Fatherhood is a journey for every man trying to raise a son. Dads love to share their interests with their junior selves, often introducing them to projects and tasks that instill lifelong skills. Father-son time is about more than just learning the tricks of various trades; it’s crucial for childhood development regardless of gender.
Research from the National Institute of Health shows quality father involvement at a young age increases the child’s chances of success later in life. Children who spend time with their dads are more likely to find gainful employment, avoid adverse health outcomes and develop healthy, meaningful relationships as adults. According to a 2022 survey from the Pew Research Center, most dads want their children to be honest and ethical (93%), hardworking (87%) and ambitious (64%) as adults. A majority of respondents also said they want their children to be financially independent as adults (87%) and have jobs or careers that they enjoy (86%).
So, how do fathers and sons spend their time? These projects help both generations acquire helpful skills and bond over new interests. Whether you’re looking to spend more time with your pop or looking for want to teach your son how the world works, use these ideas to kick off a new chapter in your father-son relationship:
Repairing/Restoring a Diesel Engine
Practically everyone in the U.S. spends time in a car. Knowing how to repair a broken-down vehicle quickly will come in handy regardless of how often they drive. If your father/son already knows their way around under the hood, spend several weeks repairing an older make/model that would otherwise go to waste. You can find cheap used vehicles in need of repairs online on websites like Copart and A Better Bid.
Diesel engines are the most complex machines on the market, and many older trucks don’t meet today’s strict emissions standards. What is diesel, and how is it different from gas? They can tow thousands of pounds at low speeds to help you move furniture and equipment with ease. That’s because they use direct fuel injectors with highly compressed fuel. A lack of oil, corrosion and broken seals will prevent the engine from firing.
Replace the diesel fuel injectors if the vehicle doesn’t start. These vehicles can be saved with a new engine, oil, exhaust and fuel system. Shop for new diesel truck parts by make and model online to bring your heavy hauler back to life.
Source: Anna Pasichnyk/Shutterstock.com
The knowledge you will learn will inform your understanding of all diesel engines, including generators and other industrial machinery. You can always sell the refurbished truck for a profit if you don’t need it when the job is done. Off-road diesel pickups are some of the most in-demand used vehicles on the market.
Build a Shed, Garden, Greenhouse or Animal Sanctuary
Help your son or dad make the most of their backyard or local greenspace. Building a shed teaches them the importance of measuring twice and cutting once. You can collaborate on the design to create a functional space that meets their needs. If you have a young son, make a treehouse or sandbox to give them more room to play. Use an outdoor storage rack to move seasonal items out of the garage or basement so they have more space at home. If the weather isn’t cooperating, create a custom workbench or bookshelf instead.
You don’t need a palatial backyard to build something together. Search for opportunities to transform their community by adding a garden or animal sanctuary. Volunteer for a non-profit dedicated to preserving the ecosystem. Even cleaning up trash from the local park can be a fun way to teach them about the environment. Research which plants and animals thrive in the area and look for ways to support their growth. Checking on the plants and animals will give you both something to bond over for years as you watch your creations take off. It’s also the perfect way to honor their legacy.
Visit National Historical Landmarks
Need to get your loved one out of the house? Take them on a tour of the U.S. and its many historical wonders. According to the National Park Service, there are over 2,600 sites across the country, including towns, blocks, buildings and parks where America was made. Consider taking them on a road trip to see these iconic places in person. Chances are you can find preserved wonders in your state without traveling more than a few hours if you don’t feel like spending the night.
Research sites in your area on the NPS website or apps that pinpoint historic landmarks using your location. The experience will help you learn about how their community was formed and why various groups live where they do today. Find books that expand your knowledge of the subject to enrich the experience. Learning about the destination before you arrive builds anticipation.
Fathers and sons may not always share each other’s interests. If your loved one needs a little convincing, highlight the skills they will learn along the way. Time together can open a new door in your relationship, giving you both memories that last a lifetime. Make the most of your time with your father or son with these instructive yet entertaining projects.