Dazzle well-deserving dads on their special day with gifts that shift into overdrive

Whether the dad in your family is as sporty as a Chevy Camaro, as rugged and adventurous as a Jeep Wrangler, or as buttoned-down as a Lexus sedan, power out of recognition ruts this Father’s Day, and jump on the fast track to fun.

Is there a dad (or grandpa) in your world who has held on to, or recently acquired, treasured record albums? Find a set of 6 Record Album or Scrapbook Picture Frames for under $35 at Walmart. Another type of frame makes it possible to display both the vinyl record and the album cover side by side.

Or check out Country Living’s “28 Last-Minute Father’s Day Gifts He’ll Actually Use” posted last spring. The ideas include a barbeque rub recipe linked to a cute downloadable Father’s Day gift tag, a remote control holder carved out of the pages of a book, a business card holder stitched out of vintage postcards, and a “You Rock” picture frame made of small rocks Super-Glued to an existing frame.

The gift of time is definitely a precious gift; for Father’s Day that can include freeing up dad from chores to pursue his favorite hobby, or even sweeter, allocating that space on the calendar to share with and focus on the kids, who possibly see less of their #1 Favorite Guy than they might like.

In “6 Facts About American Fathers,” Kim Parker and Gretchen Livingston, writing for Fact Tank, report that the Pew Research Center found in 2015 that while dads are much more involved in child care than 50 years ago, nearly half of fathers surveyed “say they spend too little time with their kids,” while “only 25% of mothers say the same.”

Sharing moments and building memories need not be either expensive or elaborate. For example, Reader’s Digest's “17 Father’s Day Activities Your Dad Will Enjoy,” by Chandhi Jhunjhunwala, calls fishing “one of the most classic” Father’s Day activities, because “When else do you get to stand side by side and catch up on life while you enjoy the outdoors?” As a side tip, the article suggests spraying lures with WD-40, which it says, “attracts fish and masks human odor that can scare them off.” Other ideas include going camping, hitting an amusement park, and playing paintball.

The article also links to another Reader’s Digest compilation: “20 Dads Share the Sweetest, Most Heartwarming Father’s Day Gifts They’ve Ever Received,” by Gina Ryder. One reader’s submission describes an annual photo session of himself with the kids. Granted, this particular guy’s wife is a professional photographer, but pretty much anyone can pull off something interesting, right? Another contributor’s favorite tradition is to have his kids complete a Father’s Day questionnaire. He asks basic questions such as what he does at work, what his favorite activities are, and what he likes to eat, noting that despite doing this for several years, the answers always surprise him. (The Life as Mama blog offers some great questionnaire examples.) Yet another dad recounts receiving a hardcover book titled, What I Love About Dad. He says, “My 12-year-old son filled in 47 pages with touching and insightful words, which are the key to my heart, especially when they’re handwritten.” (The fill-in journal he received is widely available.)

Also consider helping kids write poems or raps—funny, serious, or a little of both—and reading/rapping them first thing in the morning, along with a special Father’s Day breakfast spread they’ve helped prepare. Musical talent is definitely not needed, only a little thought, willingness, and heartfelt silliness. Record the ensuing giggles and groans for replaying!

Or for a little learning fun combined with healthy competition, depending on the age of Dad’s biggest fans, maybe start the day off (or end it?) with a rousing round of, Go Fish Alphabet, Math War Addition & Subtraction, Math War Multiplication Game Cards or test players’ memories with Memory Match Android app and iOS app.

Make this Father’s Day a creative, joyful celebration of dads, togetherness, and memory-making!