8 Father and Son Activities That Will Actually Impress Your Kid

Finding quality time to do father-son activities is a high priority for any dad. A day you spend working overtime at the office instead of tucking your son into bed is another day the Cats in the Cradle song plays on a loop in your head. Depressing.

But when you’re looking for father and son things to do, don’t feel like you have to do something extra. If you’re constantly trying to one-up your together time, you’ll eventually lose sight of what’s important: hanging out with your son.

RELATED: 100+ Trivia Questions And Answers For A Challenging Game Night At Home – Scary Mommy

So we’ve thought up some wholesome and fun activities that let you spend quality (not questionable) time together. These father-son projects won’t get you in huge trouble with your spouse like father-son WrestleMania. It also won’t have you building a Mad Max car out of your son’s plastic scooter. And while our father-son activities won’t be as fulfilling as starting a non-profit organization together, you will be able to spend quality time playing, talking, and laughing, which is what really matters.

Best Products For Father-Son Activities

Wilson Baseball Gloves and Rawlings Ball

One of the best and most traditional ways to spend time with father and son games is to have a catch. (Yeah, we know: “Have a catch” is a stupid way to say “play catch.” But Field of Dreams said, “have a catch,” so what are we supposed to do? It’s f***ing Field of Dreams.)

We’re going to put a twist on having a catch, though. As a dad, you want your son to have the same favorite baseball team as you do. If you’re a Dodgers fan, you want your son to love the blue too, so you can share that fandom into old age. (And he sure as hell better not be a Giants fan.)

With this Wilson t-ball glove, you can have it shipped to you with official colors and logo of any Major League team. (Some people would call that brainwashing your son to like the same team you like. Others would call it brilliant. We’re going with the latter.)

To complete the set, add a Rawlings baseball with the same team logo. And if you need a glove, or if your son is older, we really like the Wilson A700.

Buy Wilson A200 Youth T-ball Glove for $25 on Amazon

Buy Wilson A700 Baseball Glove for $60 on Amazon

Buy Rawlings Official MLB Team Logo Baseball for $7 on Amazon

Aomekie Telescope

If you’re both busy during the day and need some father and son things to do at night, this beginner level telescope is a great choice. It can be fun to explore the night sky, especially for a kid who has a bit of an obsession with all things space.

If you live in the city, where light pollution kills the night sky, this model ships with a backpack that allows you to carry it with you on a drive to the country so you can actually see the stars and moon. (Do not tip cows on the way as a bonus father-son project, no matter how tempting.)

Now if you’re going to take a younger child out for an adventure with the telescope, you need to temper the expectations. You aren’t going to see colorful nebulas, closeup views of the storm on Jupiter, or even ET’s spaceship with this beginner-level model. But it still can be fun inspecting the details of the moon or trying to spot Mars.

Buy for $86 on Amazon

Coleman Sundome Tent

When you make the trip to the country with your telescope, you may want to make it a full-on camp out. Nothing quite speaks to father-son activities like learning how to build a campfire and putting up a tent. Big benefit: Because this Coleman tent is easy to assemble, you won’t look like an idiot in front of your kid, wrestling with a tent that won’t cooperate. (There will be plenty of time to look like an idiot when he’s a teenager.)

This tent’s made of waterproof materials, so you’ll stay dry against the damp ground or in case it rains during the night. It’s also well-ventilated for humid summer nights.

It has room for four people in case the rest of the family wants to come along. But it’s not snake- or spider-proof, so that may discourage some of them (try not to grin as you point that out).

Buy for $65 on Amazon

Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera with Lens

If you’re looking for more father and son things to do while outdoors and spending time in nature, a digital camera can be a lot of fun. They will likely ask “what’s a camera?” and you’ll have to sound like an old man recounting your pre-iPhone, digital camera days, but just maybe your kid’s a renaissance guy who knows vintage is cool.

We love the idea of letting kids shoot photos with a digital camera because every kid that ever holds a camera shoots 100 photos in the first 100 seconds … most of which come out terrible. With a digital camera, you aren’t stuck paying for film processing and prints for the 99 awful photos out of 100.

