The Best Gifts for Dad That He Actually Wants!

Jun 10, 2021 | Family Time, Gift Ideas, Holidays, Lifestyle

Coming up with Father's Day gift ideas can be hard! What do you get for the man who has everything? We've come up with the best gifts for Dad that he is going to love! You really can't go wrong with these sentimental Father's Day gifts.

Father and son drawing a picture for Father's Day, from Fun Cheap or Free

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, father-in-law, 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!

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Father's Day (or really any holiday or birthday) should be about more than just buying some gifts, having your kids sign the card, and calling it a day. So, I've polled dads, grandpas (and anyone with an opinion on the matter, frankly) and compiled a list of…


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 dads 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 they buy a gift, I've got some great ideas for how to get them involved in a way that will really make Dad's day special.


Whoever said that you have to spend lots of money to have a meaningful gift was wrong! These are some of the best gifts for Dad and they don't have to cost you much, if anything. And the best part? They're what Dad really wants.


Father and daughter reading a book together, from Fun Cheap or Free

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 a rare treasure. Here are some ideas of how kids can do gift time:

  • Dad's Favorite Things – Have your kids come up with Dad's favorite thing(s) to do, and make a plan for doing it WITH him. Golf? Make a goody basket of balls, tees, gloves, and anything else for both the kids AND dad. Fishing? Load up all the fishing gear, a picnic, and make a day of it. Sports? Grab all his favorite equipment and head to the park.
  • Daddy Date – Each person can plan and carry out their own daddy/kid date to take Dad on. It could be one of Dad's favorite activities, or as simple as getting ice cream, going on a walk, or reading a book together.
  • Make/Do Something Together – If your kids want to give Dad a homemade gift, encourage them to make it WITH Dad! We're talking birdhouse, painting a ceramic mug, planting a garden, or even something big like a treehouse in the backyard. 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).
  • Plan a Getaway – Have your kids help plan a getaway with Dad. It could be a camping trip (in the backyard 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.


  • Have the kids help create a basket, collage, or gift representing the activity to give to Dad on Father's Day, 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 at least part of the gift. Take them shopping WITH you, and really get them involved with the planning and implementation. After all, that's what Dad wants most! Plus, it helps to teach them about money and to be responsible with it.
  • 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.

Aren't those some of the best gifts for Dad?! Just wait until you see what else we've got. 😉


Father's Day DIY Interview Book gift, from Fun Cheap or Free

Sentimental gifts are the gifts that keep on giving! These are gifts that will last a lifetime. Help your kids figure out the best way to express their love for their dad and have them get to it. It really is one of the best gifts for Dad!

  • Interview Book – It's so fun to do these year after year to see how the kids' responses change! We have a fun printable interview book and Pinterest always has lots of great ideas.
  • Letter or Poem – Have your kids write a letter or poem about (or to) Dad. This could include the things they love about him and the things they admire about him.
  • Artwork – Have your kids do an original piece of art for him. Encourage them to use their imaginations and get creative!
  • Photo Shoot for Dad – The kids can dress up in Dad's clothes, hold an “I Love you Dad” sign, or anything else creative. It doesn't have to be anything crazy fancy! Even just some cardboard that they draw on with crayons to use as props in the pictures.
  • Do Something in Dad's 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.” 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. When the garden grows each year, it's a lasting reminder of how much her kids love her. Isn't that the neatest??
  • Photo Book – 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 ones to decide on the photos—even if they don't make sense to you. 🙂
  • Performance for Dad – 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.
  • Daddy Memory Book – Get a nice leather (or other manly-looking) notebook. Then 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 or you could write down their memories for them. 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.

Don't you love those sentimental Father's Day gifts? They truly are the best gifts for Dad!


Father's Day car wash, from Fun Cheap or Free

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:

  • Cook Dad's Favorite Meal or Treat – Get the kids in the kitchen! Supervision will obviously be needed for youngin's, but it's a great way to make something that Dad loves. 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 or bake it for Dad! They could even make cute room service cards.
  • Do Dad's Chores – Iron his shirts, take out the garbage, fix or paint something he's been working on, mow the lawn, clean the garage, wash his car, do the dishes, or anything else that he usually does. Let him sleep in, watch football, go golfing, or do whatever he loves to do.
  • Coupon Book – Make a fun coupon book for Dad to redeem whenever he wants! Some ideas could include a back scratch or neck massage, taking out the trash or doing his chores, and watching a movie or reading a book together.

Seriously, people, this is what Dad really wants!!!


father and son playing video games together, from Fun Cheap or Free

There's no avoiding it, dads 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 budget for it, they can help pick it out and get excited about it. We have lots of great Father's Day gift ideas, but here are some of our favorites:

  • Buy him tickets to see his favorite sports team, band, musical, or event. Groupon is a great place to find affordable tickets for events like this!
  • Build up, or add to, his Man Cave.
  • Find a hobby he doesn't get to do much and buy him something that allows him to do the hobby more often. My father-in-law has always wanted to go skydiving. So all of us kids/in-law kids pitched in and bought him a skydiving pass. He LOVED it! Groupon is 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, such as sodas, candy, treats, and more. You basically stack a bunch of cans on top of each other in different tiers to make it look like a cake. If he's not a soda drinker, stand up his favorite candy bars or protein bars instead.
  • If Dad is into gaming, you can't go wrong with a new gaming system like a PS4 or Xbox thingamajigs.

WHEEW! So there you have it. Hopefully this inspires you to get your kiddos involved in figuring out the best gifts for Dad this year. Help to make it the most meaningful Father's Day, ever! After all, it is what Dad really wants.

image that reads "the best gifts for dad",  Fun Cheap or Free

Want another great gift you can give your hubby? How about the gift of getting your budget in order and becoming debt-free?! Budget Boot Camp is the perfect way to do that. It's a fun online video program you can do together that makes your finances simple to understand.

Doesn't that sound great?! I'm so sure you'll love it, I even offer a 100% money-back guarantee. Plus, use the code FCFBLOG to get 10% off your order at checkout!

Want some more great ideas?

Happy Father's Day!


Jordan Page Signature, from Fun Cheap or Free


  1. Stacy

    Great list! Thanks for the ideas!

  2. Rocky | Somethin Outta Nothin

    Right there with you Jordan. Dad’s are just plain hard to gift to! Guys typically (or at least the ones in my life) don’t care to give lists of things they’d like. You’ve got some great ideas here.

    I’ve found it helpful to figure out their love language and then listen for opportunities specific to that love language. My husband doesn’t care for stuff, at all, but he loves service. So I listen for things he’d like done around the house, two weeks before father’s day I’ll spend an hour each day doing one of those projects, and leaving little happy father’s day signs up at the location of service.

    Some of the other men in my life enjoy quality time so we’ll skype with them. For Christmas this last year, my daughter and I wrote and illustrated a children’s book for my FIL. I think listening is key for taking care of the men in our lives.


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