Father’s Day is a time to let Dad know how much his family loves, appreciates and admires him. Store bought gifts and cards can only go so far in expressing these feelings. Here are ten caring and thoughtful things mothers and children can do to make this Father’s Day a memorable one.
1. Create a video tribute
Use a camcorder or cell phone to film a special Father’s Day tribute to Dad. Ask the kids questions such as ‘What do you like best about Dad?’ or ‘What was your happiest time with Dad this year?’ and have them answer into the camera. Transfer the video to a DVD or USB stick and play it for Dad on your television or upload it to YouTube to share with all your friends and relatives.
2. Have a family picnic
Spend a day out with Dad at a local park. Mom and the kids can prepare and pack Dad’s favorite sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Or, if you think Dad would prefer something from the local fried chicken or barbeque joint, pick it up along the way. Bring along equipment for outdoor games that Dad and the kids can play together such as croquet, horseshoes or bocce ball.
3. Show Dad what the kids think of him
One of the funniest and most heartwarming gifts you can give Dad is a glimpse of himself through his children’s eyes. Simply search online for ‘Father’s Day printable kid’s interview’ and you’ll find a number of sites offering free colorful printer-ready forms with partial statements such as ‘My Dad is smart because he knows…’ or ‘My Dad likes to wear…’ If your child hasn’t yet learned to write, read them the statements and fill in their answers for them.
4. Do Dad’s chores while he relaxes
Kids can give Dad a considerate gift that costs nothing but a little elbow grease. Enlist them to help you with some of the work Dad usually does around the house and garden. For example, wash his car, mow the lawn or clean out the garage. If you think Dad might protest, suggest that he spends the morning doing something he enjoys like playing golf. When he returns, surprise him with the fruits of your labor.
5. Have a backyard barbeque
Father’s Day falls in summer, so make the most of the warmer weather. Mom and the kids can make salads, side-dishes and desserts. If Dad’s the type of man who likes to be in charge of the grill, leave cooking the meat up to him. Since it’s a special day, be sure to have some special food for Dad. If your usual barbecues consist of burgers and hot dogs, upgrade to marinated steaks or a rack of ribs.
6. Make Dad a photo book
These days there are dozens of websites that will allow you to create and purchase a personalized hardcover photo book. Go through all your digital family photos and pick out the best ones featuring Dad with the kids. Upload them to a photo book site and fill in appropriate captions. Choose a sentimental title for the front cover such as ‘Memories of the Best Dad Ever’.
7. Do what Dad wants to do
Dad probably spends a lot of time doing things that the kids want to do. Father’s Day can be a time to focus on him for a change. Let him decide on an activity and go along with him as a family. Maybe you and the kids aren’t all that keen on fishing, but if that’s Dad’s choice, indulge him. If he wants to watch his favorite sports team play, get tickets for the whole family, even if you’re not a fan.
8. Bring Dad breakfast in bed
Get the kids to help you make Dad a special Father’s Day breakfast. It could be a stack of blueberry pancakes with syrup and bacon, eggs benedict or a Spanish omelet. Add a classy drink such as fresh-squeezed orange juice or flavored coffee. Use your best dishes and cutlery and a cloth napkin. Arrange breakfast on a tray and serve it to Dad in bed. Have the kids bring him his Father’s Day cards to look at while he eats.
9. Celebrate all the Dads in your extended family
Father’s Day is a good occasion for a big family gathering. Invite relatives from both sides of the family and focus on honoring the Dads amongst them. Ask everyone to bring a dish for a pot-luck buffet. Decorate your house with Father’s Day banners and balloons. Bake or purchase a special Father’s Day cake and let the children serve slices to their Dads before anyone else gets a piece.
10. Let Dad relax
Sometimes Dads just need a break from their fatherly duties. Talk to the kids ahead of time and set some rules for Father’s Day. Offer to give them a small reward if they manage to stick to them. For this one day they are not to annoy Dad in the ways kids tend to do. Let him sleep in. Let him watch what he wants on TV. Don’t ask him to drive you anywhere. Don’t interrupt him, pester him or whine at him.