What a special day: a day to honor fathers; dads; daddys; pops. Whatever name he has, he's a special guy. If you are married, there are probably two dads in your life, your own father and the father of your child(ren). This post is about helping your child(ren) plan for Father's Day, but we hope you find inspiration for your own father as well.
Dads are some of the hardest people to shop for, as he often doesn't need, or want, anything. Yet honoring dad has little to do with what he needs or wants. What will make dad laugh, tear up with memories, or make his taste buds swell?
For younger children, handmade items are certainly the way to go. Here are a few ideas:
- The Interview: Ask your small child(ren) questions about their dad such as, "What is dad's favorite color?" and "How old is your dad?" Several pre-made interviews exist online such as this one from Totally Terrific in Texas.
- Make a Card: Provide your child(ren) with paper, markers, stickers, maybe even paint and glitter and allow them to create a card for dad. Encourage them to draw a picture of them with their dad. Write a poem with your child(ren) to include on the card by starting with words that rhyme with dad. For instance, using sad, mad, glad, you could write, "I'm so glad you're my dad. You're never mad and when you're sad it makes me want to make you glad." The sillier the better!
- Dollar Store Gifts: Though not handmade, sometimes $1, $2, or even $5 in the hands of a little one can bring such joy to the recipient. Allow your child(ren) to pick out something special for their dad, then wrap the gift themselves.
Child(ren) in Middle School can get more involved. Use these ideas as a starting point:
- Time With Dad: Help your child(ren) plan a special outing with dad, for dad, and all about dad. Maybe a breakfast date at dad's favorite diner or dinner at his favorite restaurant. Even if everyone else has to order burgers, let dad get the prime rib! Perhaps a trip to the zoo or the aquarium or maybe a hike on a beautiful day. This could either be a family outing or one just for dad and the child(ren).
- A Coupon Booklet: Make a coupon booklet with things like, "Good for mowing the lawn." "Good for one chore of dad's choice, no arguing!" "Good for one evening of TV — dad's choice." "Good for one foot massage." "Good for one morning of sleeping in." "Good for one Saturday of no housework." Allow your child(ren) to think about their dad and create something unique to him.
For High Schoolers, the sky is the limit!
- Let them think. As with any age, it's important to allow the giver to think about the gift. Teenagers are often preoccupied with lots of things outside the home, so don't force anything, but let them know you can help them. You may be surprised at what they want to do for their dad.
- Dinner. It may sound simple, but making dad's favorite dinner and dessert can go a long way. Think about what he really loves. Ask them to think of something nice to say to their dad to encourage him and share the thoughts at dinner.
- Paint a travel mug. Does he love to take coffee to work every day? A hand-painted mug could be just the thing to let dad know daily that he is loved and respected. Don't want to go to a pottery studio? Consider doing the whole thing at home with a sharpie paint marker. Pop Sugar has some great tips for this project!
- A Letter. Propose that your child(ren) write their dad a letter telling him how much he means to them, sharing their earliest memories of their dad and maybe even a photo or two.
However old your kids are, remember that it's the thought that counts more than the gift. If a handmade item doesn't turn out the way you want it to, it's okay. Allow the child to be involved, as a gift from the heart means the most to dad.