This is one of our favorite beginner level DSLR cameras, as it has a low price point for a DSLR, especially considering it ships with a starter lens. It also has quite a few features aimed at helping those new to photography learn to use the camera.

After shooting the photos, you and your son can spend more time together by looking through the digital photos, picking out your favorites.

And if the kid drops it while on the hike, and it bounces over the edge of a ravine, smashing on the rocks below, you won’t feel as bad as if you had let the kid hold a $1,000-plus piece of camera gear. (We said “if” the kid drops it. Yes, we are the eternal optimists.)

Buy for $399 on Amazon

Holy Stone HS200 RC Drone

In the old days (those digital camera ones), you and your dad might have built a balsa wood glider, which flew great exactly one time. It then crashed into the ground, smashing into a million pieces, and that was the end of the father and son games … and the start of uncontrollable sobbing. (I have to admit, I always hated to see my old man cry after the inevitable crash.)

These days, you and your son can fly a remote control drone together. Now there’s no guarantee it too won’t crash and break into a million pieces. But this drone is made to be reassembled relatively easily after a crash, keeping the tears at bay.

This drone ships with a 720p HD video camera, and you can use your smartphone to activate the camera, creating fun videos and photos. Just don’t teach the kid that it’s OK to use the drone to spy on the neighbors. Have them repeat: drones are for good, not evil.

Buy for $70 on Amazon

Bandai Hobby Star Wars Tie Fighter Building Kit

There aren’t too many cultural icons that were popular when you were a kid and are still popular now that you have your own kid. The Simpsons may fit the bill … and they may still be going when you have your own grandkid.

But when you want a sure-fire cultural reference that spans generations, it’s Star Wars. Hell, Star Wars might be more popular now than it was in the 1970s and 1980s.

Building your own Tie Fighter model is one of the best father-son projects. Fathers and sons have been building model kits for decades, and this one will be treasured for years to come. (Just make sure you don’t hog all the fun. Let the kid do some of the work, even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly.)

Buy for $24 on Amazon

Blank Comic Book

Draw Your Own Comics Blank Comic Book

Most young boys love comic books, so you could spend a fun day with your son reading comics. But maybe your tastes in superheroes aren’t quite the same. Maybe your son is a Marvel fan, and you’re more about the DC characters. (We know, we know, those are fighting words.)

Instead of just reading comics, maybe your father-son activity is more about creating your own comic adventure. This is a perfect father and son thing to do for a kid who loves to draw. There’s also a father and son games section at the back when you want to take a break from drawing.

This book contains many template pages that give you a head start on creating an amazing comic, along with some blank pages for wilder imaginations. (And if you want to get on mom’s good side, maybe make her the superhero in the story.)

Buy for $5 on Amazon

The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers

Maybe your son enjoys spending time in the kitchen, rather than hiking outdoors, having a catch, or drawing. If so, we have you covered with this book, containing recipes based on the Bob’s Burgers TV cartoon. (If you haven’t watched Bob’s Burgers, we’re guessing your son has, so catch up.)

Bob runs a small-town family restaurant that specializes in hamburgers, and one of the running gags in the series is that Bob always has a daily burger special with a clever name and crazy ingredients. (You really haven’t seen Bob’s Burgers? It’s been on the air almost 10 years on a pseudo-real network on FOX. You need to up your TV watching game.)

We’re not sure anyone ever orders the burger of the day on the show, but this book has actual recipes for some of those burgers. You and your son can have a lot of fun finding just the right burger to try and then make it together. You may be able to teach him a few of your grilling secrets along the way.

We won’t guarantee it’ll taste good, but it’ll provide plenty of laughs. (Maybe let mom be the taste tester, just in case it sucks. She’ll be too nice to tell you how truly awful it is.)

