From Special Awards to Father’s Day Poems and Quotes
There used to be a picture that hung in my father’s office when I was a child with the quote: Anyone can be a father. It takes someone special to be a Dad. As I watch my own husband with our children, I am fully gaining that understanding that my own father aspired to as I was a child. On Sunday I will be honoring two men who are dear to me – Dad, and the Dad to my children. We always try to celebrate with personal gifts – and I always make my dad’s favorite pineapple torte (the one his mom used to make). If you’re short on ideas, try some of these fun ways to celebrate the special dad in your life.
1. Let the kids decorate an outdoor palace fit for a king.
Take Dad’s favorite lawn chair or recliner (or maybe this is the perfect excuse to get the one he’s always wanted), and let the kids decorate it with streamers, balloons, and any other craft supply they think adds royal flair. Then have them create a crown and a scepter for Dad to wear and use on his special day. The kids can even dress up like his royal court.
2. Have a block party for all of the great dads in your child’s life.
Invite all of the dads and their families to a potluck picnic in the backyard, and hand out awards to the fathers. These could be certificates, trophies from the dollar store, or prizes of candy, small tools like screwdrivers or tape measures, or anything else you gather. Other moms and kids could bring prizes to contribute as well. Prize titles could be given for things like:
- Best Bike Tire Repairman
- Most Likely to Burn Dinner
- King of the BBQ
- Best Backyard Baseball Umpire
- Silliest (or Corniest) Joke Teller
3. Have kids write an acrostic poem for Dad.
This is where you write the main word vertically, and then each letter is the first letter of the first word of a line. Younger kids could use the word DAD, while older ones could go with FATHER or even HAPPY FATHER’S DAY. You can even use a simple format like this one.
4. Create a one-of-a-kind apron for the special chef at your house.
If you have younger kids, help them create a handprint BBQ apron for Dad, using fabric paint and a plain canvas apron from the craft store. Prewash and dry the apron, and then take turns with one child at a time to stamp handprints on the front. Package the gift with Dad’s favorite meat for the grill and a set of new grill tools.
5. Send Dad somewhere special, in a special way.
Sometimes Father’s Day is a great opportunity to send Dad off on his own to do his own, special activity. Maybe this is giving him kayaking lessons, setting him up with a golf tee time, or just having him take a solo bike ride without the dog and the baby carrier attached to the back of the bike. You can still get the kids involved, however, by having them plan a Send-Off-Parade or Bon Voyage Party, where they make a homemade ticket or passport to the activity, throw confetti, and sing and march across the yard. You could even have the kids surprise him by having them play a game with him and when he wins, give him the ticket like he just won a prize on a major game show.
6. Use an online site like Zazzle to create a personalized gift.
Is there something he always says? A comeback the kids always say to him? Make a personalized shirt, coffee mug, or other item at Zazzle. One year my kids made their dad a shirt emblazoned with number 87 – his answer for any question that involves a number. How many more minutes until we get there? 87. How many cookies can I have? 87.
7. Make a DVD and have movie night.
Take pictures and short videos of Dad with his kids and family and use a software program like Pinnacle Studio to create your own DVD for him. Add some songs, either classics or his random favorites from the ‘80s. I made one for my husband that began with pictures of me pregnant, moving through ones of him snuggling babies to ones with him playing baseball in the backyard with the kids. I added songs like “We Are Family”, and silly captions along the way, then surprised him with an invitation for a movie night with popcorn and snacks.
8. Create a unique keepsake card.
Make a list of favorite Words of Wisdom by Dad on the back side of a roll of wallpaper (visit your local home improvement store for ones they are ready to recycle). Use a permanent marker and record with your kids all of the things Dad says – he’s bound to have some classics. Fill in with some quotes about fathers, like the ones listed below. Kids can also decorate by drawing pictures or adding stickers. Re-roll and tie with a tie (you can even get an inexpensive one at the thrift store).
- He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland
- My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.” “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply. “We’re raising boys.” ~Harmon Killebrew
- Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. ~Bill Cosby
- A father carries pictures where his money used to be. ~Author Unknown
- When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Mark Twain but no evidence has yet been found for this (Thanks, Garson O’Toole!)
- Dad, you’re someone to look up to no matter how tall I’ve grown. ~Author Unknown
- The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God; I call him Dad!
- Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone
- Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected. ~Red Buttons
- I don’t care how poor a man is; if he has family, he’s rich. ~M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter
- Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever. ~Author Unknown
- Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher’s mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again. ~Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby, 1968
(Thanks to Quote Garden for some of the quotes used above.)
Much of this article I originally posted at BetterParenting.com, but thought it was worth the share here.