father and child

10 Things Dads and Kids Should Experience Together

Being a dad is a rewarding, challenging, and fun job. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Being a father is filled with many experiences, some better than others. As we all desire to be the best dads we can be, to be All Pro Dads, we do our best to create experiences for our kids to enjoy.

If we are honest, some of these experiences are intended for both father and child. I think that is the reason we, as dads, often get labeled as adult kids. Because we seem to have just as much fun as our kids. Here are 10 things every dad and kid should experience together.

1. Take a road trip.

Remember road trips as a kid? I do. I remember the summer of 1985 when I was 10 years old. Our family packed up our blue station wagon and drove cross country from Indiana to California to visit family. At the time, two of my favorite things to eat were turkey sandwiches and grapes, and I had my fill of both on that trip. We had so much fun, and those memories are still with me today.

2. Run in the sprinklers or play in the rain.

This is just plain fun for everybody. Yes, you’ll have some soggy shoes, socks, and clothes, but they will dry out and can be washed. The fun can’t be washed out though. That’ll stay with you for a while.

3. Play and watch your favorite sports.

I grew up playing little league baseball, basketball, and flag football. My dad used to coach and teach my brother and me the games. We also used to go to professional games. In particular, baseball and basketball became fun activities we bonded over (still do today). Now I do the same with our kids.

4. Build a fort in your living room.

Get boxes, tables, chairs, blankets, pillows, and whatever else you need to make the best fort you can build together. Then get flashlights, snacks, toys, and enjoy yourselves hanging out inside your fort.

5. Give piggy-back rides, play horsey (on your knee), or put them on your shoulders.

Our youngest is almost too big for all of these, but I still enjoy carrying him on my shoulders and doing piggy-back rides when he asks. This is a must for dads when your kids are younger and smaller.

6. Go on daddy-daughter dates.

If you have a daughter, you must take her on daddy-daughter dates when she is little and keep doing them as she grows older. Never stop having some version of the daddy-daughter date. It’s fun and important for your relationship as well as for her future relationships.

7. Watch superhero flicks together.

Is there any kid in the entire world who does not like superhero or action movies? I know there isn’t one in my house. We love watching Star Wars and Marvel and DC comic shows and movies. All of us kids (me included) love it.

8. Go to the barbershop.

One rite of passage is passing on your barber of choice to your kids. There is nothing like a regular trip to the barbershop with your sons. They get to hear barbershop talk, some of which you may have to explain later (and some that requires you to cover their ears).

9. Teach them to drive.

Our daughter will be 16 later this year. I’m excited and really nervous at the same time. It’s a new season, but I’m looking forward to venturing into it with her and watching her grow. I know she is excited, too.

Your relationship with your kids will be built on many experiences over the years.

10. Act silly together.

Dance, run, jump, make silly faces, tell jokes, laugh at one another, and anything else that comes to mind. This is not only for young kids. All three of our kids (ages 6 to 15) enjoy it and I don’t see that enjoyment stopping anytime soon. Loosen up and have fun with your kids.

Your relationship with your kids will be built on many experiences over the years. Those listed above are just a few. It doesn’t matter what they are—just do them with your kids.

Earn some points: Are you married? Share this bucket list with your wife to help her connect with your son.

Sound off: What other things should a father and child experience together? 

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “If we could drive anywhere as a family, where would you want to go?”