Special Father-Son Activities for a Memorable Valentine’s Day

Happy father and son with love cloud at beach

Happy father and son with love cloud at beach

On a day devoted to love, why not spend some special one-on-one time with your son? After all, love isn’t just for couples, it’s for everyone from parents to siblings to kids to friends and even pets. Below are a few ideas for a Valentine’s guys’ day with your son.

For younger boys

If your son is in preschool or elementary school, prepare a homemade lunch for two with a heart-shaped theme. Kraft Recipes has a tasty heart-shaped pita sandwich recipe. Of course, the pita can be subbed for any type of bread, as we all know kids are picky eaters. Make or buy heart-shaped cookies for dessert and then give your favorite guy a little token of your love, even if it’s as simple as a small stuffed animal. Then, after lunch, head outdoors for a walk or bike ride.

For middle school boys

If your son is between ages 10 and 14, he probably likes crafty activities. Make Valentine’s Day bags and develop a plan of action to drop the bags off at his friends’ houses. Boys at this age inherently love the whole concept of Ding Dong Ditch, so channel your inner merry prankster and talk with him about what you might want to give your friends and neighbors. Go shopping together for candy, inexpensive goodies and small red paper gift bags with handles. After you fill the bags, set aside an evening so the two of you can carry out the mission. When you reach the destination, pull over and let him quietly walk up to the door, leave the bag, ring and bell and scurry back to the car. This adrenaline-filled evening is sure to be lots of fun. When you are finished delivering all of your mystery bags, head out for ice cream or frozen yogurt together.

For high school boys

Your teenage son might not want to admit this to you—he is practically a grown up and everything—but he really loves spending time with you. Let your teen know that in honor of Valentine’s Day, you want to spend an entire afternoon with him…and he gets to choose the activity. This could range from playing video games together to jamming for a couple of hours on your guitars.

If your son is into sports, the NBA All-Star game just happens to fall on Valentine’s Day weekend this year, from Feb. 13-15. Clear your schedule as much as you can and get comfy on the couch with him for a weekend full of basketball. Make it even better by ordering in a ton of food (pizza, wings, sodas) and stocking up on other snacks he loves, so once you’re on the couch, you don’t have to go anywhere except the kitchen. If you love popcorn, order a giant variety tin of gourmet popcorn from an online retailer (suggested: check out the Popcornopolis Gourmet 3-Flavor Popcorn Tin from FTD). Kettle corn, caramel popcorn and cheddar cheese popcorn in a tin that serves 20? It may actually fill up your teenage son’s stomach for an hour.

Using Sports To Build Health And Character

Intolerance. Obesity. Bullying. The media is full of reminders about the negative things that affect young people today. And there’s a lot of truth there. There’s also a lot of truth behind the idea that participating in sports can help mitigate some of those negative traits. Unfortunately, too many obsessive sports parents are focusing on the material and self-serving aspects of sports instead of on the positive ones.

So let’s do the numbers: A boy who plays high school baseball has a 1 in 4,000 chance of ever playing in the big leagues. Given typical rosters of 20 or so, it would take some two hundred high school baseball teams to produce a single major leaguer.
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Fool Proof Father-Son Experiences in 2014

Now that Father’s Day has passed and your family has showered you with the appreciation every dad deserves, it’s time to start planning the next father-son outing to return the favor. Planning unique activities with your kid is about much more than just finding fun things to do. It’s a chance to share valuable bonding experiences and and even pass down skills they can use in the future.

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Adventures with Asperger’s and High Explosives

[amazon asin=0307884848&template=thumbleft&chan=default]John Elder Robison, author of Raising Cubby.
Topic:
A father and son’s adventure with Asperger’s, trains, tractors, and high explosives.
Issues:How an unapologetically eccentric dad raised his equally eccentric son. A tender, suspenseful, and laugh-out-loud funny story of a father and son who grow up together.

An Unconventional Dad Raising an Eccentric Son + Daring Girls + Longing and Belonging

[amazon asin=0307884848&template=thumbleft&chan=default]John Elder Robison, author of Raising Cubby.
Topic:
A father and son’s adventure with Asperger’s, trains, tractors, and high explosives.
Issues:How an unapologetically eccentric dad raised his equally eccentric son. A tender, suspenseful, and laugh-out-loud funny story of a father and son who grow up together.


[amazon asin=0062208969&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Andrea Buchanan, author of The Double Daring Book for Girls.
Topic: A guide to everything a girl needs to know
Issue: Camping to schoolyard games, great women in history, shooting pool; how to throw and catch; making sand castles, the Greek alphabet, how to spin a hula hoop, and much more


[amazon asin=0520258444&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Allison Pugh, author of Longing and Belonging.
Topic: Parents, children, and consumer culture
Issues: How parents decrease their own power in the home by putting their children’s needs first; how to handle kids’ consumer desires in a down economy; what really drives consumer desires.

Lessons To Teach Your Son

When asking myself the lessons a father must teach their son, I had to break this down into two groups.  There are both primary lessons and indirect or secondary lessons that fathers must teach their children. The primary lessons I feel are the most important and the secondary ones are what fathers can teach children […]