Things To Do

15 Fun Mom and Son Bonding Activities To Do With Your Kids


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Source: @beeaninspiration
Source: @beeaninspiration

As a little girl, I played with Cabbage Patch dolls, gave Barbie a ride in her convertible, enjoyed episodes of the original Transformers, and collected Hot Wheels cars. To say the least, I didn’t ascribe to typical gender-specific norms. Fast forward to the phone call from my doctor’s office telling me my first child was going to be a boy, and panic soon infected my body. “I’m a girl,” I thought. “How could I have a boy? I don’t know anything about raising boys, nor do I know what boys want.” I didn’t have brothers as examples of boyhood. I didn’t have any good ideas for future mom and son date ideas to have special bonding time with my little. At first, the self-doubt was paralyzing—probably much due to my raging hormones—but luckily, the love I felt for the growing baby inside of me was stronger.

I soon began to realize I couldn’t recall any positive popular culture examples of mother and son relationships. Most of my references were between mommy and daughters—like braiding each other’s hair, matching mother-daughter outfits, girls’ shopping trips, and long-lasting friendships between a mama and her daughters. Before my sons were born, the images that would pop into my head when I would think of mom and son relationships had negative undertones.

I am now a mother to two beautiful boys and love being a boy mom. I’ve learned there are so many creative ways moms can spend quality time with their boys. Read on for 15 mom and son date ideas that are perfect for bonding with your little guy.

15 Fun Mom and Son Date Ideas

1. Plan Movie Nights

Having a unique movie night is a great way for moms to bond with boys. Add some special elements to make movies magical to encourage conversations and connections. Make fresh popcorn to emulate the theater vibe, pick a theme like dinosaurs or cars and queue up several movies that fall under the category, or have a pajama party by throwing on your coziest PJs and cuddling on the couch. In our house, we have “movie Saturdays,” where we allow the boys to eat dinner and watch a movie on the living room floor picnic-style. It excites them to do anything outside of the norm.

2. Do Some Pampering

Who’s to say a self-care day is only for the girls? Moms and sons can bond over things like age-appropriate facials, pedicures, and other spa-like treatments. You can even make it a fun science-like event and create your own face masks, bath bombs, and body/lip scrubs.

3. Cook Together

I am raising my boys to be little chefs, and they enjoy every minute of it. Since I spend a lot of time in the kitchen on a regular basis, I wanted to intentionally incorporate them into my routine while making it productive and fun. It can get a little messy when they’re younger, but you can also manage that by giving them a designated messy-approved space to let them experiment with some ingredients, like cooked pasta or cookie dough.

bonding activities
Source: @alainakaz

4. Do Arts and Crafts

My boys and I love to do a variety of arts and crafts projects, which allow them to incorporate some sensory play. We especially like to decorate our house during the holidays by creating our own family decorations! We’ve made rainbows out of tissue paper, robots out of aluminum foil, and Valentine’s Day cards for their teachers. While we’re crafting, we also get to chat, and the boys are so proud of their final creations.

5. Host One-on-One Game Nights

Now that my boys are out of the infant stage, we have explored the magical world of board games. We started off with fairly basic ones like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. We’ve now progressed to a bit more competitive matches with Trouble, Sorry!, Monopoly Junior, and my personal favorite, UNO. We designate “game nights” where we have 1:1 matches. Sometimes, they win, and other times they lose. At first, the concept of losing was hard for them, but they’ve grown to appreciate the fun in just playing. It’s extra special for me, as I can revisit my childhood through their eyes when we play these retro games.

6. Have a Dance Party

I am a dancer, so movement is one way I like to connect with my boys. I put on some fun jams, and we dance in circles around each other while bursting into laughter. This activity is great because I like to encourage the free expression of their bodies. This a low-lift bonding activity that always ensues lots of adorable giggles and creates core memories for both of us.

