Are you ready to learn the 10 powerful father son activities that will help you cultivate a more meaningful relationship with your son?
Then you are not only in the right place, you are in luck. I will not only be sharing 10 powerful types of father son activities we will be sharing tons of examples.
By reading this article you will get more ideas than you can likely implement in the next calendar year, but we figure that’s probably for the best. After all, if you cultivate a relationship with your son while he is young it will last a lifetime!
Father Son Projects to Build
Building things with your hands is a powerful experience that provides rich short and long-term benefits.
Carrie Barron M.D. a contributor of Psychology Today explains, “Purposeful hand use enhances well-being in a technologically saturated culture.”
She continues to cite research that shows how the act of working with our hands to create or tend to things decreases stress, relieves anxiety, prevents depression, fosters flow in the mind, triggers spontaneous joy, and fuels creative thought.
By taking time to build things with your son he will not only associate these positive feelings with building, but to time spent with you! Just be mindful that you don’t overpower the building process. Let him take the lead on choosing an activity. You’ll also want to take a back seat to the doing as well.
1.) Build Something Original
If you are a handy father and your son shows interest in building as a general craft you might consider building him a custom tool bench together and stocking it with some basic tools.
As his interest solidifies and his skills increase the two of you might also spend time selecting new tools to fill out his custom toolbox.
Start small with woodwork and leatherwork projects.
When it comes time to do some basic upgrades around the house, instead of hiring an outsider, collaborate with your son to get the job done. This will allow him to showcase his new skills and give him a sense of pride in his family home. For example, you might consider assembling a new shed (or workshop).
2.) Build Things that Move.
Another great approach to feeding your son’s passion for building is to work with more mechanical mediums.
Model car and rockets are classic father son bonding activities.
As he grows and his mechanical skills mature you might consider investing in an antique car that you can work on together. That way when the time comes for him to get a driver’s license, he will have a deep love and respect for his car. This is a great way to promote road safety without being to overbearing. Plus, god forbid he breaks down somewhere, he will have the skill set to evaluate the situation and act accordingly.
3.) Build in Nature
Another great way to build with you child is in the yard. A small project idea to start with is the construction and installation of a bird house. This will draw upon woodworking skills and also fuel compassionate care for living things (birds in this case).
If you find that your son really takes to building in nature building a garden is worth exploring. This type of project may require building and installing raised beds or other landscaping features. While planting and cultivating the garden is more in the realm of tending.
4.) Build Collections
Collecting is a wonderful way to channel your son’s focus. If he took to model cars, woodworking, or leatherworking then you may just stay the course and encourage him to tend to his collection as it grows. However, if this was not the right fit for your son, some other things to collect might include:
- baseball cards
- coins and currency
- sports figures
- rocks, fossils and minerals
- ticket stubs
- bottle caps
- the ideas are endless…
It can’t hurt to have a conversation about the long-term appreciation of collectable – how one day these prized possessions could produce wealth – but more importantly what your child chooses to collect is a personal choice that provides you with insight.
Your role is to support and celebrate his passion. You might choose to take him on a weekly outing to seek out a new collectable treasure or gift him a really special piece when he has excelled at school, etc.
Father and Son Bonding Activities
It’s important to reinforce your father son bond in numerous spaces. At home, around town, and in nature.
5.) Activities at Home
Taesha Butler, Founder of Natural Nurture explains,
“…our culture has come to see being constantly busy with school and activities as a positive thing that helps children grow and evolve into well-rounded adults. Even at a young age, we are rushing children from one activity to another, not allowing them time to “veg”… While we are all just doing the best we can to be amazing mamas & papas while maintaining our own busy schedule, I ask you: “Is your child getting enough downtime?” I bet several of you are shaking your heads “no” and several more of you are wondering why downtime is so dang important. Isn’t busy good? Doesn’t busy = engaged & learning? In my opinion (as a mom and seasoned educator with 16 years of experience working with young children under her belt), the answer is: not always.”
