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On Fatherís Day we take time to show appreciation for the first, special man in our lives. He was there when we were young, organizing ice cream outings; teaching the fine art of catching a fly ball; wiping away tears; or coaching a kindergarten soccer team. As we grew older, Dad taught us to drive both a car and a golf ball and to manage our money while taking his. He encouraged us to discover the world, while always making sure there would be a home to which we could return.
So whether youíre celebrating your dad or the father of your children, here are activities to plan for the day to build a base of memories that will last a lifetime.
If the Dad Youíre Celebrating Has Young Children...
...then youíre probably his wife. If so, plan activities that your husband can enjoy with his children. What are some of the favorite things your children like to do on their own, or with you, but that Dad never gets to share with them?
Get Messy in the Kitchen with Dad: Do the kids enjoy mixing things up in the kitchen? If so, plan a cooking project that dad can do with them. You supply the ingredients, they make the mess, and you do the clean-up when theyíre done. If youíre lucky, they may let you sample their creations. Good cooking projects for young children include dipping pretzels in melted chocolate (be sure itís not too hot); preparing a cookie dough mix and dropping the cookies on a baking sheet; mixing up a batch of pancakes and letting Dad wield the mighty spatula; creating homemade play dough which is a fun project to mix and play with after theyíre done.
Lifeís a Picnic: If Dad never gets enough of the great outdoors, plan an outing to one of his beloved nature spots. Pack a picnic that includes Dadís favorite sandwiches and side dishes. Remember to bring along a blanket large enough for the whole gang, and plan a few fun games for when youíre done eating such as catch, frisbee, or simply a good game of tag and tickle.
Take a Stroll Down Memory Lane: Parents take so many photos and videos but unfortunately can never find the time in their busy lives to enjoy these memories. So make the time on Fatherís Day to pull out the scrapbooks and home videos. Gather the kids, the popcorn, candy, and juice boxes and Dad can watch his favorite little people in action.
What I Like About Dad: Help the kids to write their own play for Dad, about Dad. Have each child take a turn playing Dad and acting out their favorite things that they most love about him. Remember to take videos of the show to enjoy on future Fatherís Days.
If the Children are Tweens or Teens...
...they probably have their own ideas about what theyíd like to do with Dad. But this is his day, so make sure that the kids think more about what dad would like to do than how they would choose to spend the day. Here are some ideas.
His Favorite Things: By the time kids are tweens and teens, theyíve learned how to express, very clearly, when they donít want to join their parents on an outing. But today is the one day when Dad can ask them to join him in his favorite interest and expect to receive no complaints or long faces while doing it. Whether he wants company going to a car show, hiking, or watching a golf match, the cheerful company of his children will make Dadís day complete.
Arrange a Little Competition: If Dad is just a bit competitive, but does his best to play nicely with the kids, on Fatherís Day tell him itís okay to play to win. Any game is fair play and whether itís an intense game of checkers, chess, tennis, or bocce, the only requirement is that the kids are good losers when Dad does his victory dance.
Daddy Trivia: No eye rolling allowed with this activity. This is the time to invite Dad to share all of his well worn childhood stories with you. Turn it into a reverse trivia game by making a long list of questions that you ask Dad about himself. Then sit back and enjoy the stories as he enjoys sharing his life with you. This would be a great activity to record on video.
Youíre All Grown-Up...
...but youíll always be his little boy or girl. Spend the day enjoying his company but take the opportunity to repay him just a little for all that he has done for you over the years.
Take Him Out to the Ball Game: He probably brought you to your first baseball game if he is a fan of the sport. This time you buy the tickets and take him out to see his favorite team play. Load him up with plenty of peanuts, hot dogs, and his other favorite ballpark goodies. Of course youíll be the one making the trips to the concession stands.
Rock and Roll If Dad has always been into rock and roll and still plays a mean air guitar, purchase tickets to take him to see his favorite classic rock band in concert. It doesnít matter if itís not your taste in music. He had to listen to your favorite bands for many years.
Be the Handyman: Itís impossible to count the things he built, assembled or repaired for you. But there are probably plenty of jobs he could now use a little help getting done around his house. You could wash the car, change the oil, mow the lawn, repair the screen, or organize his tools. Pull up a chair so that he can watch and chat with you while you get something done for him.
Invite Him to Join You in a Time-Honored Fatherís Day Tradition: Inviting Dad to a barbecue is a classic way to spend the day, for good reason. Itís a great way to serve dad his favorite food while you relax together, eat, talk, eat and talk some more. Thereís nothing quite like remembering past good times together while creating new memories for the future.
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My kid's Love their DAD so dearly. I think we could do a nice Picnic by the lake since we live near by a Lake and buy him lots of Goodies;but most of all show him love everyday of the year!! Dad's are special;when you've got a kid's Dad like mine!!!!(HAPPY FATHER DAY HONEY)