Think Father's Day is just another excuse to sell greeting cards? Think again. Sonora Smart Dodd proposed Father's Day in 1909 to honor her father, William Smart, who raised six kids by himself in rural Washington, after his wife died in childbirth. Talk about pitching in!
Even if the fathers in your life don't manage to single-handedly run the farm while changing six kids' worth of diapers, they still deserve a little attention this Father's Day. Instead of reaching for another tie or clay ashtray, help your kids plan a Father's Day celebration to remember.
There's one gift that always fits – the weekend sleep-in! Let dad sleep late, then surprise him with breakfast in bed. The kids can make a keepsake placemat with a large sheet of colorful construction paper, special photos and mementos (ticket stubs, boarding passes, ski lift tickets…) from the past year. Glue lightly to the paper, let dry, and let your kids write or color on top. Cover with laminating paper. Then use the creation to line the breakfast tray! Even young kids can slice fruit or butter toast with a plastic knife, pour cereal, and fold napkins.
To make an easy meal elegant, go French by serving “tartine” – a long piece of French bread sliced horizontally, toasted, and served with butter and jam. Or, for an Italian touch, serve crusty bread with a hard-boiled egg, salami and cheese. Delicious and mess-free.
After breakfast, head out for a hike, fly a kite, go bowling, play a round of mini-golf, hit the movie theater, race go-carts, or do whatever strikes Dad's fancy. Remind your kids to be extra-good and tell him how special it is to be together. Dad probably spends most of his time at home listening to the kids and asking them questions; on Father's Day, turn the tables. Whip out the camcorder or tape recorder and let the junior reporters conduct an interview. They'll get to know their father better and he'll know he matters.
When dinner rolls around, buy some pizza dough and toppings at your local deli and let the kids be the chefs. (If you hate anchovies/olives/or whatever his favorite topping is, make personal pizzas – let him have it his way today!) Each child can prepare a special poem or tribute and toast their dad with it. For dessert, try a make your own sundae bar or make it easy on everyone and pick up something special from a bakery - this is one day to stay focused on fun, not frazzled.
Happy Father's Day!