She continues to discuss the negative side effect of insufficient downtime – primarily high stress levels – naming:
- lashing out physically or verbally,
- having a difficult time focusing
- weakened immune systems
Perhaps most importantly, it is vital that your son has your explicit permission to take downtime. What better way to make this crystal clear than spending downtime together at home.
Have an informal conversation with your son, where he can interview you and you him, to learn about your shared home based activities. You may reveal common interests such as:
- playing catch
- video gaming
- star gazing
- board games
Once you have a list of go-to home based activities, schedule unstructured downtime with your child as often as you can (and commit to it!). When that time arrives let him choose the activity and then simply enjoy being together.
6.) Activities Around Town
In his book Street Smart Kids: Common Sense for the Real World, author Gordon Meyers discusses how street smart people develop a keen sense of situation awareness that sets them apart. Further he explains that the process of becoming street smart must begin at a very young age. He believes that parents are the key factor to whether a child becomes street smart or not.
Spending time with your son out in the world – around town – is a great way to encourage street smarts. Assuming of course that you don’t practice helicopter or bubble parenting while out. When you are out in the world with your son, be a model of how to behave, but also let him take the lead.
Some potential out in the world activities might include:
- sporting events
- barber shop
- community service
- go cart
For things like sporting events, go carts, concerts, zoos, aquariums, and museums, invite him to talk to box office staff and count money to pay for tickets. Let him find the exact seats or navigate exhibits using tour maps.
At a barbershop, have him communicate directly with the stylist to explain the hairstyle he wants. Encourage him to talk freely with other patrons.
Make sure to include you son in the process of choosing the best around town activities. Commit to making these outings a regular occurrence.
7.) Activities in The Great Outdoors
We are all of nature, but as society evolves we spend less and less time communing with nature.
Jon Henley, a contributor at the Guardian explains “a growing body of evidence is starting to show that it’s not so much what children know about nature that’s important, as what happens to them when they are in nature…”
Time spent in nature:
- reduces levels of inflammation in the body
- relieves stress
- sharpens thinking and creativity
- improves vision
- improves short term memory
- restores mental energy
- improves concentration
Here are some great ways to spend time in nature with your son.
- golfing/driving range
- winter sports
- skateboarding/roller skating
- rock climbing
Spend sometime chatting with your son, in a similar way as you did regarding in-home activities, and determine which activities most appeal to him. Then schedule time with your son to be outdoors together at least once a month.
Father Son Weekend Trips
Everything we have discussed so far can be incorporated into a daily, weekly or monthly father son schedule. It’s also important to consider how to schedule extra special weekend trips with your son. We recommend doing this once a season.
When considering weekend trips, you don’t have to start from scratch, in fact we advise against that. Hopefully your daily, weekly, and monthly father son time has helped you get to know each other better and to really understand your shared interests (other than each other!).
Design weekend trips that bundle these interests together.
8.) Father Son Camping Trips
Father son camping is nothing new and no wonder, it is a powerful bonding experience. Give some thought to the activity ideas listed above, such as grilling, hiking, geocaching, etc.
How can you bundle some of your favorite father son activities into a fun camping weekend?
9.) Father Son Road Trip
Another great way to get away for the weekend with your son is a good old fashioned road trip!
If your son took to collecting, perhaps you can go on a scavenger hunt road trip.
If your son is getting really excited about leather working, look for conventions.
Or perhaps you are both totally geeking out on old cars since you started to work on his future car – is there a car show you can attend?
Whatever your shared interests are there is a road trip that can help you access them.
Pack your bags and take to the open road. The stories will last a lifetime
Conclusion – Father Son Time is Priceless
You can climb to the highest heights of professional success, but if your relationship with you son is collateral damage all your effort will have been in vain.
Finding ways to spend daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal time with your son is totally possible and needs to be a top priority.
Do you and your son enjoy activities not listed here? Share your go-to father son activities in the comments below!