Few things in life are as much of an adventure as fatherhood. Fathers may see themselves as providers, teachers or protectors, but ultimately one of the most important things they can do for their sons is to spend time with them. If you’re looking for activities you can share with your son, consider the following – they are tried and tested ways of bonding that can also provide you both with a lot of fun along the way.
Camping is a fantastic adventure that you can enjoy even with kids as young as six – but we don’t mean going to stay in a house tent on a campsite! A proper camping trip should take you out into the back of beyond (or the closest equivalent you can find within a reasonable distance) and should involve a fair bit of walking, carrying your supplies. Choose to sleep under the stars in a thermal sleeping bag or to set up a ridge tent. Teach your son how to build a fire safely and cook a meal on it. Teach nature skills such as identifying different kinds of animal and plant.
Working on the car
If you don’t have the time to go off on a trip, simply spending time working together on the car can be great fun and can teach your boy lots of practical skills. Everything from washing the car to fixing the engine is useful, and younger children often love driving through a garage car wash. Take the time to show them how everything works, and consider following up by making a car out of Meccano, Lego or a pre-prepared kit so that they can think about how it works and what it might take to build and maintain the real thing.
Messing about in boats at the local pond is one thing, but serious sailing requires a reasonable amount of physical strength and bodyweight, so it’s not for young children. A healthy 11 year old can manage it, however, and the teamwork required to manage a boat is a great way for a kid to learn discipline – not just how to take orders, but why they might matter. Sailing can provide an opportunity to go exploring together, to brave the elements and connect through the challenges you face.
A day at the races
Father-son bonding doesn’t have to stop when your kid grows up. A visit to a race such as the Grand National provides a great way to spend time together, have a little flutter and share in the excitement as the horses charge around the track. You can relax in the bar afterwards with a couple of beers, and later you’ll always be able to reminisce about being there at the great event. You might also have some winnings you can spend on another day out together!
Activities like these can help you to connect and keep on being there for each other throughout life. This is the stuff that really matters, the stuff that will help to make your son a good father in his turn.