: Negative Space from Pexels
“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”Billy Graham
Unless their name is Jack Pearson, its likely their character has been presented as a non-involved, absent, ill-fit or unintelligent father. Although it may closely represent a constant and growing problem we are seeing in society, there are many dedicated men who have been overlooked and under appreciated.
I’ve always heard the phrase, “Anyone can be a father but it takes a real man to be a dad.” Being a dad is a choice. The man, whoever he might be, that decides to step up and raise a child regardless of bloodline is a treasure; a real-life super hero.
Whether it’s a birthfather, grandfather, brother, uncle or close friend, let’s take the time to honor the father figures in our communities by celebrating them!
When I was in the classroom, we commemorated the day by inviting all of our dads in to enjoy a donut, some coffee and time to hang out and play. They were given a sweet little gift that the mommies all helped with and then were unleashed into a classroom full of “dad” themed centers.
One of my favorite gifts that I ever worked on as a preschool teacher involved some sneaky help from mom. Without dad knowing, mom took pictures of their child dressed up as dad (either in his clothing or something that resembled it) pretending to be dad – whether it was performing his work duties or participating in his favorite hobby.
Once the pictures were emailed to me, I had them printed and then placed into picture frames that the children painted. I saw actual tears shed from some of the most masculine men when they opened these darling treasures.
Here is an example (and possibly sneak peek) of my son dressed like his daddy, an I.T. Director.
Create a keepsake and document those tiny hands and feet while they’re still small my painting them and turning them into a literal hand (or foot) made gift. Here is an example of what you can give to a Star Wars loving daddy.
“Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of song.”Pam Brown
“‘Father’ is the noblest title a man can be given. It is more than a biological role. It signifies a patriarch, a leader, an exemplar, a confidant, a teacher, a hero, a friend.”Robert L Backman
What is a physical activity that dad enjoys the most? Golf, basketball, football, baseball, soccer…whatever it may be take it outside and get those bodies moving!
Could dad’s car use a good cleaning? Jump into some water-proof clothing and get out for some water fun as you add sparkle to his wheels.
“No man can possibly know what life means, what the world means, what anything means, until he has a child and loves it.”Lafcadio Hearn
Golf Tee Balance (for smaller fingers)
- Use styrofoam blocks, golf tees and golf balls – stick tees into styrofoam block and then place golf balls on top. You can also use Play-doh instead of styrofoam.
“I cannot think of any need in children as strong as the need for a father’s protection.”Sigmund Freud
Bouncy Ball Paint and/or water play.
- Use a bouncy ball to either bounce in puddles of water or a small pool for some outdoor cooling off.
- Spread out some butcher paper, dip the ball into nontoxic washable paint, then bounce and roll it over the paper.
“Words have an awesome impact. The impression made by a father’s voice can set in motion an entire trend of life.” –Gordon MacDonaldGordon MacDonald
- construction paper
- nontoxic washable paint
- nuts & bolts
Squirt some paint on the center of the paper, fold in half and let the kids hammer. Open it up to see the patterns it created. Let them add more paint if they’d like and use the screwdriver, wrench and/or nuts & bolts to scrape/spread it all around.
- construction paper
- nontoxic washable paint
- box or plastic container
Place the paper at the bottom of box or container and squirt some paint onto it. Add the golfballs and let the kids paint by rocking the container back and forth, moving the golfballs around.
“Children need models rather than critics.”Joseph Joubert
Dress like daddy
Pull out some of daddy’s clothing or outfits that resemble his and have a blast pretending to be him.
Put together a tool box of safe (preferably toy) tools. Add some safety goggles and your own rendition of coveralls (think handy man) and have your little ones conquer that “Honey Do” list.
“A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.”Unknown
Fill a bin with water or if you have them, blue water beads. Use pipe cleaners and a magnet at the end of a string to create your own fishing experience. You can also find magnetic fishing games and water beads online.
Shaving Cream Fun
Squirt some shaving cream into a bin or on a tray. Add a little food coloring and some toy cars, legos or actions figures. Make sure to dress the kids in something to cover their clothing. An old, oversized t-shirt of dad’s works great!
If you have leftover Easter basket grass, put it into a bin with golf tees and gold balls. Throw some scoopers and doll house people or action figures.
If you have UNO in you home, grab it (you could also use a deck of cards or dice, but the colors in UNO add to the activity).
Pour out Legos, Duplos or building block of choice. Pull a card (or roll the dice) and use that number of Legos to begin a building. If cards are from UNO, match the color of the card to the Legos being used.
See what creations you can come up with!
Grab an empty shoebox and some aluminum foil to create your own Solar Oven. Roast some hotdogs outside with dad.
Venture into the kitchen and whipping’s up some of dad’s favorite cookies.
Dictate and/or doodle a story about something you love about dad.
Include a favorite memory or what he does the best.