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6 father-and-son activities that serve as a teaching experience

Mary Ellen Maunz, the founder and the director of the Age of Montessori, said, “The absorbent mind is one of the most important ideas in early childhood education.” Maunz added that it’s “the absorbent mind” that makes being an adult feasible. Her statement supports the notion that a child’s mind is like a sponge. Children absorb new experiences and learn as they move through their day, making most parent/child interactions a teachable moment. Of course, you can’t turn every outing or activity into a teaching moment, but there are important life lessons fathers should impart to their sons through the years.

What should fathers teach their sons?

Apart from the obvious like potty training and tying shoes, there are vital lessons dads should impart to their sons. Love, respect, and taking responsibility for your actions to the list, along with healthy habits and how to win and lose gracefully. Teaching good communication and money management skills are also life lessons that will go a long way when your son heads off to college. There are plenty of good father-and-son activities that serve as a teaching experience.

Father and son playing soccer In living room
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How do I have fun with my son?

Having a great time with a child is easy when he’s little. Simple games like peek-a-boo make a baby laugh. As children get older, it can be more difficult to have fun with your son, especially when he hits the teen years. Adulthood also makes it difficult for parents to be silly and just have fun with their children. Work and house responsibilities make kicking back and enjoying time with children hard because there is always an email to answer and a chore to be done. The best way to ensure you have the all-important fun times and teaching experiences with your child is to carve out some special moments each day. That time can be as simple as walking the dog together after dinner, reading a book at bedtime, or enjoying some tunes on the car ride home from practice.

Father and son activities that serve as teaching experiences

The biggest way parents impart important life skills and character to their children is through modeling. Children learn how to treat others with respect and compassion by watching how their parents interact with people. A perfect opportunity to model and pass along those pearls of wisdom is during a fun father-son activity. Here are six that are ideal for bonding and fun while doubling as a teaching experience.

Take a road trip

A road trip doesn’t have to be a full-blown vacation. It can be as straightforward as going to an athletic tournament in another state. Heading out on the road with your son is a perfect opportunity to pass along all types of life lessons from the nuances of driving to checking into a hotel to paying a bill in a restaurant.


Volunteering together is a wonderful way to teach kids about compassion. It also helps to build those all-important social and communication skills while teaching responsibility. Regular volunteering has been shown to have health benefits, too. Make volunteering a monthly father-son activity whether it’s at a local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or food pantry. Giving back to the community through volunteerism doesn’t have to wait until the teen years either.

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Cooking is one of those life skills you can start teaching when kids are young. You don’t want to wait until the summer before your son heads off to college before teaching him how to cook. Think about how many adults don’t know how to make a simple meal. Whether it’s grilling in the backyard or making a special Mother’s Day breakfast, cooking is a cool activity that is a fabulous teaching experience.

father and son in a kayak fishing
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Head outdoors

The great outdoors opens up a lot of possibilities for father-son activities. Try doing activities you love with your son whether it’s fishing, skiing, kayaking, surfing, or playing sports. Don’t worry if your son doesn’t seem to enjoy the activity as much as you do. It’s more about the experience of sharing your passions with him. Change things up by planning a different monthly outdoor excursion.

Go see a professional sports team, concert, or play

Experiencing an event together like a concert or game is full of life lessons including teaching your son how to handle himself in crowds and when away from his familiar environment.

A DIY project

Whether it’s putting together a piece of furniture from Ikea, planting a garden, putting up shelves, or painting a room, a do-it-yourself project is a hands-on learning experience that can be a fun and rewarding father-and-son activity. Seeing a finished project that the two of you planned together teaches the value of hard work and perseverance as well as the satisfaction of seeing something through from start to finish.

Make father-and-son activities a priority

As parents, we have so many things to teach our children and it starts from the moment they’re born. Life gets busy. So, it’s important to remember to set aside the time to share activities together. Special father-son activities are a wonderful opportunity to bond and share those important life lessons your child will need when he heads off to college. It’s also a great time to simply have fun and enjoy your time together. These six father-son activities are sure to make you both laugh and teach you both something as well as create memories you’ll cherish.

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Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
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