I have seen a lot of father-and-child activities, but they are mostly geared for Father’s Day. But to me, these father-and-child activities should not only be reserved for Father’s Day or any other special occasions. Rather, they should often be done as often as possible to enrich and deepen the relationship between the father and his child. It will help even more when both of them share the same likes and hobbies.
Sure, you may give them expensive toys or gadgets as rewards. Still though, one of the most important things that any parent can give to a child is their time. As a parent, you cannot be substituted for babysitters, video games or iPads – nothing and no one else can replace you for your child.
While my own child is still growing, I make sure to devote my own time to him. I don’t want to end up myself regretting later on that I did not make even just a portion of my time to spend with him (which would otherwise most likely cause him resentment when he grows older). Children need our love, time and affection more than any other material things in the world.
I recommend the following four father-and-child activities. They are simple and do not cost a lot. But they are sure to enrich and strengthen your bond together, provide enjoyment and mutual benefit.
1) Play video games.
Playing video games can form a bad habit if not controlled, and you want to take them away from your child as possible. But if this is something that he or she enjoys doing, playing video games gives you the opportunity to share in an activity that they already love doing – as long as the games are age-appropriate and as long as you’re doing them moderately.
Another good thing about playing video games together is that it gives you the opportunity to monitor the types of games your children are playing and control the amount of time that they spend on them. It also gives you the chance to teach them how to play fair.
Playing video games also brings you benefits as well, as an adult. It helps you maintain your cognitive and problem-solving skills and build up your memory. If you’re playing games that offer exercise and real action like those games on Nintendo Wii, they provide increased amount of exercise for you and your young ones as well.
2) Cook a meal together.
Preparing and cooking a meal together with your kids can be also done on ordinary days, not just on special occasions. Making a meal can be a whole lot of fun and foster creativity. Start with a simple meal that your kids can easily learn, such as making a pizza where they can have fun in kneading the dough and choosing their desired toppings. Cooking together with kids is not without those hilarious “disasters” along the way, so don’t forget to have your camera ready to capture all these funny kitchen moments!
You can also experiment different ingredients together, and who knows, you might have created a fabulous new meal! Your kids will also feel proud (and you sure will, too) in achieving something new in the kitchen.
3) Play sports together.
Sometimes, the simplest activities bring out the most enriching and profound experiences. Instead of boring your kids to death with babblings about your glory days in varsity football, why not show that to them by doing it yourself? Plan a sports day where you either teach your kids a new sport or act as a coach, referee, umpire or a head player of your team. Make your sport day extra fun by wearing customized team uniforms and bringing in small prizes for the winning player/team.
Dads can also impart valuable lessons such as sportsmanship, teamwork, discipline and coordination while engaging in any fun sporting activity with the kids. Winning or losing for either of you is not really important; it’s all about teaching and developing sporting skills while getting lots of exercise (and not to mention lots of giggles along the way).
4) Engage in a fun science project.
Most kids are curious, and what could be better to bring their sense of curiosity to the fore than to engage them in a hands-on science project at home?
Sure, there are certain areas of science that can be uninteresting or difficult for the children to understand. Introducing your kids to these fun homemade science projects will make them realize that learning science is not boring or not that complicated at all. These projects will help them build their sense of exploration and experimentation as well.
I recommend this link 20 Science Project Ideas for Young Kids where you can find lots of fun science project suggestions. These activities are incredibly easy to set up and you can find most of the items from your own kitchen or backyard. Aside from the fun factor that these fun science activities bring, they also allow your kids to learn the basics such as different density levels or different chemical reactions (while kids love to experiment on their own, some of these activities otherwise requires adult supervision).