When it comes to making a lasting memory with your child or grandchild, there is something tangible and real about a building project. It gives your child a real object that says, “Here is what I made with Dad or Grandpa.” That is why the potato cannon build is capable of creating such lasting memories. Not only is it great because of the process of putting it all together, but when it is ready there is huge satisfaction in launching potatoes hundreds of feet with a cannon you built together. This is an inexpensive activity that is sure to be a great time and make a lasting memory with your child or grandchild.
What is a potato cannon? It is basically a PVC chamber with a PVC barrel attached that you launch potatoes out of by igniting hairspray in the chamber with a barbecue igniter. It can shoot potatoes up to 200 feet, and is a great activity to do with your son or daughter. Click here for a book with a bunch of fun, explosive, PVC contraptions. It includes plans for multiple fun projects, including the potato cannon.
A great way to spend quality time with your son or daughter is to get away from phones, TV’s, and computers and spend a weekend outside. Some of my best memories and conversations have happened around a campfire or in a tent without the speed and distractions of everyday life. Taking your son or daughter backpacking is a wonderful activity that allows you to get into nature, do something active, and bond with some great conversations and memories. This is a trip that you will be sure to remember, and one that you will be sure to look forward to for years to come. Below are some links to backpacks, sleeping bags, hammocks, and tents that I have used and enjoyed that you may need for your excursion with your son or daughter. Also, check out this article from REI on backpacking with kids to give you some more helpful advice on how to make it a great experience.
Enjoy your trip!
Soap Box Car Build
Soap Box cars are one of the most well-known father-son activities out there. Constructing a functioning car together is one of the most fun and rewarding building projects that I can think of. And once the car is built, it is ready to be raced down hills in your local neighborhood, or entered into competitions. There are all kinds of soapbox car races with different divisions in each meet. You can take this as far as you want, as there are regional and national championships for soapbox racing. These can be as complex as fiberglass shells to just a few two by fours bolted together.
This book can get you started with plans from simple to more complicated cars. While it does not include materials, this is a good resource to get you started with your soapbox car project.
Sporting Event or Concert
Another great activity to do with your kids or grandkids is taking them to see their favorite sports team or band play. Going to events like these is really a lot of fun for both you and the kids if you are both into sports or music. Whether it is going to see the big game or going to listen to music that you both like, this activity can give a common interest that can spark conversation and provide some great memories. Some of my favorite memories with my dad are going to games and concerts with him, so I would highly recommend it from my own experience. Stub hub is generally a good place to buy tickets, so go check it out and enjoy the game or the show!
Getting outdoors is a great way to spend a memorable weekend with your kids. Taking your kids or grandkids fishing is a great way to get outside. This can range from a day trip, to a weekend trip, to even a weeklong spring break activity. You could also include this in the backpacking trip that I mentioned in an earlier post. Hanging out together with you kids or grandkids with your line in the water is a wonderful way to make some memories and have some meaningful conversations. The following links can help you get started with a good basic beginners rod and reel that is relatively affordable.
Enjoy your trip!
After recently returning from a trip to the mountains, I found that a great way to pass the time indoors when it is dark, cold, rainy, or snowy outside is to play dice. Games like 10,000 and Liar’s Dice are really fun for three or more players. It is also very inexpensive and can provide some great memories and laughs. Dice games vary from pretty complicated and strategic to simple and straightforward. If you are looking to play a more challenging game with older kids or grandkids, I would recommend Liar’s Dice. 10,000 is a great game for younger kids, but is also really fun no matter your age. Click here for a link for a simple dice and cup set that can get you started with these games.
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