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Father-Son Activities to Help You Build a Closer Relationship

Want to spend some quality time with your kiddo? These father-son activities are bound to help you bond.

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We think every day should be Father’s Day. Both fathers and mothers should play an equally important role in parenting. The bond between a son and his dad is something truly special. Some life lessons are best taught by a dad, and spending time together is something special. This is why we’ve put together a list of the most wholesome and fun father-son activities you can enjoy with your kid.

Father-Son Fun with an Adventure Book

A great father-son bonding experience is filled with good times, smiles, and a touch of adventure. If you want to spend less time figuring out what to do with your son and more time enjoying his company, pick up a copy of Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition. This book has more than 50 scratch-off challenges for just about any location and budget. Each activity is categorized under sections like “Discover,” “Create,” “Get Silly,” “Cook,” and more. Whatever you feel like doing, this book has something ready for you to uncover!

1. Go biking together.

Learning how to ride a bike is one of the most memorable father-son activities. If your son hasn’t learned to ride a bike already, now is the time to teach him. Get some training wheels on and head over to a nearby park. Spending such interrupted quality time will let him know that he matters to you.  

Even if you have a teen or a young adult, biking is a wonderful way to get out together, take in some sights, and enjoy each other’s company. When you’re ready to take a break, stop at a restaurant, share a light meal, hydrate, and get back on your way home. What a way to enjoy a day!

2. Try a science experiment.

Sons look up to their fathers for just about everything. Trying some science experiments with them will allow them to learn something new with someone they trust. Besides, science is ­fun!

We’ve got a bunch of science experiments you can try with your kids. Younger kids will love making and playing with Oobleck slime. Middle schoolers will go gaga over watching baking soda volcanoes explode. Get your Bill Nye on as you make a model rocket in your living room!

3. Go on a camping trip.

There’s no better way to spend the weekend than going on a good father-son camping trip! The sooner you introduce your kiddo to the great outdoors, the more comfortable they will be. Camping is a wonderful way to get some no-screen time with the entire family. This gives you some great opportunities for dad-son bonding too.

If you take a family trip, make time for a special father-son hike and explore the wonders of nature together. Collect some wildflowers to make a bouquet for mom. Teach him how to build a fire and roast some marshmallows. As the entire family gets cozy by the campfire, tell each other spooky stories and share some laughs.

4. Go rock climbing.

If you want to get some adrenaline pumping, try rock climbing with your son. Rock climbing can be intimidating for first-timers, especially little ones, but there are safe ways to start kids early. This is when you can encourage your son to conquer his fears and try his best.

As you show him how it’s done, you have the chance to become his role model. He will learn that it’s okay to do something new with confidence. Additionally, you will show him that mistakes are stepping stones to success (quite literally). You’ll also be able to laugh about your missteps and falls! 

5. Paint together.

Painting is a wholesome way to get to know how your little guy thinks. Set aside an evening to sit with your son and paint something together. It doesn’t need to be a piece of fine art!

Place two sheets of paper or easels in opposite directions. Choose an imaginative prompt and let your creative self shine. For example, you can choose prompts like “The happiest day of my life,” “My family,” or “If I were king of the world.”

At the end of 30 minutes, exchange your artwork and talk about what you painted. As you share your vulnerable feelings, you will teach your son the importance of tuning in to your emotions. Find a spot in your house and make a mini father-son art museum.

6. Play video games.

Playing video games is one of those father-son activities that often gets overlooked. You might not even realize how much it means to a child to spend time crushing aliens or battling villains with Dad. Whether he’s a little one or a young adult, your son will really value this bonding time.

The key here is to keep things interesting and different—alternate between a game of your choice and then a game of his choice. This way, you’ll be able to teach each other some new tips and tricks every time. Before you know it, you might be able to go on combined missions too!

Aside from video games, you might also enjoy playing with legos or board games.