Buy for $15 on Amazon

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

After Dog Suffers Life-Threatening Burns, He Becomes a Burn Unit Therapy Dog

Dog inured in fire becomes therapy dog for burn victims
(Facebook/Taka's Journey)

Taka, a 9-Year-old Shiba Inu, is helping burn victims cope with their own injuries in a way that no other therapy dog could. Because unlike other therapy dogs, Taka understands the fear and pain that many burn victims experience. On a fall day in 2018, Taka’s entire life changed when his Georgia home caught fire.

The fire was so massive it quickly destroyed the family’s porch, and tragically, Taka fell through the quickly-deteriorating floor. The terrified dog managed to escape, fleeing to a neighbor’s house – all the while, Taka was still smoking from the fire. The alarmed neighbors jumped into action, contacting a local vet named Crystal Lesley who rushed to meet Taka without hesitation.

At first, it seemed unlikely that the traumatized dog would make it. They sedated him to prevent him from feeling the unbearable pain of his injuries – even with her years of experience, Lesley had never seen burns this severe. Lesley saw Taka’s determination to survive and posted a fundraiser on her clinic’s Facebook page to help get Taka to a specialist.

The community generously stepped up, and before long, Lesley and Taka left to meet the South Carolina specialist.

“He and I lied on the floor in the waiting area crying together,” Lesley told AKC. By this point in time, Taka’s owners had surrendered him to the vet – they were unable to take on the financial burden or the immense amount of care Taka needed.

Taka spent a month and a half at the specialist, with Lesley driving up to visit every weekend. After being released into Lesley’s care, the determined vet spent weeks tending to his wounds around the clock. News of Taka’s story spread, and soon Lesley was contacted by the Joseph M. Still Burn Center who volunteered their services free of charge.

“We were incredibly humbled and awestruck at the magnitude of service they provided for this amazing dog,” Lesley says.

Against all odds, Taka made a full recovery. Lesley had selflessly poured her heart into caring for the injured dog, and unsurprisingly, fell in love with him. When Lesley realized she couldn’t part with the 9-year-old pup, she made the adoption official.

 

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News of Taka’s recovery spread around the community, and a local nurse realized that Taka could fill a very special role. “I was approached by a nurse at the burn center about Taka coming in to visit burned children, in hopes of giving them something to relate to,” Lesley recalled.

The pair began training together, and soon, Taka passed his certification tests with flying colors. It truly did take a village to get Taka where he is today. From those who supported Taka financially to those who offered monumentally important services free of charge, no role was too small when he came to helping Taka in his time of need. And now, tail-wagging, Taka is happily back to others when they need him most.

Tributes Pour in for Broadcasting Giant Larry King

Tributes to Larry King
(Getty/Donald Kravitz)

The legendary broadcaster, dad, and Ghostbusters actor Larry King passed away this weekend at the age of 87 after an iconic TV career. His TV career spanned six-plus decades and he’s remembered as one of the best interviewers of all time. He’s known for interviewing everyone (literally, presidents, actors, newsmakers, and randos of all types) on his show, “Larry King Live”, which he hosted on CNN for more than 25 years.

He retired from the show in 2010, after recording 6,000 episodes. That’s the type of career that makes you as familiar to viewers as the channel itself almost, you’re just a fixture at that point, known around the world.

King was so familiar as an interviewer that he made frequent movie cameos in that role, typically interviewing a major character or commentating on some major event in the movie. He was never better in this role than he was in Ghostbusters.

Not only was King at the top of his game for many years, but he also stayed relevant far longer than most his age. It was just months ago that he was trending for his interview of Danny Pudi and it’s “Larry I’m on Duck Tales” moment.

He was a TV giant, having interviewed more than 30,000 people on his show, ranging from President Ford to Obama (and all between) to random viewers calling into his show. Many of his colleagues and former guests took to social media Saturday to remember the broadcasting legend.

Pedro Pascal’s Helmet Makes Meeting Mandalorian Fans Awkward AF

Mando No Helmet Bill Burr
(Disney+)

The Mandalorian is a sensation. The Disney+ Star Wars show has captivated audiences with its tale of a badass bounty hunter and the baby Yoda he’s trying to protect.

