As my son starts to become less of a potted plant and more of a functional human being I’ve been giving a lot of thought to shared experiences. What activities do you do with your kid(s) and what age did you start? Here are a few of mine as well as some goals:

Cooking: we recently did homemade pasta and it was a big hit!

Video games: I’ve got a PS3. my son is almost 4. Little big planet is the tiniest bit too hard. We played flower (dlc), and I have high hopes for whatever katamari game is on PS3.


@otrera basic board games like shoots and ladders or mousetrap or sorry all can often work at that age.

Collaborative art projects.

Gardening, speaking of potted plants.

Cooking definitely, though I think I started a bit earlier. The X Man is already fascinated by the chopping and clanging and boiling when he’s in the kitchen with me, so that’s a good sign.

Sand castles and building big Lego projects. You can do the little bits or act like the architect.

Around 4 is when I started being able to read comic stripes, so Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, and the Far Side were always a good solo or group activity. Depends on E’s comfort with written words at this point. They can also be a good learning tool.

Brio trains, now and forever.

My father had an electric model train set that he’d been adding to since he was a kid. That was brought out for special occasions (and restoring it from when I was about 12 taught me a lot about electrical work).


Indeed @otrera, if you hate the activity, kiddo’s going to pick up on that, and it’s not going to be a lot of fun for either of you.


Something that got my niece really interested in art was giving her my sketchbook and letting her flip through it. It turned into her copying whatever I’d drawn, and when she was done, she’d put on a cartoon and pause specific frames so that we could both try drawing them. It was really fun for both of us, which definitely helped! It was more in line with the shared experience idea, @otrera, because we were both having a legitimately good time.

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