6 Summer Activities for Mothers and Sons 

Jaime Jo Wright

Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Published May 06, 2024
6 Summer Activities for Mothers and Sons 

It's almost here. The busy summer months when children return home from school to stay, or when your homeschooled kids suddenly don't have the daily regimen of schoolwork to keep them busy. The wonderful thing is, you may find yourself with more time to spend with them—if you budgeted your summer weeks in a way that allows for it. So now the big question is, what to do?

If you're a mom with a son or sons, this can be especially challenging if you're not adept at athletics, gaming, and other popular activities boys are into these days. Spending time with the daughter is often easier because interests and communication styles may align more smoothly. On the flip side, you may not have a daughter, or you may just be seeing your boy growing into a man and realizing your time with him is short.

Let's make the most of it this summer! Here are some ideas for summer activities you could do with your son—just the two of you. Be prepared; you may need to step out of your comfort zone, but one could argue that your son is totally worth it!

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/jacoblund
Boy and pet dog

1. Animal Walks

Is your son a dog lover? Animal lover? If he is, this one will get him excited. Reach out to your local animal shelter and ask if volunteer opportunities exist to play with the dogs in their outdoor kennel. Some shelters even have dog-walking options where you can adopt a dog for an afternoon to take them out for walks and hikes. Not a dog fan? Shelters often will welcome volunteers to come and snuggle with the cats, the rabbits, and the other creatures they're sheltering. It's a great opportunity to spend one on one time with your son, pursue their love of animals, and spend some time being a good steward over God's creation. Just a word of caution: you may fall in love and bring a pet home (That may also score you some major "mom" points).

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/ulkas
Mother and teen son playing video game together on couch gaming

2. Gamer Time

Let's be honest; many of us have sons who are gamers. This means, on goes their headsets, up comes the game on their console, and ready player one. It's not always conducive to spending time together. However, you can get creative. There are a few ways to do this, too. The first is the simplest. Ask your son to teach you one of his dual-player games. Then, fully invest yourself in the screen. It will probably stun your child—that you're not limiting screen time at the moment—and be sure you don't take yourself too seriously. Another way to involve yourself in their gaming world is to take them to a game store. Let your son shop, tell you about his favorite games, and just spend time talking. Or, if you're super creative, take an afternoon and invite your son to help you create your own game. Granted, you may not be up on coding and the like, but that's okay. Spend time imagining up a game and put it on paper, or draw pictures of scenes from your imaginary game, or head outside and act it out. Depending on your son's age, this could lead to some hysterical imaginary play.

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adult son talking with senior mom on couch with coffee

3. Teen Talk

So, not all of us have younger boys who are more easily satisfied by activities. Spending time together may be trickier if your son has crossed the threshold into their teen years. If you tell them you want to spend time together so you can "talk," that may result in your son sprinting in the opposite direction. However, now is the time to pull out your mom skills. You know what your son's interests are. Athletics? Offer to take them to your local athletics store to look at gear and clothes. Baking? Suggest some time in the kitchen whipping up a recipe they've been eager to try. Cars? Head over to a car lot and explore the new models or the used models. Or, better yet, look up options for upcoming car shows in your area and then plan a day. Baseball? Head out to a game, or find out where your state's Hall of Fame is and take them there. All of these activities are less likely to incur sheer terror on your teenage son's face, and it will create opportunities for talking.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Adene Sanchez
Kid at water park in Summer

4. Local Attractions

Segueing off of the last option, have you taken a look at your state's list of local attractions and events for the summer? There are usually ones that fit just about any interest. From rock hunting to fossil features to air shows (planes) to historical reenactments, there are so many to choose from. What you'll want to be sure to do is select ones that interest your son and not just you. In fact, you may not even be interested in the one your son would like to hit up. And that's okay! Remember moms, this isn't about you and it's not agenda-laden either. Don't suggest the event would count toward school (you'll ruin the fun), or comment on how it's "educational", or mention that it may help them figure out their career trajectory. Engage your son in choosing your activity or attraction. If he selects roller coasters and an adventure park, don't wince, mommas! Now's your time to spend time with the boy who stole your heart!

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/CreativaImages
Mother and sons in nature outside treasure hunt map hiking

5. Geocaching or Treasure Hunt

There are many geocaching sites and maps to take yourself and your son on a treasure hunt. Have you ever tried it? Your son will likely love taking control of the GPS and coordinates, looking for treasures in the strangest places, and keeping track of your finds. Not to mention determining what you leave behind in your wake for the next batch of treasure hunters. If you're not familiar with geocaching, odds are your son it. There are a lot of different options for themes, for areas where the cache-hunts take place, and so on. In fact, you could kill two birds with one stone (but this isn't advocating violence against birds), and if your son is also a gamer, he may have a game like Pokémon Go that has its own coordinates-based treasure hunting of its own. So, fire up the app on your phone and get ready to hunt non-existent creatures and do battles in virtual arenas. Not sure what that means? Ask your son. He knows.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/supersizer

Mother and teen son on bed with popcorn movie night remote

6. Movie Time

It's not rocket science. When all else fails, there's the option of a good movie. If your son legit loves his mom-time, this might be a chance to sneak in some extra snuggles around the popcorn bowl. Or perhaps that's just weird, and instead, you can head to the local theater and catch a flick there. Be creative, too. Some places still have drive-in theaters and don't discount setting one up in your own driveway. A projector, a sheet/screen, a campfire, popcorn and s'mores? What more could you want?

It's simple really, and I think sometimes we, as mothers, complicate it too much. Our sons do want to spend time with us, but we often expect them to adapt to our routines, interests, or schedules. Or, we assume they're okay with us showing up at their soccer or baseball games as "time together." Of course, in a way, it is time together. But this summer, challenge yourself to spend at least one or two afternoons or evenings doing something more strategic. Something that will inspire conversation, laughter, bonding, and not just something that is a commitment on the calendar.

When he's packing up his luggage and heading off to his dorm in a few years, you won't regret the times you told your girlfriends you already had a date—with a pretty awesome young man. You'll wish you had taken more opportunities to do just that.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Eleganza

Jaime Jo Wright is an ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author. Her novel “The House on Foster Hill” won the prestigious Christy Award and she continues to publish Gothic thrillers for the inspirational market. Jaime Jo resides in the woods of Wisconsin, lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimewrightbooks.com and at her podcast madlitmusings.com where she discusses the deeper issues of story and faith with fellow authors.

Originally published Wednesday, 08 May 2024.