, there are a ton of cool (relatively easy) projects dads and daughters can do together. 

#7 Attend a Sporting Event (Let Her Pick!)

Does your daughter love football? Lacross? Tennis? Baseball? Let her choose the event and spend an afternoon on the bleachers eating hotdogs, popcorn, and cheese-covered nachos. 

#8 Spend the Day Outdoors 

Pack a picnic and hit the hiking trail, spend the day in the mountains, at the beach or search for waterfalls. There’s something magical about being outdoors. 

#9 Get a Pedicure Together (Yep, Dads Get ‘Em, Too!)

Most teen girls love being pampered. Rather than handing your daughter the credit card and letting her venture out on her own for a mani-pedi, why not go with her? 

#10 Watch a Sunrise or a Sunset

If you and your daughter are the early risers in the family, get in the car and find the highest spot to watch the sunrise (maybe hit a Dunkin’ Donuts on the way). 

#11 Make Dinner Together (Let Her Choose)

Grab the aprons and a new recipe and spend the evening whipping up something special in the kitchen. (Stumped for ideas? Here are 150 easy 5-ingredient dinners to try!)

#12 Bake a Cake Together

Looking for epic cake ideas? Here’s some cake-baking inspiration: 50 BEST cake recipes in the world.

#13 Have a Coffee or Fancy Dessert Date

No one says you have to carve out hours with your daughter. Grab a few precious minutes when you can. Hit a Starbucks together before you drop her off at school or take her out for a fancy dessert on a weeknight after she’s been studying hard or doing homework for hours. 

#14 Have a Movie Marathon Night 

Make sure to make a big bowl of popcorn or her favorite movie snack!

#15 Rent a REALLY Cool Car for the Day and Hit the Road

When my daughters were young teens, my husband rented a Mustang convertible (not the fanciest car in the world, but my daughters thought so) and they packed a lunch and took a one-day road trip through the mountains of Georgia. To this day, my daughters still talk about that special daddy-daughter day. 

#16 Listen to a Funny Podcast Together

Here are a few hilarious podcasts to check out.

#17 Take Her to an Amusement or Water Park 

Laughter… it really is the best medicine and a great way to bond with your daughter.

#18 Take Her on a Mini Shopping Spree

Not long ago, I was at a mall and saw a Dad strolling around a store with his daughter who was smiling from ear to ear as she picked out items asking him what he thought. It was a reminder to me that Dads can (and should) step into typical “mom roles.” Our girls need that. 

#19 Perform a Random Act of Kindness

Need ideas? Here are 103 ideas to inspire you!

#20 Take Her Out for Her Favorite Junk Food 

Whether it’s a juicy burger and fries or tater tots smothered in cheese, venture out on a quest to find her favorite junk food. When it comes to teenagers, food is the ultimate way to bond. 

#21 Do Something Adventurous

Go skydiving (if you’re brave enough), bungee jumping (if you can handle it) or ziplining (if you’re willing). Challenging yourselves to do something you thought you’d never do is the perfect way to bond. 

#22 Share a Few Tips About Boys & Relationships

Even if your girl doesn’t admit it, she’s probably dying for a few “Dad tips” about boys and relationships. 

#23 Take a Self Defense Class Together

Chances are, one of your greatest fears is your daughter being caught off guard and not having the ability to protect herself. Take a self-defense course together. You’ll be spending quality time with your daughter while giving yourself some much-needed peace of mind. 

#24 Take Her Out on a Formal Date

Unless you teach her, your daughter won’t know how she should expect to be treated on dates. Hold the door open for her, pull out her chair, offer her your jacket if she’s cold, treat her like the lady that she is so she knows what to look for (and expect) in future relationships. 

#25 Let Her Share What’s In Her Heart

Sit on the edge of her bed and talk to her before she goes to bed at night. Ask her about her friends, school, what her dreams are and her worst fears. She wants to talk. She just needs a gentle listening ear. 

#26 Run Errands Together

Have a few errands to run on a Saturday morning? Ask your daughter to join you! (Add a perk like a quick stop at a Starbucks drive-thru.)

#27 Teach Her How to Drive

Start out in small parking lots and work your way up to the open road – it’s a great way to help your daughter achieve a huge milestone in her life while bonding. 

#28 Check Out a Local Animal Shelter

Even if you have absolutely no intention of bringing home an adorable cat or dog from the shelter, your daughter will have a ball playing with the kittens and puppies. (If you’re a softy, I’d avoid this at all costs.) 

#29 Go to the Zoo or an Aquarium

Nope… you’re never too old (or too cool) for the zoo or aquarium.