Its exploration of the hidden corners of that galaxy far far away, complete with introductions to new characters, live-action versions of fan favorites from the cartoons and expanded universe, and appearances from some of the most legendary characters from the original trilogy has made the show a huge water-cooler hit.

On a normal show, this would make the lead character a major star, and while Pedro Pascal, the man who plays Mando, aka Din Djarin, has his share of fame, the fact that he’s almost always wearing a helmet keeps him a bit anonymous.

This can make for some tricky fan encounters, as Pascal explained in an interview with Stir Crazy.

The actor explained that it’s not always easy to impress his young fans when he’s without his Beskar armor or the adorable “child” by his side, and he’s often left with little more than his voice. Which brings its own complications…

“I always feel bad. A parent that I meet, they have their kid, and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to impress my child so much. I’m introducing them to the Mandalorian. But then it’s like my face, and I don’t have The Child with me; I’m not wearing a helmet,” the actor explained while doing press for Wonder Woman 1984, in which he plays “messed up loser guy” Maxwell Lord. “And they look and they’re like, ‘Who’s this guy?’And then, if I’m going to speak to them in a Mando voice, it’s kind of strangely like a bedroom voice. Totally inappropriate. So it’s kind of just like, [awkward sounds].”

Check out the full interview:

Chocolate Factory Prequel To Trace Willy Wonka’s Origin Story

Wonka Origin Story
(Paramount Pictures)

After spending nearly a year in limbo thanks to the covid-19 pandemic halting most productions for at least a few months if not longer, Hollywood is hoping to roar back this year. As usual, many of the productions being mounted, for release in 2022 and beyond, rely on existing material. Even material that has already had a few goes.

The latest IP to get a movie piggybacking off previous success? Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! You may recall the ill-fated Tim Burton production from a few years back, featuring a pre-scandal Johnny Depp as a bizarre version of the famous chocolate and candy bar magnate, but don’t worry, he won’t be back. Instead, Wonka, set for release on March 17, 2023, will be a prequel!

To be directed by Paddington’s Paul King, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Wonka will focus on “a young Willy Wonka and his adventures prior to opening the world’s most famous chocolate factory.” One rumor has Dune’s Timothee Chalamet being discussed as the star.

Apparently, this is not a new project, as it’s been floating around Hollywood for a few years, despite the fact that seeing Willy Wonka before he runs a fantastical candy factory populated by Oompa Loompas doesn’t seem to have all that much appeal. In fact, the 2005 Johnny Depp movie featured some Wonka backstory and I don’t know that anyone wants to revisit that.

Not much is known about the script, which was written by Simon Rich and is being tweaked by the director and Simon Farnaby, but the news is sure to start trickling out. If anyone cares!

Hero Kindergarten Teacher Continues To Teach Virtually While Getting Chemotherapy

Remote Teacher Chemo
(Facebook/M Health Fairview)

Teachers are incredible. If you didn’t think that before, you DEFINITELY think that now after seeing what they’ve had to endure to teach kids during a global pandemic. From inventive remote learning techniques to handling the flux education patterns and plans, teachers are redefining going above and beyond for our kids. And one, in particular, has set the bar at an even higher level. Kelly Klein, a kindergarten teacher from Minnesota, has continued to teach remote kindergarten DURING her chemo treatments for a second bout with ovarian cancer.

After she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer for a second time, Klein made the decision to teach for as long she could. She told Good Morning America teaching is her passion, as her three-plus decades in the game can attest.

“I’m going to make the most of my time,” she said. “I don’t take anything for granted.” So she made her treatment facility, a room at a local health care center, her virtual classroom and teaches 5-and-6-year-olds while getting chemo treatments. She literally brings her laptop and all of her supplies and gets to work.

“When you’re at chemo and you’re around a lot of sick people, it’s kind of a depressing place to be. For me, to be around 5-year-olds during that time, it’s like a slice of normalcy in an abnormal environment.”

Her principal said the teacher is beloved by students and colleagues alike, and that she did not want to take a leave after her latest diagnosis. Klein said she gets energy from the kids, and that they help her through the five-hour treatments since she’s not allowed to have any visitors with her during that time.

