Need a little mother-son bonding time? One of the easiest ways to make it happen is to set aside a few hours at a time for just the two of you. We asked moms of boys everywhere to share their favorite ideas, and from baking a cake like a pro to digging in the dirt, there’s tons of ground to cover! Keep reading to see them all.


1. Bake something.
Not a seasoned baker yourself? Try one of these easy kits that make you look like a cake boss, even when you’re not.

2. Run a race.
Whether it’s a 5k or a 1-mile fun run, train with your son and show him what moms (and women) can do!

3. Read with him.
Especially books that show strong female role models, like Astronaut Annie, Girl on the Run and Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls.

4. Go surfing.
Spend an afternoon catching waves with your kid. Don’t live near the beach? Check out our top beaches to visit with kids and make a trip out of it.

photo: Shelley Massey

5. Do science experiments.
Because no one knows how to invent something out of nothing like a mom and her kid!!

6. Take a vaycay, just the two of you.
Wondering where to go? We scouted 20 epic spots to see before the kids get too old.

7. Dine out somewhere fancy.
There’s that themed restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. Here’s your opportunity.

8. Go to a play, the opera and the symphony!
Sharing this experience with your son will help him appreciate the theatrical arts later in life.

photo: Cindi via Flickr

9. Plant something.
There’s really nothing like digging in the dirt and watching the fruits of your labor grow in the sunshine.

10. Make art/take a clay class.
Art isn’t just for girls, it’s for everyone! Schedule a class and get ready to get messy

11. Volunteer.
Compassion is a key skill in raising a strong man.

12. Go geocaching together. You know your inner pirate will be stoked to follow a map and find treasure.

photo: iStock

13. Practice random acts of kindness.
Because it’s awesome.

14. Do laundry together.
He needs to pitch in and help as a member of the family, plus it’ll save you the inevitable “my clothes are pink” phone call one day.

15. Play ninjas/dinosaurs/Star Wars/house
Whatever he’s into, he’ll love that you’re into it too.

16. Make a “lunch” out of free samples of a shopping trip to Whole Foods or Costco. Hey, those samples worth their weight in gold!

photo: Steven Yeh via Flickr

17. Go on a hike together.
Because nothing goes better with bonding than the Great Outdoors.

18. Go through old family photos together and talk about your family history. To go forward, it’s important to know where you’ve come from. 

18. Have an up-close encounter with animals (reptiles, giraffes, starfish etc.) at your local zoo. We can’t deny that a visit to the zoo is a favorite for everyone involved.

20. Have a knock-knock joke battle. You’re in luck because we’ve got the best jokes for kids right here.

photo: iStock

21. Go through old clothes or toys together to donate to charity.
This is another great way to build compassion in kids.

22. Dress up like superheroes and run around the house/yard/neighborhood!    If it’s good enough for The Incredibles…

23. Cook a meal together. If it goes well, do it once a week.

24. Go to a museum together. Pick a museum, any museum! From dinosaurs to cars to local history, there’s something for everyone.

photo: V.T. Polywoda via Flickr

25. Take a walking (and sampling) food tour of your favorite local foodie district. Because every kid should know exactly how the neighborhood delicacies taste. 

26. Pretend to be spies and create decoder messages for each other. 

27. Go on a ghost tour together. For a nightmare-free experience, check out our kid-friendly haunted houses

28. Do a big puzzle together that can be framed in his room when it’s done. It’ll keep everyone busy for hours! That’s gotta be some kind of record. 

photo: istock

29. Go beachcombing for crabs and other beach critters together. Whether you live nearby, or if it’s an annual trek, collecting stuff on the beach is a must.

30. Have a water balloon fight in the warmer months. Don’t want to deal with the broken bits of balloons after it’s all over? Try our favorite water games, instead

31. Get Chinese dim sum or Spanish tapas together. You can both try new foods together in perfectly-sized portions.


32. Chaperone a Boy Scout trip. Dad doesn’t always have to be the one on the campout. 

33. Put on a puppet show together. It’s fun to be someone else for a while. 

35. Make a surprise craft together for your partner. Do something sweet for the other person who loves him as much as you do. 

What’s your favorite mother-son activity?

— Gabby Cullen, Amber Guetebier & Keiko Zoll



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Feature photo: iStock

35 Things Every Mother & Son Need to Do Together