7. Play catch.

Nothing beats an old-school game of catch with your kid on a pleasant afternoon or evening. Not only is this a simple way to get some quality time, but you’ll also be able to get your daily dose of exercise.

A game of catch requires no planning or preparation; it’s a great way to spontaneously get bonding with your kids. Talk about a special sporting event you remember from your childhood or plan an event you can attend together. There’s nothing like sharing and building memories to strengthen a father-son relationship.

8. Make a card.

In case you’re looking for something lowkey to do inside the house, why not make some DIY cards with your kiddo? All you need are some art supplies and a lot of love.

Make cards for mom, grandparents, and your son’s teachers. Ask him to write thoughtful messages inside each card. You can decorate the cards with finger painting, stickers, or origami, depending on how old your son is.

This way, you’ll get some fascinating insights into how your son views the world. You’ll also teach him how to say thank you to the people he loves.

P.S. In case you’d like some mom-approved bonding activities, we’ve got your back!

9. Cook together.

Cooking is no doubt an important life skill and is one of our favorite father-son activities. When you cook with your kid, you show him that gender roles needn’t apply when it comes to such essential skills.

Treat your partner to a delicious home-cooked meal that you and your son do together. Young children can chip in and help by decorating cupcakes or washing vegetables. If your son is older, he can be in charge of an appetizer or dessert. Follow a recipe online or share some family cooking secrets while you’re at it.

If grilling is more your thing, there’s nothing better than putting something on the grill while your son learns. This way, the entire family will get some delicious barbeque and you’ll get in some bonding time!

10. Teach him to tie knots.

This one is a timeless classic and a great life skill to pass on. Channel some major Cub Scout vibes as you teach your son how to tie different knots. As adults, we’ve come to realize the importance of these nifty knots.

This activity offers a great chance for you to brush up on your memory as well. Once your son has got the hang of it, you can ask him to help you with knots whenever you go outdoors, from camping and boating to helping in the backyard or building a treehouse rope ladder. There’s nothing like learning some survival skills from Dad!

11. Volunteer together.

Giving your time and offering services to those in need brings people closer. By volunteering as a father and son, you will not only be helping others, but you will be growing together in the experience.

You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, fix things around the house for elderly people in your neighborhood, feed animals at a sanctuary, or find any number of volunteering opportunities that you can enjoy together.

Search for age-appropriate activities at VolunteerMatch or check with organizations in your local area to find ways you can spend rewarding time together giving back to your community.

12. Build a bird feeder.

Every son wants to build something with his dad. In fact, he’ll carry along such memories for a lifetime. You can find a bird feeder tutorial online, and follow the instructions with your son.

If you’re good at woodworking, now is the time to teach your son the basics. Younger boys can help glue the different pieces together and pick colors for the final structure. Tweens and teenagers will love chipping in with cutting and hammering the pieces together.

Once you’re done setting it up, you can bird-watch with your son every morning. Win-win!

Closing Thoughts

We’re certain you’ll earn your “Best Father” mug after making your way through this list with your kid. Which of these suggestions did you enjoy the most? Share your ideas (and memories) in the comments section!

Want to involve the whole family in some fun games? You might like our list of outdoor summertime activities!

Don’t forget that nothing brings a father and son together like the spirit of adventure. With Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition, you’ll be able to find something exciting to do on every page. This interactive scratch-off book has 50+ epic activities to pick from. This means you’ll have a year’s worth of amazing father-son activities to choose from.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some father-son activities I can do to bond with my son?

Try something new from a scratch-off adventure book or try any of these father-son activities, like playing catch, building something together, teaching him life skills, or trying science experiments.

What are some outdoor father-son activities?

Simple father-son activities like playing a game of catch or camping can bring you together outdoors. A city scavenger hunt would also be a fantastic way to share some quality time.

What activities can I do on a father-son weekend?

Friday night, try a scratch-off adventure. After a restful sleep, cook breakfast as a team. Then, take a road trip to your favorite spot for some rest, relaxation, and father-son bonding activities.

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