In most kids’ minds, dads are trailblazers, superheroes, and all-star fixers and menders of broken toys and broken hearts. Celebrate that high-wattage wonderfulness this weekend!
Of course, that awe flows the other way too. Along with its trials and challenges, fatherhood has long provided heart-brimming-over inspiration. Mental Floss offers some fun facts about fathers famous and not-so-famous across the ages, compiled by Mangesh Hattikudur and Jason English, in a piece titled “15 Dad Facts for Father’s Day.” For example, did you know that Stevie Wonder’s hit song “Isn’t She Lovely?” was about his newborn daughter? Or that “A.A. Milne created Winnie the Pooh for his son, Christopher Robin?”
What’s the best way to create a special Father’s Day? The answer is as different as dads are—with a few shared threads. A New York Post article this week, “What Dads Actually Want for Father’s Day,” by Tyler Schmall, SWNS, reports on a new survey of 2,000 dads, which revealed that “three in four dads (76 percent) prefer an experience over a physical gift for Father’s Day.”
While taking in a ball game with the entire family sounds like big fun to more than one-third of those dads, “one in three easy-to-please dads say they just want to be able to watch whatever they want on the TV.” (What, just one TV?)
Daniel Kline, in an article reprinted by the Motley Fool, noted that “Father’s Day spending has skyrocketed since 2009, when only $6. 6 billion was spent on the holiday honoring dads.” However, “Spending in 2019 is set to hit a record $16 billion, according to an annual survey conducted by that National Retail Federation…” In apparent support of that desire for “experience,” the article notes that the most money will be spent on “special outings.”
Whether taking dad out to the ballgame or letting him nap through the seventh-inning stretch from the comfort of home, Woman’s Day offers lots and lots of Father’s Day ideas, from “affordable gifts he really wants” to BBQ recipes to cake ideas to “fun activities you can easily plan.”
If the goal is to share some family time, the timing of Father’s Day, falling just after Flag Day (June 14) and a couple weeks before Independence Day, seems a good time to play a few rounds of State of Confusion. Available as an iOS app, Android app, Mac app, and Windows download, this great little game is fun for both kids and grown-ups. Players can start with learning key facts about the 50 states, including state capitals, state abbreviations, state flowers, state birds, state flags, and state nicknames. It includes a USA puzzle—perfect for learning the state names, their location, and which states are next to each other. Then up the ante by selecting Quiz mode. Geography, memory, and visual perception skills get a workout while increasing knowledge of the U.S. and promoting social studies success for kids. (It’s also a good way to prompt stories of road trips past or those yet to come!)
Planning a camping trip—maybe even just tenting in the backyard to “practice” or stargaze? Bedtime Alphabet Flash Cards for preschoolers and kindergartners come to life at night! Use the handy- mini flashlight included in the package to shine light through the clever cutouts. Watch uppercase letters and shapes dance (indoors or outdoors) on room or tent floors, walls, and ceilings. Shadowplay with Daddy just adds to the fun.
As another option, even the littlest family members can join in gameplay with a trio of I Try Skill Cards for toddlers and early preschoolers. Cute, bold designs and large, easy-to-grasp cards with rounded corners make learning letters, numbers, shapes, and sounds fun! These cards build early reading and writing skills and develop fine motor skills.
Back in April Country Living magazine published some great Father’s Day-focused quotes, saying that “although dad might insist he doesn’t need anything, simply jotting” one of these in a “carefully chosen card and pairing it with a thoughtful gift will really make him feel loved.”
One of the most endearing just might be this one: “I love my father as the stars. He’s a bright shining example and a happy twinkling in my heart.”—Terri Guillemets
With so many great ways to honor—and reflect—Dad’s light, listen to what he would love, then let kids’ imagination and enthusiasm guide the way.