Dads. Activity Day Girls. Square Dancing. Need I say more?
Seriously. Just say, “you’ll be dancing with your dad” and 8-11 year-old girls will come in droves. Here’s a great activity that focuses on connecting daughters with their fathers or other special person in their lives. I have to say, the decorations were amazing. I’ll show pictures of all of that ON ONE CONDITION…you don’t think that you have to make replicate it in order for your activity to be awesome! The decor was fun and added a nice touch but focus on the events during the activity – THAT’S what made this activity so great. Opportunities for dads and daughters to connect and share and have fun.
Here’s how it went:
1. Mingling + Photos with dads and daughters – they asked a person in the neighborhood who was skilled at photography to take great pictures of everyone. Then he even printed out the photos and had copies waiting for each family as they left the activity. So fun and a special memory for these girls. I still remember the Daddy Daughter Western-themed activity I went to with my father over 30 years ago. It’s a highlight for these girls, for sure!
2.Welcome / Prayer / Explain Get-To-Know-You Game
– everyone sat at a table for dinner. On each table were 4 different “Menu” lists – one for each course. You pass around a list of questions and each person answers one of the questions on the list. After everyone has shared something, your table goes and gets that portion of the meal. The order went like this:
WHINE LIST – beverage (ice water with lemon – already set up when everyone was arrived)
GARDEN FIXINS – appetizer (veggie tray with Ranch dip – already set up when everyone arrived)
MAIN GRUB – main dish (chile + corn bread with honey butter – served into cups as the appetizer and beverage courses were happening. A bucket of Fritos chips were on each table.)
SWEET TOOTH – dessert (glazed donuts – brought out after appetizer course was served)
By the time we had gotten through all four courses, we knew a lot about each other and were comfortable with one another. Dads celebrated and learned about their daughters and daughters found out things about their dads. Added bonus: it helps the flow of serving the meal to a crowd because each table was ready for the different courses at varying times. It was a natural way to bring purpose and meaningful sharing to a time of the evening that normally would have been spent waiting in a line for food.
3. Quick Initial Clean Up
– they announced that games and square dancing would follow and asked everyone to do an initial clean up of the tables and chairs to make space for the next activities. It took about 7 minutes to do this with everyone pitching in.
4. Games – divide into 2 groups. Each group does one game then switch. Each game took about the same amount of time so this worked well and was so fun for everyone.
RUBBER CHICKEN RELAY
Supplies Needed: (2) large plastic serving spoons, (2) rubber chickens
Divide group into two equal teams (if you don’t have an equal number of people, some can go twice to make up the numbers). Mark of the “turn-around spot” at the far end of the space. Each person must balance the rubber chicken on their serving spoon, run down to the end, turn around and run back. If they drop the chicken, you must take 2 steps back, balance it again and move forward. When you cross the starting line, pass the chicken and spoon off to the next person. Winners are the first to get through all their team members.
STICK HORSE RELAYSupplies Needed: (2) bandanas, (2) cowboy hats, (2) stick horses
Divide group into two equal teams (if you don’t have an equal number of people, some can go twice to make up the numbers). Mark of the “turn-around spot” at the far end of the space. Each person must put on the cowboy hat and bandana, hop on their stick horse, then gallop down to the end, turn around and gallop back. When you cross the starting line, pass the supplies off to the next person. Winners are the first to get through all their team members.
5. SQUARE DANCING
Talk about the highlight of the night! A cheer went up when square dancing time was announced. The girls were so excited. In the hunt for a square dance caller to hire for the event, the leaders for this activity were led to a wonderful couple who actually volunteered their services for free to groups like this. Amazing! They were a very nice couple who brought the sound system and their talents to teach the dads and daughters square dance techniques.
Check around your area – maybe there is a square dance club or group where someone would be willing to come teach how to do it with your group. If not, the price might be reasonable enough to make it worth spending a little money. Another idea is to teach line dancing – there are many people in our neighborhoods who have some dancing talent and would be willing to teach simple line dances. Click here to see how we did this at another activity.
Really, all that matters about an activity like this is making real, meaningful connections between daughters and their dads or other special guests. If all of your events focus on building a stronger, positive relationship, you are on the right track.
Get your boots shined and your cowboy hats on! This activity is sure to be one of your best! Yee Haw!