Whether or not Dad's a big fisherman, one thing's for sure: every dad deserves compliments on his special day. So here's a family activity that guarantees a bountiful, heartwarming “catch.” And just to add some learning to the fun, this activity gives your child's writing skills a little practice while you're at it.
Magnet (a U-shape, available at most toy stores, works well)
What You Do:
Start by downloading our fish template onto card stock in several different colors, and cut them out. You can find other fish coloring pages on our website.
For the next stage—collecting compliments—you'll need to seek the services of the whole family, and if you've got a few friends willing to pitch in, that's great too! Everyone needs to contribute at least one special compliment about Dad, but here's the catch: each person should dictate her words and have someone else do the actual writing. Folks are welcome to add creative decorations, too. Is Dad a great gardener? Does he tell the world's best bad jokes? Now's the time to write it down. Little kids can dictate to grown-ups or big kids; big kids can dictate to one another. And don't restrict yourself to the folks in your household, either! Relatives will usually be happy to give you a “quote” over the phone, or send words by email. The older the child, the more you'll want to encourage detail, too. Each fish can easily hold 2–3 full sentences of writing!
On Father's Day, make a “fishing rod” by tying string to a straight stick, such as a dowel. (If you want to get fancy, you can even wrap it in colored streamers.) Then tie a magnet to the end of your string; a U-shaped one works especially well.
Place a paper clip over the “mouth” of each fish, and drop it into a nice-looking bowl or basket. Then invite Dad to “fish” for his compliments, reading them out as he goes. Watch his smile deepen as the kindness adds up…and then give him a final challenge. Can he guess who said what? Have fun giving him clues, and see which ones he can get right. When you're done, have a kid write the correct authors on each fish, and put them up on a wall or fridge for a while. Don't miss this chance to remind Dad that he is treasured on this day, and beyond.
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.