She’s been described as the type of teacher that students remember long after they’ve moved on, and it is not hard to see why. Just legendary, to battle cancer a second time WHILE having the energy to be there for students, which is not easy even when you’re healthy.

Truly next level stuff, and a testament to the profession.

Scientists Say Rewatching Your Favorite Shows Can Improve Your Mental Health

Science shows that rewatching old favorites can improve mental health
(Getty/Ryan McVay)

TV FOMO no joke, the “Fear of Missing Out” on shows that fill social media feeds and dominate conversations. It’s almost guilt-inducing, watching an old favorite after a stressful day instead of digging into one of the many shows on your forever-growing “to-watch” list. But in reality, is that such a bad thing? Scientists say no – in fact, they say returning to an old favorite can actually be good for your mental health.

In a study conducted by Cristel Antonia Russell and Sidney J. Levy from the University of Chicago Press, they call the phenomenon “reconsumption.” According to the study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, rewatching an old show, rereading your favorite book, even visiting a restaurant you love can trigger a feeling of comfort.

The study compares our brains’ responses to forced repetition to their responses to repetition by choice. When we choose to revisit something that makes us feel good, we essentially anchor ourselves to a moment in time where we felt at peace.

“We find that ‘connections between successive presents’ are localizable in reconsumed objects: reconsumption can serve as a ‘system of replay, resonance and echoes . . . which transcend spatial locations and temporal successions,’” the study explains. “The reconsumed objects fuel an active synthesis of individualized experiences rather than the passive synthesis of habitual reconsumption.”

In simplified terms, no matter where we are in life – no matter what stressors, challenges, and uncertainty we’re facing, we can more or less re-center ourselves. The connection to who and where we were 5 years ago can be connected to our present selves and eventually our future selves by revisiting something that holds meaning to us. The experience of reconsuming things like movies and TV shows actively invites our brains to combine and organize those experiences, finding comfort in them repeatedly over time.

“Unlike the survival motives that drive evolutionary psychology, we find that consumers who chose to repeat hedonic experiences even just once are expressing and affirming their individual experience and its special meanings to them,” the study concludes.

While some repetitive behavior is driven by our desire to survive, behaviors we choose to repeat simply because they make us feel good can reinforce who we are. If you’ve ever been in the car when a song that’s meaningful to you comes on the radio, you’ll understand this idea in real-time. Often, you’re transported back to the time the song gained significance for you.

You may feel things that aren’t relevant in the moment, but were impactful at one point in time – and those thoughts and emotions are forever tied to that song (or TV show, or movie). Those feelings are real though, even as you drive along the highway far removed from whenever that song first gained a special meaning to you. And as the study explains, you’re welcome to revisit those moments as often as you need them.

So yes, Netflix may have hundreds of new movies every month. Social media may be buzzing with talk about a new show every few months. But as we all know, those trends are fleeting. It’s ok to pass on “the best show ever” (how, even, can there possibly be 5,000 best shows ever?) – sometimes the best thing for your mental health is holding onto your security blanket of a show, immersing yourself in the moment, and embracing the comfort it brings.

Brady Throws TD Pass to Brees Son in Dad Moment After Legendary Playoff Matchup

Brady Brees' Son TD Throw
(Twitter/Jpalmertv)

It was one of the most hyped NFL playoff matchups in recent memory, as Tom Brady took on Drew Brees for the first time in the playoffs. Two of the best quarterbacks to ever play the position, with more than 150,000 passing yards and scores of touchdowns between them during their decades of play. But after the dust settled, they were just dads, and one of the coolest moments of the season was seeing the two of them hang out on the field long after everyone else left.

Two legends, just kicking it, with their kids playing around them. Brady embraced Brees, and the two spoke for a while kids bandied about, and then Brady threw a touchdown to one of his Brees’ sons.

Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs won the game, which may have likely been the last of Brees’ outstanding career. For Brady, game recognizes game, which is why the two of them sharing a special moment after the game resonated with so many fans.

