This post was brought to you by my friends at Walmart, but all writing and opinions are 100% my own. Duh.
I have a confession to make…I am THE WORST gift-giver on the planet. No really, like, it's a miracle I'm still married, bad. So naturally, I break into cold sweats as Father's Day approaches, stressing about what to do for my husband, Dad, FIL, and Grandpa. This year I've decided to stop stressing, stop epic-failing at giving gifts, and refocus on the real meaning behind giving gifts for Father's Day. Oh…and most importantly?
Get the kids involved!
Father's Day should be about more than buying some gifts, having your kids sign the card, and calling it a day. So I have polled Dads, Grandpas (and anyone with an opinion on the matter, frankly) and compiled a list of…
The best things kids can do for Father's Day, that Dad actually wants!
These are things kids of any age can do – from adult on down to toddler. The one common theme I saw from every answer given, was that Dad's don't care as much about WHAT they are given, but more WHY they were given it. Was there thought behind it? Effort? Sacrifice? Emotion? Effort? Or was it grabbed off the nearest shelf? So whether your kids make a gift or whether they buy a gift, here are some ideas for how to get them involved in a way that will really make Dad's day special:
Free or home-made Father's Day ideas:
Most of the Dads polled expressed that their favorite gift from their kids would be the opportunity to spend quality time with them. Especially as kids get older, QT with the parentals is few and far between. Here are some ideas of how kids can do this:
- Have your kids come up with Dad's favorite thing(s) to do, and make a plan for doing it WITH him (find lots of ideas HERE). Golf? Make a goody basket of balls, tees, gloves, etc. for both the kids AND dad. Fishing,
- Have your kids plan a Daddy date. Each child can plan and carry out their own daddy/kid date to take Dad on. It could be one of Dad's favorite activities, or it could be as simple as getting ice cream or going on a walk together.
- Make/do something together. If your kids want to give Dad a home-made gift, encourage them to make it WITH Dad! Bird house, painting a ceramic mug, planting a garden, or even something big like a tree house in the back yard. It could also be a great way to implement some power tools as a gift to Dad from you (or a combined gift from the family).
- Have your kids help plan a getaway with Dad. It could be a camping trip (in the back yard even!), a fishing trip, or a full-on vacation that he's always wanted to go on. You will probably have to be more involved on this one (especially if your kids are younger) but be sure to have your kids help plan and save up for the trip to get them involved.
Tips for success:
- Have the kids help create a basket, collage, or gift representing the activity to give to Dad on FDay, so he has something fun to “open” that day.
- Physically schedule the activity and put it on the calendar so life doesn't get in the way of making it actually happen.
- Have the kids contribute some of their own money to a at least part of the gift. Take them shopping WITH you, and really get them involved with the planning and implementation. Again, that's what Dad wants most!
- Have your kids gather all the materials and make a plan of action, so all Dad has to do is sit down and do the activity with them.
EXPRESS LOVE/GET SENTIMENTAL
Sentimental gifts are the gifts that keep on giving! These are gifts that will last a lifetime.
- Have your kids write a letter or poem about (or to) Dad, the things they love about him, and the things they admire about him.
- Have your kids do an original piece of art for him. Encourage them to use their imaginations and get creative!
- Fill out a questionnaire. I have pinned lots of cute printables and ideas for you on Pinterest, or you can come up with your own of course.
- Stage a Daddy photo shoot. The kids can dress up in Dad's clothes, hold an “I Love you Dad” sign, or anything else creative, like this idea from Pinterest.
- Do something in his honor. This was a suggestion from my own Dad that I thought was such a great idea! Your kids could plant a tree, accomplish something at school, volunteer or donate to a cause that is near and dear to Dad's heart, start a fund…something that he could look at for as long as he lives and know it was done for him. A friend of mine has a “Mother's Day Garden” and every year she and the kids go to a nursery and the kids pick out one plant that reminds them of mom, and they plant it together. The garden grows each year and it's a lasting reminder of how much her kids love her. Isn't that the neatest??
- Have your kids compile a book of photos. The photos could be memories they have had with Dad, general family photos, or even photos of Dad as a child. However you choose to do it, let your kids be the one to decide on the photos – even if they don't make sense to you 🙂
- Have your kids perform, write a song, or make a movie for Dad. What dad wouldn't love a Father's Day talent show?? Plus, those home movies are memories that Dad can watch for a lifetime.
- Have your kids start a Daddy memory book. Get a nice leather (or other manly-looking) notebook (like this one). Each year have your kids take time to write down several memories of Dad from that year. If they are young, they could do it by way of drawing pictures. It will be fun for Dad to look back through the years and remember all the great memories he and his kids have had together.
Tips for success:
- You can prompt the kids and assist with ideas for their letter or, or help if they are young, but otherwise let them do it!
- If your kids are too young to write, ask them prompting questions and write their answers just as the kids say them.
ACTS OF SERVICE
Another great suggestion from my own Dad was that kids can do something meaningful without being asked; something that Dad wouldn't expect.” Here are some ideas:
- Have the kids cook Dad's favorite meal or treat. Again, supervision will obviously be needed for youngin's. But have the kids come up with the menu (and even create little menus), help you buy the ingredients at the store, and help cook/bake it for dad! They could even make these cute room service cards that I found on Pinterest.
- The kids can do dad's chores that he usually does. Iron his shirts, take out the garbage, fix or paint something he's been working on, mow the lawn, clean the garage, detail his car, etc. Let him sleep in, watch Football, or go golfing.
Store-bought Father's Day ideas:
There's no avoiding it, Dad's like STUFF (don't we all)? So if you're going to buy him a gift, make it a great gift that he will actually use and love! Yes, kids can be involved in gift-giving too. Even if they don't have the budgets for it, they can help pick it out and get excited about it. Get lots of great Father's Day gift ideas HERE. Here are more great ideas:
- Buy him tickets to see his favorite sports team, band, musical, or event.
- Build up, or add to, his Man Cave.
- Find a hobby Dad doesn't get to do much and buy him something that allows them to do the hobby easier. My FIL has always wanted to go sky diving. So all of us kids/in-law kids pitched in and bought him a skydiving pass. He LOVED it! Daily deal sites are a great way to find discounts on adventures. You could buy him new equipment and/or passes to use the equipment.
- A direct quote from my husband: “Socks and ties are not special.” Sorry to break it to you. BUT…if you want to go that route anyway, have your kids pick him out some great attire and don't be afraid to venture into cufflink and belt territory too.
- Have your kids make a “Daddy Cake” built of all his favorite things.
- And, of course, if Dad is into gaming, you can't go wrong with a new gaming system like a PS4 or Xbox thingamajigers.
So there you have it. Hopefully this inspires you to get your kiddos involved in Dad's Day this year, and make it the most meaningful Father's Day ever!
Happy Father's Day y'all…
Thank you to my friends at Walmart for making this post possible!