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Boys grow up emulating their fathers. From the earliest age, my 4-year-old-son has wanted to do what Dad is doing. It never matters what the activity is just as long as he's doing it alongside Dad. Here are some ideas to build great father-son bonds:

Build Together – Whether you are building a home bookshelf or attending a project workshop, do it together. Even wee tikes like to build alongside Dad with their realistic, child-size tools. They'll be proud of their creation and bragging rights of "I made that!"

Plant a Garden – Boys love playing in dirt and looking for worms. Clear a small area in your backyard and plant a garden. Discuss what fruits and vegetables he likes and go to the farm and garden store to buy the seeds and plants. Plant the garden together, water daily, keep a watchful eye as the plants grow and then enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Play Games – Allow him to choose a favorite board or video game and let him be the expert. Have him explain the directions and take the lead in the game. Children love to "tell" you what to do so why not make it a learning experience?

just-guys-2Get outside – Throw the ball around, go on a bike ride, take a hike or set up camp. The fresh air and physical activity creates opportunities for bonding moments that your son will carry with him for years to come.

No Girls Allowed – Plan father-son activities without Mom or sisters. Take time to do "guy" stuff.

Be emotional – Let your son know you hear him. Ask questions about what's going on in his world. Then turn the tables and allow him to ask personal questions to you.

Be present. Remember it's not what you buy him, but the time you spend with him that he'll cherish. Make time for fun, to listen and be silly.

Nikki Ducas is a Fredericksburg mom to an active 4-year-old. Her husband is always outside or doing fun stuff with their son giving her much needed breaks!

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Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.