7. Plan Lunch Dates

Getting out of the house can add a spark to your day and inspire a natural bonding atmosphere with your son(s). I recently started doing lunch dates with my boys, and they were thrilled they got to spend alone time with their mama. We try different foods together, play word games at the restaurant, and discuss anything they want to talk about. I am considering choosing a location or two as “our spots” so my boys can associate our “special time” with that space. No matter where we go, my sons value spending quality moments with me while they savor the yummy food.

mama with sons at zoo
Source: @mrscofieldandco

8. Take Classes Together

Whether your children are in school or not, the thought of taking a “class” with you can make your boys feel included and honored to be with you in this type of setting. The type of classes depends on the age, but there are many options for each stage in your child’s development. For the infant or early toddler stage, mommy-and-me classes are a wonderful way to grow your relationship with your sons. Some other class ideas for when they are developmentally ready include cooking classes, yoga, pottery, music, and surf/swim classes. Although the content of the class is valuable, what will happen in the class will, hopefully, ignite connections and intimacy between mama and her son(s), too.

9. Play or Watch Sports

Going to a sporting event is a great opportunity for a fun activity with kids. Seeing a game in person gives the opportunity to discuss the game play-by-play, and it often can spur other topics of conversation. Or, make watching sports at home a special event by recreating the stadium feeling with ballpark food and eating on a picnic blanket.

Playing sports with your son can be positively impactful for creating meaningful connections, especially if your son shows a strong interest in a certain sport. One of my sons loves anything with a ball, so sometimes we’ll just go outside and throw/kick the ball to each other. The repetitive motion gives us time to chat about anything on our minds. 

10. Take Excursions

No matter where you’re located, you probably have loads of adventures waiting for you outside your front door. Some great options are going to miniature golf, museums, and bowling. Or, search online for local happenings in your area any given week, like fairs and farmers markets. Be a tourist in your own town and explore something new with your best buddy.

11. Use the Time in the Car

Many parents spend a big chunk of their day commuting with their children. We take advantage of being in an enclosed space to have fun and intimate conversations about a variety of topics. Consider a fun conversational game like ‘Would You Rather,’ or have heart-to-heart conversations in the car about whatever’s on their mind. Consider the car a “vehicle” to connect with boys in a new and meaningful way.

mama on bed with sons
Source: @chantelleenelson

12. Make a Morning Routine

Mornings can be hectic no matter how old your children are. Creating simple but heartwarming traditions helps add a sense of calm to what can be a chaotic morning rushing into the day. With my boys, we have a tradition of praying when we are all in the car in the morning and then sharing positive affirmations that we all repeat together. My hope is that it inspires them to love themselves and remember how much I love them. Another mama friend shared that she has a tradition of sitting on the couch for five minutes to just be together with her son—whether that be to hug, read a quick book, or just talk. No matter what the day holds ahead of them, they dedicate five minutes to each other to start off their day.

13. Bond at Bedtime

On the flip side, when we finally are home and unwinding, bedtime is a great opportunity to squeeze in some bonding time with your sweethearts. A mother shared that she dedicates time at night for her son to read to her, and they then discuss what happened in the story. It’s a time in their day reserved to learn from each other’s perspectives. I love reading before bedtime with my sons. Since they are 3.5 years apart, my husband and I take turns reading different types of books to them separately. This allows us to both bond in our own ways with our sons. While it may not look like a typical “date,” the intentional quality time will provide exactly the kind of bonding you’re looking for.

14. Volunteer or Donate Together

What better way to instill the idea that helping others can be fun than by bonding with your little one over it? Pick a cause that’s important to both of you and sign up to help for an event. Or, do something simple at home that can benefit other people. It can be as extravagant as participating in a conservation project or as simple as going through his old toys and donating the ones he no longer uses. You two will bond and get all the warm and fuzzies that come from helping others—a win-win!

15. Try an Escape Room

Great for older kids, an escape room is a great way to build problem-solving skills and work together to accomplish something. You both will feel all sorts of joy and excitement each time you unlock a new piece of the puzzle and can bond over collaborating for a shared outcome.

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