While Mom may prefer feeling pampered on Mother’s Day, many dads out there are ready for more than a card and a new tie. For lots of fathers, this special day is about spending time with their kids, being active and doing the things they love. Time alone with Dad, especially if he works long hours or doesn’t typically have much time alone with his children, is one of the best ways to honor and cherish him on Father’s Day.
For dads who already have hobbies, from tennis to chess to fishing and hiking, Father’s Day is a great way to get the kids involved in Dad’s favorite activity. But there are plenty of other outings and experiences that fathers and sons and daughters can enjoy.
The Great Outdoors and Beyond
Since Father’s Day is in June, odds are the weather will be fine. Use the day to take the dog for a walk, have a picnic at the park or beach, or take in a baseball game. Biking, jogging, playing basketball or soccer, flying kites, or even just visiting a favorite playground are perfect father-child activities. Let Dad make the lunch, even if it’s just peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches.
For the less outdoorsy, take the opportunity to visit a museum, zoo, farm, lake, or other local spot you haven’t been before. Top off the afternoon by stopping for ice cream or another special treat. For girls especially, just spending time with Dad and having the chance to talk can be truly memorable. Simply going out for lunch or breakfast without Mom gives kids and fathers a chance to bond. Or let Dad pick an action flick and share some popcorn and on-screen excitement.
Most fathers have much to teach their children, from tying their shoes to reading. Enlist Dad’s help on Father’s Day and let him teach the younger generation a thing or two. A cooking project can be lots of fun. Even if Dad can only make one dish, he can teach the kids, and maybe come up with a new twist on old standards such as French toast, grilled cheese, English muffin pizzas, or fruit smoothies. Accomplished dad chefs can concoct a more complex meal with their younger “sous chefs” to impress Mom.
Fathers have always been great at teaching their children to ride bikes, but if you have older teenagers, let Dad take them out for a driving lesson in the car. If Dad plays an instrument such as the guitar or piano, he can set up an informal family music lesson slash jam-session.
Turning Pages Together
Reading together has long been a favorite activity for fathers to do with their kids. Dads and sons or daughters can enjoy fabulous fiction, fascinating biographies, or books on shared interests. GiftLit.com, an online retailer of monthly book packs for kids, suggests these books for Father’s Day. The books are chosen by a unique advisory board of literary experts.
Outdoorsy dads might enjoy Wild Tracks: A Guide to Nature's Footprints. Take Dad on an outdoor adventure to explore nature and sleuth out animal tracks led by acclaimed naturalist Jim Arnosky. The book is suitable for ages 4-10. Gardening together can result in a lifelong love of plants; try Roots Shoots Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy, filled with easy-to-implement ideas for theme gardens that parents and kids can grow together for ages 6-12. Cool Chemistry Concoctions: 50 Formulas That Fizz, Foam, Splatter & Ooze by Joe Rhatigan, a book jammed with cool science experiments, will let dads and kids cook up a disgusting batch of runny slime or make miniature cave stalactites with this book of very cool science experiments, fun for any father and child who likes experimenting for ages 8 to 12.
Remember, it’s really not what fathers and children do together; it’s about sharing time and having fun, so be creative, and you’ll create a Father’s Day to remember for all.