Things to do on paternity leave

On paternity leave there is lots of time for closeness and being together with your baby – but there is also time for lots of activities! Some find there is enough to do with nappy changing, regular naps and mealtimes, but others feel a need to do something more active with the baby, and/or to talk to other adults.

Here are some suggestions for activities that you can use as inspiration.

Dads’ Playgroup

You can go along to the Dads’ Playgroup with your child and play, with other fathers for company. The playgroup is open to all fathers with children aged 0-5 years. You can come whenever it suits you in opening hours. If your child is asleep, you can have a coffee with the other dads – there is always room for the pram. You will normally be met by a coordinator, who will welcome all dads and make sure there is enough coffee and something for everyone to play with. The health visitor looks in every time.
You are welcome to ask questions, if you have any. There are playgroups in many different towns across the country. Opening hours vary from town to town. Find the nearest Dads’ Playgroup at HERE.

I went along to form a network and get to know people in the same situation as myself. Not many of my immediate friends have children, so I joined to be able to talk to others about baby matters and to find people to mirror myself. I did not find it was all fun and games being a parent: sometimes it was difficult, too, and it was good to be able to talk to others about that.

Dads’ groups

More and more municipalities are now starting Dads’ groups through the health-visitor service. You may already have been invited to join a group, but otherwise you can ask your health visitor whether it is possible to join a group. There are also other groups for fathers on the social media, which you can search for. A third possibility is to start your own group, for example through local Facebook groups or posting notices where people meet in your municipality.

Many municipalities have also indicated whether they have father groups at Sundmand Kommuner, where you can look up your own municipality.

It was really cool, and you really get something out of it when you have a social group together. And you meet people who are in the same boat, or in the same situation in life as yourself. So you can air lots of different ideas, because you can’t always talk about them all with your partner. You can perhaps say that people often see parenting in two different ways, can’t you?

It varies a great deal what people want to do in a dads’ group. Some want to chat over coffee, while others prefer to do something active, such as going for walks, getting some exercise, or meeting in the countryside. For some, it is enough just to meet digitally. But however the dads’ group works, the dads who take part are usually very satisfied. It gives them something to do during their paternity leave, and there are
other adults to share large or small problems, or just to talk about something other than children. Many find talking to other dads is very positive.

Things to remember on a walk in the country

You will both enjoy it best if you are warm, dry, and not hungry. What to take with you:
● shoes or boots that are good for walking in
● several layers of clothes, so you can adjust if you get hot or cold
● sun cream in the spring and summer
● small snacks for breaks along the way, e.g. fruit, buns, crispbread and water bottles
● wet wipes, nappies and paper tissues
● a terrain buggy, a baby wrap or carrying sling.

Go for a walk in the countryside

You can have lots of happy times going out in the countryside with your child, playing and getting some exercise in the fresh air. For a small child it can be an adventure just to see, smell and
touch things outdoors. If you want to do more than that, you can find out whether there are nature guides who arrange outings in your area. Perhaps there are walks where you can pick berries, gather fungi, or look at birds, trees and flowers.

You can also find lots of nature activities at HERE, where you will also find a list of different nature apps and the most beautiful and interesting places in the countryside.

Find inspiration for activities

On the activity page you can search for the area where you live, and find specific activities for you and your child nearby. However, there may also be lots of other interesting activities close to you.

Try checking out libraries, museums, culture houses or sports clubs, and see whether they have activities for dads on paternity leave.


Other things you can do, wherever you live:
● Train motor skills with physical games and exercises at home. Your child can join in the simplest exercises – but otherwise it is quite entertaining just to watch dad bending and stretching!
● Go to a playground. Most municipalities have excellent playgrounds for children of all ages, but you may have to search for them. Try Googling or searching for playgrounds on your municipal website.
● Go swimming. Many swimming baths have warm-water pools, children’s areas, or specific times reserved for families with small children. Remember swim nappies and a swim suit or swimming pants.
● Go out in the garden or the park. All you need is a bucket, spade and sensible outdoor clothes, and you can spend lots of time happily in any weather.
● Make a den indoors, put up a little tent, or make an obstacle course with things you have in the house. Small, cosy spaces are fun, and can be places for closeness with your child.