1. Design and make the ultimate Father’s Day card.
Divvy up a 5-foot long sheet of craft or butcher paper into sections (one for each child). Hand out crayons, colored pencils, and washable markers, and invite your kids to draw colorful self-portraits for Dad. Help them sign or scribble their names on their masterpieces. Caption them “My Dad is awesome because…” and ask your kids to fill in the blanks. (You’ll have to write everything down for younger kids). Date it, roll it up, and present it to Dad at breakfast. Make this an annual tradition.
2. Play ball with the family.
Grab your bat, trusty mitt, and kid-safe softballs or whiffle balls. Head for the local ball field (if your town has one). If not, a backyard lawn or a driveway will do. The coach, aka Dad, can demo how to throw and catch a ball and how to find the sweet spot on the bat. Later on, serve up pizza, hot dogs, and other well-deserved snacks for the team. Everyone wins!
3. Go old school.
Enter another era as Dad, your tour guide, takes the gang for a spin to some of his favorite places: the town where he was born, his high-school hangouts, his college frat, or, if they’re too faraway, memorable spots closer to home. Let Dad narrate cool stuff from the past as he’s driving. Pump up the volume of his favorite tunes—backseat air guitar optional. At night, rustle up his (and your kids’) most-loved childhood movies. Enjoy.
4. Swing your way to greatness.
Head to the nearest mini-golf course and grab a lesson from your own in-house pro: Daddy. Pick up tips worth remembering. Get him to share pointers on how to hold the club, aim, and tap the ball into the cup to emerge victorious. If golf is Dad’s thing, the kids can pledge to try a round or two again later this summer. Keep score or don’t keep score? That is the only question.
5. Give up the kitchen.
Does Dad love to cook? Plan a lunch and dinner of his favorite foods, and, as a group, shop for ingredients at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Give Dad a chef’s hat to wear for the day (pick one up for him). The rest of the crew assists by doing the food prep and clean up. Video Dad in action. He’ll be the star of your family’s very own cooking show and the after-dinner entertainment.
6. Plant Father’s Day veggies.
Surprise the man-of-the-house with his very own vegetable garden for Father’s Day. As a group, decide which seeds to buy, outline a patch of land, and till the soil prior to planting. Big kids can handle shovels; little ones use spades. Arrange tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs—or whatever Dad likes best. Label the patch of land “Dad’s Father’s Day Garden.”
7. Scream for ice cream.
Father’s Day always falls on a Sunday, so why not commemorate the occasion with a sundae? The kids can invent a version just for Pop, based on his favorite treats and toppings. They can peel bananas for banana splits or help you make brownies to crumble and toss on top. Call it “The Big Guy’s Big Splurge.” It’s a sweet way to end the holiday. (Remind him, gently, to hit the treadmill tomorrow.)