Mom Surprise – 101 “I Can’t Believe my Mom Did This” Things to Do with your Kids

As a mom, I love to surprise my kids. There’s something really cool about having your kids look at you and be shocked that you actually did something that they never thought you’d do! I’m all about the mom surprise and seeing my kids get a kick out it! Since I figure I can’t be alone on this journey of sorts, I thought it would be fun to share some ideas with you!

Mom Surprise – WHAT DID MY MOM JUST DO???

Mom Surprise - 101 Things to do with your kids

I’ve always thought that my sons see me as a “cool” or “fun” mom. I don’t know why I specifically thought that they do, but I have always tried to be that “fun” mom. The mom that laughs with them. The mom that lets them stay up a little past their bedtime. The mom that they come to when they’re having a problem and I help them solve it.

mom surprise

Truthfully, I want to be just like my mom was to me.

I had an eye-opening experience on the night of July 3rd. We were at my parents house and the boys were all planning on camping out in their backyard before the 4th of July. My husband set up an awesome and gigantic tent. The boys laid out sleeping bags and pillows. I helped them create a fun little fort inside the tent. It was very cool for them to see the whole thing come together. As I was finishing everything up, my husband said to me, “I’m glad you and Victoria are going to stay outside with us, it’s a beautiful night.”

My sons all looked at me… “You’re NOT staying with us?”

They were (in a word) shocked.

The look on their face was priceless – “Mom is staying WITH us?”

If you know me in real life, you know I’m not much of a camper. I just knew this experience would be something they’d never forget.

And you know what, it’s good to do a MOM SURPRISE!

We had a BLAST! We camped out all night. Victoria had a blast. And it dawned on me – like a blazing sun – that these are the things the boys will remember someday. They will remember mom camping outside with them in Grandma and Pop-up’s backyard with Victoria (who was still in a pack and play!) because she normally doesn’t want to camp. It was like a light bulb moment for me. They couldn’t believe mom did this with them… it was eye opening.

The next day during the 4th of July it started pouring and we ran in the rain and I let them get SOAKING wet! It was another, “I can’t believe mom let us do this!” It wasn’t just a mom surprise, it was a Dad Surprise, too!

Mom Surprise - 101 Things to do with your kids

It got me thinking… what else could I do with them to give them that “I can’t believe mom did this” type moment in time.

I thought of 101 things last night with my husband. Things that I know our boys would go crazy over and things that are different and unique for moms and dads to do with their kids!

Here is my list of 101 MOM SURPRISE “I Can’t Believe my Mom Did This” Things to Do with your Kids:

1. Running through the rain
2. Camping in the backyard
3. Lemonade stand
4. Ice cream for dinner
5. Dance party in the kitchen
6. Swinging contest – who can swing the highest
7. Pogo stick contest
8. Breakfast in bed
9. Fort building in the living room
10. Lunch picnic outside
11. S’mores when it’s raining (you can make them in the microwave by melting the marshmellow for 15 seconds)
12. Jump off a diving board
13. Pie eating contest
14. Race you to the end of the street and back
15. Special night with just one child (if you have more than one)
16. Jumping off the diving board
17. Night swimming
18. Water gun fight
19. Waterslide time
20. Late movie
21. Sleepover in the living room
22. Make gigantic sundaes
23. Homemade milkshakes
24. Plant a garden together
25. Scavenger hunt throughout the neighborhood
26. Day trip to a local City
27. Turn the radio up in the car REALLY loud
28. Paint night at home
29. Sign up for an art class
30. Sign up for a cooking class
31. Stay at a local hotel overnight
32. Learn how to play Minecraft
33. Learn how to play Pokemon
34. Wii Sport night
35. XBOX LIVE night
36. Set up a surprise playdate
37. Hibachi night
38. Baking night
39. Make your own Pizza night
40. On a rainy day, have a full movie day
41. At-home pedicure night
42. Wiffle ball game
43. Mini golfing
44. Go-Kart time
45. Rock climbing
46. Tailgating at a local sports event
47. Lay outside and watch the stars
48. Visit the beach at night
49. Mystery rides to fun places
50. Handstand contest in the pool
51. Ride some waves at the beach
52. Watch your child’s FAVE movie
53. Bubble bath for your child (my sons always ask and I always say no, surprise time!)
54. Random shopping spree
55. Trampoline jumping
56. Rock climbing with the kids
57. Set-up a Ninja Warrior obstacle course
58. Make a music video
59. Dress up fancy and go out to dinner
60. Hula hooping time
61. Find an ice cream truck
62. Climb a tree
63. Put on a magic show
64. Jump in puddles
65. Play hide and go seek
66. Pajama Day at home
67. Roll down a hill together
68. Do the monkey bars
69. Say “YES” to the “Can so-and-so sleepover?”
70. Learn how to surf
71. Glow in the dark baseball (just add glow sticks to the balls)
72. Find a local carnival
73. Forget bedtime one night
74. Make homemade slime
75. Water balloon fight
76. Egg toss
77. Pretend Day – pretend to be a pirate or a princess, etc
78. Have an Opposite Day
79. Run through the sprinkler
80. Catch fireflies
81. Find an outdoor concert
82. Close your kitchen day – everything you eat must be bought
83. Game night
84. Roller skating
85. Pillow fight
86. Decorate or tie-dye t-shirts
87. Drive-in Movie
88. Prank call the grandparents or Daddy
89. Show how to make a paper airplane
90. Craft projects
91. Build a LEGO something
92. Phones off for the Day
93. Call in sick to work and just hang with the kids
94. Make popsicles
95. Make some mud pies
96. Slip and Slide it with the kids
97. Play freeze tag
98. Let your child redecorate their room
99. Fingerpaint
100. Build a huge sandcastle
101. Bike ride

It comes down to simple things, fun things.

See some other 101 things that I love to do with the kids:

101 Things To Do with Teen Sons

101 Fall Activities To Do with your Kids

101 Spring Activities To Do with your Kids

101 Winter Activities To Do with your Kids

101 Things To Do Before Summer is Over

As always – check out our family YouTube Channel for more family content and ideas!




About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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