Ideas for meaningful one-on-one time
By Sunshine Menefee
Father’s day is fast approaching and it’s time to take a step back and realize how much your father or husband means to you. Children love spending time with their dads, whom they just can’t live without. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to spend as much time as we would like with our loved ones. But the next time you find a few spare minutes, here are some great ideas to help kids and dads get some great bonding time.
1. Explore the backyard
There are endless rocks to be turned over and bugs to be unearthed right in your own backyard. A dad is the perfect person for this fun expedition trip of identifying new plants and explaining the life cycle to little ones.
2. Go camping
There’s nothing better than lying awake at night, staring at the stars, and listening to crickets chirp besides maybe roasting marshmallows around the campfire. Keep it close to home, as in the backyard, to have all the modern conveniences close at hand.
3. Go bowling
Even little kids can do this one. Young and old alike have fun throwing a ball down the lane. You might not remember who won that game, but you’ll sure remember all the funny slips and faces.
4. Visit a weird local attraction
Almost every county has a local tourist attraction that puts it on the map. From giant Paul Bunyan’s to huge balls of twines, go explore these nearby oddities and don’t forget the camera.
5. Build something
I don’t know a kid who doesn’t like to tinker with tools. Show them the proper way and create something useful by building a project together.
6. Volunteer as a family
This sends a powerful message to your children that everyone deserves a helping hand. Teach them about showing compassion and respect to others by volunteering at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
7. Play board games
Family game night is full of laughter and merriment. It can be as simple as a card game. All that matters is that you’re spending time with them.
8. Look at the stars
Star-gazing through a telescope is a powerful experience. Look up local astronomy clubs to see when they are hosting public outings. You and your children will be amazed at what you find.
9. Go for ice cream
Sometimes simple things in life are the best things. Going for ice cream is always a special treat and made sweeter by Dad tagging along.
10. Fix something
It doesn’t have to be perfect. Kids just want the time with you. They learn to appreciate things and about value of objects if you attempt to fix something that is broken rather than simply replacing it.
11. Take pictures
Get out and explore the wilderness and let the little ones lead the way. They’ll be in awe of how things look through a camera lens. Or stay at home and make funny faces together. It’s a win-win.
12. Have a dance contest
You’ve heard all the One Direction songs, but can you keep up with the moves? Can your kids master the Electric Slide? Let the dance battle begin!
13. Blow bubbles contest
Who can blow the biggest bubble? Or the tiniest? It’s going to take lots of practice to get the right.
14. Water gun fight
Enjoy a good old-fashioned water gun fight. Outside of course.
15. Learn a magic trick
Magic is mystifying. But let you and your little on learn some tricks and put on a family magic show for Mom. They’ll love mastering the moves.
16. Bury a time capsule
Fill it with precious photos, recipes, jokes, favorite songs, or anything else that captures the moment. Let everyone in the family contribute. Mark the location and come back in 10 years to see how far you’ve all come.
17. Visit a museum
There are lots of local museums that showcase not only art, but plenty of local and bizarre items. Scope out your area and learn about some fun facts and oddities.
18. Collect something
Creating a collection is something you and your child can have for a lifetime. Choose something that will be available for years to come. Try not to get to trendy, either. Remember the beanie babies? Don’t get too carried away.
19. See a car show
Local car clubs love to show off. Go check out a car show and drool over some tricked out and spruced up toys.
20. Get a history lesson
Visit a reenactment battle. Learn about the civil war and take the opportunity to teach your kids about history.
21. Do a science experiment
It can be as simple as mixing baking soda and vinegar, but kids and adults alike love science and crazy reactions. Find ideas online and gather a few supplies and watch the fun explode.
22. Have a movie night
Sit back and enjoy a show, or two. Kids to pick one and Dad gets to pick one. This is the perfect chance to introduce them to your favorite childhood movies and indulge in a little nostalgia at the same time.
23. Go on a picnic
Getting outdoors is important. Make the most of it with a picnic. You can make it simple by ordering take out and clean up is a breeze. Choose a nearby park so that you can explore afterwards.
24. Go for a walk
Go on an urban exploration and meet your neighbors by going for an afternoon stroll. Don’t worry about the pace. It’s all about seeing your surroundings.
25. Wash the car
Put those kids to use. An honest to goodness car wash is a right of passage. Gather the supplies, keep the hose close, and sit back and watch the kiddos do the work!
With all these ideas, there’s sure to be something fun for almost everyone. It’s all about spending time together and remembering why you wanted a family to begin with.