Between long work hours, busy school days and extracurricular activities, it’s not always easy for parents to find quality time to spend with their kids. That’s why a new TikTok trend is going viral and inspiring parents to put together unique outings with their kids that help them connect and create awesome memories. They’re called “pick-a-card adventures,” and they’re a unique twist on a standard day out that puts kids in control of the fun.
What is a pick-a-card adventure?
It’s not clear who started the pick-a-card adventure trend, but if you search the term on TikTok, hundreds of videos come up. It works like this:
- First, parents decide on activities for a day out with their kids. It might be wearing special outfits, having a treat, or going shopping.
- Next, parents choose two different options for each activity, like two different treats you might eat or two stores where you might shop.
- Each option gets written down on an index card.
- When it’s time for the activity, kids blindly choose one card that decides which of the options they get to do.
In one recent viral example, a little girl spending the day with her mom gets to choose between wearing normal clothes or dressing like a princess, which restaurant they’ll go to for breakfast and whether she gets to buy a new outfit or a new toy.
In another example, a dad lets his toddler choose between a toy shopping trip at Target or a day at a Disney theme park (they live nearby). Later, she picks between cards that say “sushi date” or “Starbucks date.” They end the night with a final choice between a tea party or a spa night at home.
Can you do pick-a-card adventures on a budget?
A lot of the viral pick-a-card adventures feature activities like a shopping spree at Target or heading to Starbucks, which isn’t realistic for every parent’s budget. But having a limited budget doesn’t have to mean that you skip the activities altogether. You can easily tailor the trend to suit your family’s interests and financial needs.
One mom even turned the trend into a family-themed adventure. She let her whole family choose cards that said whether they had dinner or dessert first, cooked at home or ordered pizza and had a game night or a movie night.
Their night still included a few food purchases, but it’d be easy to prep pizza at home together or make dessert with things you have on hand. Other parents have also included lower cost options like letting kids choose which movie or TV show they’ll watch together or whether they have waffles or cereal at home for breakfast. One parent included a spending limit of $20-30 when offering her son a chance to shop at a store.
Why are pick-a-card adventures such a hit?
Parents are falling in love with the idea of pick-a-card adventures because they offer a unique way to spend time with their kids and they add an element of surprise and fun that kids aren’t necessarily expecting.
“The best part is she has no idea what any of it says, but she’s so excited,” one person writes on the video of the toddler and her dad having a spa night and sushi.
“She’ll remember this forever,” another person adds.
Others like the trend because it gives parents a chance to bond with their kids, especially if they have more than one child. While some have turned the trend into a family adventure or tried it with siblings, many of the videos feature one parent spending quality time with just one of their kids, which gives them a rare opportunity to connect one-on-one.
Pick-a-card adventures are unique in that they can be altered to suit anyone’s budget, interests and schedule. Some have even put a pick-a-card adventure together for their spouse, best friend and other important people in their life. The important thing is just spending quality time with the people you care about, and we could all use a little more of that.