With Father’s Day around the corner, this could be a wonderful opportunity for your family to bond. It’s not just about gifts and cards, this special day serves as an opportunity to appreciate dad and to let him know how special he is to his family. Having a toddler in the family can make the entire event even more exciting as you sit down and make gifts for dad together and prepare for the day.
A short history
Before you get started on making gifts and plans for Father’s Day, it could be interesting to share with your toddler a basic history of how the day came about.
It is believed that the act of honouring fathers on a special day is over 4000 years old and can be traced to Babylon. A young boy called Elmesu carved a Father’s Day message on a card made out of clay in which he wished his father a long and happy life.
However, the modern concept of Father’s Day celebration came about after a young lady named Sonora Louise Smart Dodd, brought to light the fact that there was a day to honour mothers but not fathers.
It is said that, in 1909, Sonora overheard a Mother’s Day sermon and started to realize the hardships that her own father must have undergone while raising their family. When Sonora was 16, her mother had died during childbirth, and left her father to raise six children and a newborn on his own.
Sonora embarked upon a campaign to have Fathers Day recognized and, on 19 June 1909, the first Father’s Day was celebrated. The concept soon spread and is now celebrated in most countries.
Fun gift ideas
With the history lesson out of the way, it’s time to talk about gifts. The truth is that with Father’s Day, any gift goes. However, it is the sentimental, homemade gifts made by mom and child that are generally the biggest hits because they truly come from the heart. These gifts need not be massive Picasso sculptures to impress. They can be small gifts that remind dad how much his family loves him. The wonderful thing about these homemade gifts is that, besides being easy on the pocket, they will be wonderful memorabilia for dad for years to come.
Homemade card: Toddlers are naturally creative and inquisitive. They are also wonderfully innocent and always ready to please and to make mom and dad happy. A homemade card is a really wonderful gift idea for dad and making it will also prove to be an extremely exciting and fun activity for both mom and toddler. There is no rule here. Get creative and have fun. Experiment with different papers and materials. You can glue a family picture onto the cover or you can get your little one to draw a family picture. Inside the card you can both write a personalized message to dad and list reasons why you love him.
Personalized photo album: With the digital revolution the concept of photo albums has diminished somewhat. However, with a bit of time and effort, you could bring the wonder of a personalized family photo album to dad this Father’s Day. To start, let your toddler go through some family snapshots on your hardrive (unless you have been using a film camera, in which case you two can go through the hard copy photos together) and pick several photos that you both like best. You can then go to any photo store to get these pictures printed.
Next go to a stationery or arts and crafts store and let your toddler select out his favourite colour cardboard. Buy a couple of sheets and also perhaps a couple of other items you may not have at home such as such as glitter pens, glue and even non-toxic paints and brushes. At home, divide the cardboard up into about half an A4 size (this will vary depending on the size of the photos) and make a little booklet. Stick a photo on each page and get your toddler to decorate each page however he deems fit. For something a little extra, you can also add little messages to dad on each page. When done, allow your toddler to design and create a cover for the album with bright colours, glitter, paint etc.
Poem or story: A heartfelt story or poem written by your toddler telling dad why he is so special is sure to have a big impact. It does not have to be an intricate novel or award-winning poem. Just sit down with your toddler and, depending on his age, either ask him to write a few lines on why he thinks dad is so special, or ask him to tell you why dad is special while you jot down notes. On Father’s Day, let your child recite his story or poem to dad. You can take this a step further and write the poem or story down on decorative paper and again let your toddler decorate the page with pictures, drawings etc.
Snack box: This is an easy and fun gift to make. You can make a personalized and convenient snack box filled with all of dad’s favourite snacks that he can then take to work, games or even fishing. The great thing is that, once the snacks are gone, the box still serves as a wonderful piece of memorabilia that dad will keep.
You can use any wooden or even cardboard box that has a lid. Sit down with your toddler and decorate the box with paper, pictures, paints etc. You can even glue some precious items onto the box such as shells or coins, depending on the theme of the box.
Then go to the shop with your toddler and select some of dad’s favourite treats. It could be nuts, chocolates, raisins and cheese…whatever gets his mouth watering, and place these inside the box. Close the box and wrap it up with a ribbon and give it to dad on Father’s Day.
Fun things to do on Father’s Day
Father’s Day is not just about breakfast in bed. Although this is always a great way to start the day off, ultimately the day should be about family bonding. Generally, fathers don’t always spend as much time with their little ones as moms do. However, Father’s Day is the perfect time to allow for dad and toddler to bond. There are various activities that allow for this, and obviously this will centre around whatever dad likes to do on his off time. Here are just a few ideas.
Have a picnic: Chances are that dad does not get to see as much of the outdoors as he would like. Having a family picnic is the perfect opportunity to let him do so while spending quality time with his family. You can have the picnic at the local park, beach or even in your back yard. To keep things fun, plan a few games for the whole family. This could be a game of cricket, soccer, Frisbee or hide-and-seek.
Go fishing: This is a great way for dad to bond with the little one and also allows him some down-time. It also serves as the perfect opportunity to father and child, and even mom, to bond and to share their interest, hobbies and dreams.
Miniature golfing: Most dads love a round of golf. Why not make this an activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family and go for a round of miniature golf. That way the little one can participate as well.
Take a trip down memory lane: Sit down as a family and get dad to share all his favourite memories and experiences growing up with you as a family. Make this a fun event by providing snacks, ordering pizzas, putting blankets down on the floor in your lounge and listening to dad’s stories.