Despite a game and season full of highlights, it’s two dads talking and throwing a football to kids that got millions and millions of views. The throw, for what it’s worth, was actually right on the money and pretty incredible to do it so nonchalantly (although the young defender could’ve pursued more aggressively, perhaps…still a sick pass either way).

The touchdowns you throw to your kids may not mean the most to everyone else, but it’s bigger than any other to them, and it’s cool that even the two legends get it.

Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, Baseball’s Longtime Home Run King, Passes Away at 86

RIP Hank Aaron
(Getty/Tom Lynn)

There aren’t a lot of heroes these days, not in a world in which everyone’s lives are on full display, flaws and all. And now that baseball legend Hank Aaron has passed away, we’ve got one less.

The legendary slugger from Mobile, Alabama got his start in the negro leagues, and went on to become a mythmaker from baseball’s golden age, capturing the all-time home run record long before steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs started inflating numbers and sullying the record books. Aaron, 86, played for 23 seasons, 21 with the Braves (first in Milwaukee, then Atlanta), and hit 755 home runs, surpassing Babe Ruth’s record and hanging onto his own place in the books for 30 years (before finally being broken by Barry Bonds in 2007).

Aaron did it while black, in an era when black baseball players, especially one on his way to dethroning one of the game’s earliest icons, provoked anger and violence in the form of hate mail and death threats.

“On the field, Blacks have been able to be super giants,” he once said. “But once our playing days are over, this is the end of it and we go back to the back of the bus again.”

Aaron’s perseverance in the face of racism and work as a civil rights leader are as much a part of his legacy as his athletic prowess, as were his efforts to support his community and his commitment to philanthropy, facts acknowledged by the Braves organization in their statement.

“We are absolutely devastated by the passing of our beloved Hank,” Atlanta Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said in a statement. “He was a beacon for our organization first as a player, then with player development, and always with our community efforts. His incredible talent and resolve helped him achieve the highest accomplishments, yet he never lost his humble nature. Henry Louis Aaron wasn’t just our icon, but one across Major League Baseball and around the world. His success on the diamond was matched only by his business accomplishments off the field and capped by his extraordinary philanthropic efforts.

“We are heartbroken and thinking of his wife Billye and their children Gaile, Hank, Jr., Lary, Dorinda and Ceci and his grandchildren.”

When he eventually broke the record, the footage became almost as legendary as the moment, with a pair of fans running onto the field to congratulate Aaron as he rounded the bases, before he arrived at home plate to a mob of teammates and family.

Aaron was the National League MVP in 1957 — the same year the Braves won the World Series — a two-time NL batting champion (1956, ’59), a three-time Gold Glove winner in right field (1958-60) and a record 25-time All-Star.

Another Game of Thrones Prequel Series May Be Coming To HBO

Tales of Dunk and Egg
(Jet City Comics/Bantam)

Game of Thrones fans are still waiting for George R.R. Martin to finish the last two books in the Song of Ice and Fire saga, and without the mega-popular HBO series to hold them over (even the bad seasons), they must be going crazy. But we have some good news.

Not only is HBO moving full speed ahead with the House of Dragons prequel series, which focuses on the Targaryen dynasty centuries before Daenerys arrived on the scene (the show has been adding to the cast and plans to start filming soon), now there is news of another prequel series in development.

According to Variety this series, still in the very early stages, will be based on George R.R. Martin‘s series of novellas, Tales of Dunk and Egg, which takes place a mere 90 years before the first HBO show that lit the world, and the ice zombies, on fire.

There have been three novellas in the “Tales of Dunk and Egg” series so far: “The Hedge Knight” in 1998, “The Sworn Sword” in 2003, and “The Mystery Knight” in 2010. They were collected and published together as “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” in 2015.

The series follows the misadventures of Ser Duncan the Tall (aka Dunk), and a young Aegon V Targaryen (Egg), two figures who end up becoming very important to Westeros. Dunk is the eventual Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and Aegon eventually ascends to the throne as the future king of Westeros.

Whether this series actually makes it all the way to our TV screen is yet to be seen, but it’s clear the HBO wants to stay in the Game of Thrones business.