Top 9 Father and Son Bonding Activities

Written by Ben Sack, 04.22.2019

Father and Son Bonding Activities

We all know how important quality time between fathers and sons can be. This time influences how close you two are, how well you get along, and even what kind of a man he will become.

Building a strong father-son relationship can be a challenge. Unlike traditional female bonding activities that are centered around talking, quality father and son time tends to be better spent in an activity that you can both enjoy. From here, the talking can flow naturally, rather than playing the focal point.

So, what are some of the activities that you can both enjoy while passing on much needed life lessons? Here we will go over some of the best ways for fathers and sons to bond by spending quality time together.

Fun Activities for a Dad and Son

1. Camping

two sizes of glamping tents available for rentAre you an outdoor lover? Most of us get that passion from our moms and dads, who taught us at a young age the magic that nature offers. Enjoy the quiet and solitude of nature while teaching him skills like building a fire, setting up a tent, and cooking in the wilderness.

Depending on what you two enjoy doing, you can pair this with other outdoor activities like mountain biking, kayaking, or hunting. These kinds of activities are fun and challenging, helping to instill a positive attitude towards working for things that you want.

2. Sports Games

baseball gameFor a memorable outing that doesn’t require leaving home for long, try taking your son to watch their favorite sports team. Whether he is a baseball, football, soccer, or basketball enthusiast, these games can be exciting and inspirational. When kids watch people who have worked hard to make their dreams come true, it can be a great motivation to work towards their passions. This could be related to sports, or even things like school and art.

3. Hunting

If you and your family are meat lovers, why not bring your son out into the wilderness to connect with nature and earn the food that he eats? Hunting instills a respect for nature, and can be a humbling and exciting experience.

Plus, if you’re a gun enthusiast, this can be a great way to teach your kid proper shooting techniques. Gun ranges are amazing for beginner practice, but once that gets too easy, practicing in nature can help to hone those skills.

4. Mountain Biking

mountain biking in the colorado mountainsRushing down the side of a mountain is an adventure both challenging and thrilling. If you live near mountain biking trails, this is an activity that challenges the body and the mind. Rather than having lots of free time to let your mind wander, you will be engaged the whole time.

When you take a child mountain biking and they love it, they are likely to continue this healthy pastime well into adulthood, maybe one day teaching their own son the joys of adrenaline sports.

5. White Water Rafting

Rafting in the Rain with Echo CanyonPaddling hard down a river as you’re jostled from one rapid to the next is a memorable and exciting experience. If you live near the mountains, or if you’ll be traveling there for a camping trip, white water sports like white water rafting or kayaking are invigorating and fun.

There are even multi-day rafting trips that include rafting and camping, where rafting outfitters can plan the whole trip for you! If you’re an outdoor lover and an adventure enthusiast, bring your son into the fold on a white water rafting adventure.

6. Building or Fixing Something

father and son projectsIf you are the dad who fixes things around the house, or if you enjoy woodworking, including your son can help him to learn these critical life skills when he’s young.

Maybe you work together to build something that he would enjoy, like a treehouse, cornhole boards, model rocket, or a birdhouse. By making something together that he can use with his friends and family for years to come, you son can have a daily reminder about the time that you spent together.

Additionally, if you have a honey-do list, you could pick one thing from there each month and have your son help you with it (maybe incentivize him with some extra chore money or having a friend over that night). This way, you can pass on your knowledge while also helping around the house.

7. Fishing

Imagine an image of a father and son fishing out on the water together, passing time as the water laps beneath them and the wind blows through the trees. This is the quintessential father and son bonding activity that has been popular for countess generations.

While many decades ago this would have been a common way to feed the family, it is now an activity that can either be for bringing home dinner, or just for spending time in nature with something enjoyable to do.

Whether you practice catch-and-release, river fishing, or even deep-sea fishing, time spent on the water can be relaxing and fulfilling. Here, you can catch up when the line is relaxed and get a thrill when it starts tugging this-way-and-that. Plus, this is an activity that you can do from almost anywhere. Rivers, lakes, and oceans with ample fish are found across the world.  

fishing in colorado

8. Playing Video Games

Not every father-son bonding activity necessitates going outdoors or being active. Maybe your son isn’t much of the active type but enjoys the thrill and excitement that comes from competition. If so, he probably is an avid video game player.

Few boys these days aren’t enthralled by the adventures that are offered in the other worlds found through video games. Maybe you, too, were once a big gamer (or maybe you still are). Playing video games together can be a great way to end a stressful day of work or school assignments and have some quality male bonding time.

9. Volunteer

trail maintenanceIt is never too early to learn the importance of giving back. Taking your son volunteering can teach him many life lessons, from being grateful for the things that he has, to the joy of helping those in need.

Try volunteering at a soup kitchen, take a trip to a local hiking trail and volunteer for a trail maintenance day, or helping out a local animal shelter if your child is an animal lover. By spending some time helping others, you can get closer to one another and to your community.

Building a Solid Father-Son Relationship

If you are ready to start building some memories with your son, first think about what it is that your son is passionate about. Do your best to take interest in the things that interest him. Next, think about what it is that you’re passionate about, and what lessons you would like to teach him as he grows older. Plan experiences that can enrich your relationship now and help shape him into the man that he will become.

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About the Author

Ben Sack is the General Manager of Echo Canyon River Expeditions, Colorado's largest white water rafting outfitter. He's also a raft guide, a photographer, and he loves exploring Colorado and beyond with his wife and two boys.
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