#30 Take Her to a Broadway Play or the Ballet

This might be on the expensive side, but it’s a great way to introduce your daughter to cultural activities (if you haven’t already) and expand her horizons.

#31 Take Her on a City Ferris Wheel

Bring back memories of her childhood when Dad sat close to her and protected her on those scary Ferris Wheel rides.

#32 Take Her on a Few College Visits (and Share Memories of Your College Days)

Get your daughter psyched about her upcoming college days by planning a visit to her “top picks.” Be sure to share a few of your favorite college memories. 

#33 Visit and Explore a Town or City You’ve Never Been To

Sometimes, all your relationship really needs is a change of scenery. Head to a town or city you’ve never been to and explore for the day. 

#34 Play Hooky

Give your daughter the break she needs from school, life and work, and plan a dad and daughter “hooky day” doing something fun… really anything that gets you both away from the routine of daily life. 

#35 Text Her Throughout the Day

Let your girl know you’re thinking of her by texting her, sending her funny memes or passing along inspirational quotes. Even if she doesn’t respond right away (or, at all), she’ll secretly love it.

#36 Coach Your Daughter’s Sports Team

My husband coached my daughter’s golf team in high school. Their bond grew stronger than ever!

#37 Pack Her Special Lunches

A little spoiling can go a long way. Every once in a while, pack her a special lunch and tuck in a heartfelt note from Dad. She’ll remember it always. 

#38 Train For & Run a Marathon Together

Get fit and spend quality time together. Whether you train for a 5K or a 10K, you’ll be doing your bodies and your relationship good! (Don’t know where to begin? Check out this Marathon Training Cheat Sheet!)

#39 Let Her Know She Can Come to You About Anything

Your unconditional love and open-door policy will give your girl the confidence and assurance she needs that she can come to any time – even when she messes up. 

#40 Buy Her Little Surprises

A new pair of fuzzy socks, her favorite candy bar or anything else you think she might like – little surprises can go a long way when you’re trying to connect with a sometimes fickle teen girl.

#41 Show Up

Show up for her recitals and games, tournaments, and practices – the more she knows she can count on you, the more connected she’ll feel to you.

#42 Be a Man of Your Word

Always stand by your word, Dad. 

#43 Show Tenderness on Her “Off” Days

Every girl has days when she feels crummy with cramps, irritable (sometimes for no reason at all) or overwhelmed by life. Be the support she needs on those days when life is hard. 

#44 Buy Her a Cozy Blanket

It may sound too easy, but teen girls love to be cozy and they’re pretty much suckers for soft & cozy blankets. 

#45 Be Her Biggest Cheerleader

Every teen girl needs to know her Dad is on her side. Cheer so loud she can hear you from the highest bleacher.

#46  Stay Physically Close

Hugs, backrubs, high fives or just sitting shoulder to shoulder watching a movie – keep your “Dad touch” alive and well. Remember your “big” girl is still little on the inside. 

#47 Show Her How to Do (Typical) Guy Stuff

Show her how to change a tire, shoot a gun, change the oil in her car and throw a serious punch – she’ll thank you one day for preparing her for the real world. 

#48 Make Her Laugh

Your jokes may be a little cheesy, but that’s the silly side of you your daughter still loves. Don’t stop trying to make her laugh just because she “looks” all grown up. 

#49 Be Generous with Praise

A girl’s confidence is oftentimes the most tumultuous during her teen years. Be open, honest, and generous with your praise about her beauty (both inside and out), her capabilities and her accomplishments.

#50 Love Her Just the Way She Is

Of all the father-daughter bonding ideas we’ve shared, this tops the list…

With her pimply cheeks and gawky arms and legs, with all her unpredictable moods and sometimes snarky remarks, love her through it all. Love her on her good days, her bad days and every day in between. Love her just the way she is…

If you enjoyed, “50 Father-Daughter Bonding Ideas Your Teen Girl Will Love,” here are a few other posts you might enjoy reading:

18 Things Every Dad Should Say to Raise Confident, Strong Daughters

Why Your Teen Needs Hugs (Even if They’re Too Cool to Admit It)

Share your thoughts in the comments section below! What are your favorite father-daughter bonding ideas?

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2 comments

Todd December 27, 2022 - 4:26 pm

I love all the ideas presented here. I have and still do many of them. I.E. coached softball, tell cheesy jokes, take her on errands, and many more. Went through a divorce a couple years ago and it distanced us a little. I just need to put more effort into getting back what I lost!!

Reply
Nancy Reynolds January 3, 2023 - 1:14 pm

Sounds like you’re well on your way, dad! She’s very fortunate to have you! (Especially the cheesy jokes… it’s a dad’s right of passage, I think.)

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