Father's Day became an official U.S. holiday in 1913 and is celebrated on the third Sunday in June, not only in the U.S.A. but in dozens of countries all over the world. Meanwhile there are even more countries that celebrate a Father's Day but use a different date to celebrate their dads. The underlying message however is pretty much the same: being a dad is an important job, and dads can do a great deal to help their children and their community to reach their positive potential...so lets pay them some respect!
Father's Day is a day to reflect on all the good things your father does and all the ways his love and hard work make a difference in your world. If you're not sure what your dad does for you then this is the time to find out! (Try our "Interview Dad" activity, below.) Spend some time with your dad today. Take a walk together, play together, build something together. Just be sure you also give your dad what he needs most: some time to rest and your love and your respect.
Hint: it's traditional to give Dad a gift today, but today is also a great day to take over some of Dad's chores in the house or yard, at least for a day. Not only will Dad get a break, but we bet you'll have new respect for all that he does to help your family.
Learn About Your Family Tree
The way we look and think and act has been shaped by our family.
Talk to your dad about your ancestors. Who is in your family tree
and where did they come from? What interesting stories or facts
can your dad tell you about them? If you would like, create a
family tree picture chart together showing the names of your
Interview Your Dad
Use the Timeline tool below to create a timeline that you use to plot
out important events in the life of your dad (or just use a large piece
of paper). But first you'll need to collect some
information. Get a notepad and pencil and be ready to write down
your dad's answers. You may need his help with spelling unfamiliar
names of towns, schools, or people. Now ask him about some of the
Write about how you are like your father. Do you look at all like him? Do you have any traits in common? What parts of your personality are like his?
Write about the best advice your father ever gave you. What was it and why was it important to you? How has it affected your life?
Make it Yourself Picture Frame Crafts
Dad's just love to put a picture of their kids (or by their kids) in their office for everyone to see -- or in a special place at home where they can see it each day at they come home. Click the link below for some cool ways to make a fun frame for drawings or pictures. If you already have a picture you want to use, make sure to measure it and make your frame the right size to fit.
"DAD" Photo frame from activity village
This card looks sharp when it's finished, and Dad
will be so impressed that you made it yourself.
Design & Decorate a T-Shirt for Dad
Make your dad a cool T-Shirt that will tell him, and everyone else, how much you love him. You'll need a plain T-Shirt (no pictures or words on it), some fabric paint, a piece of cardboard, and lots of imagination. First, wash the T-Shirt in hot water and dry it in the dryer. This keeps it from shrinking up a lot after Dad wears it and washes it (shrinking would ruin your design). Then take the dry shirt and slide a large piece of cardboard inside -- this will keep the paint from leaking through and stick the front and back of the shirt together. Now, put on a smock! Fabric paint will not wash out of your clothes.
Get your paints and plan your design. You might even want to draw it onto the shirt in pencil first. You can squeeze the fabric puff paints right onto the shirt, or you can squeeze them into a small disposable container and paint it on with a brush. (We like to put our paint in a small margarine tub that has been well-washed -- then you can always put the lid on to save the paint for later.) Another fun idea is to buy special iron-on transfer sheets for your printer that let you print out a photo of yourself or even printed words ("World's Best Dad") and iron it onto the T-shirt. But don't forget to follow the instructions carefully! Anything you print onto a transfer will end up "flipped". So words will be backwards, unless you have your computer flip the image first. This way, they look backwards until you iron them on -- then they look perfect!
For this craft you'll need a soup can (or similar sized can), well washed, and some pictures that you've cut out of an old magazine. Click on the link above for directions.
Click on this link to start making your own custom designed award for Dad. You can select the kind of border to use, what kind of picture to put on it, the words, the date, and so on. When it prints out, you can even color in the pictures on the award. Next, try mounting it on a nice piece of construction paper with glue to make it extra sturdy and extra nice. You can even decorate it with glitter or dried pasta shapes or whatever else you can think of. If you use glue, be sure to allow enough time for it to completely dry before you try wrapping it up for Dad.
Make Dad A Coupon Book
You know that the something Dad really appreciates is your love and your helpful cooperation. Make him a coupon book filled with things you can do for him. First, make a list of things you could do that would make Dad's life a little nicer. Can't think of anything? Try these: help clean up the the living room, hug Dad, wash the car, tell Dad 5 funny jokes, do my homework without being asked, rake the yard, take the dog for a walk, no fighting with my sister/brother today, bring Dad his breakfast in bed, clean my room, go to Dad's favorite restaurant without complaining. These are just suggestions of course! You write up your own list. Then neatly copy each thing onto a page of your coupon book.
To make the coupon book, take a piece of blank paper and fold it in half. Then fold it from left to right. You can either unfold it now, or fold it one more time before unfolding it -- if you want smaller coupons. After you unfold the paper, smooth it out and cut along the fold lines until you have rectangle shapes papers of the same size. Make as many pages as you want (you might want a lot of "free hug" pages. Now staple them together on one small end. Write your title on the front ("Father's Day Coupons", "My Helpful Book", etc.) and decorate. Then carefully write one item from your "to do" list on each page. Wrap it up and give it to Dad. Don't forget, what makes it really special is when you do the things on the coupon when Dad asks you to, without complaining!
Check out this online coupon book maker! Follow the directions carefully and you can print out some nice coupons with printed text and clip art illustrations. You will choose the words and pictures and then print. You can even restart it a few times, to make extra coupons. When you're all done carefully cut out your coupons and staple them together.
Shrinky Dink Key Chain Tag
Get yourself a pack of Shrinky Dink Sheets and make a nice picture that the oven can shrink down to a nice key chain tag. You could write a message ("#1 Dad", "We luv Dad!", "Shauna's Dad") and then make a cool design around it. Remember to use colored pencils or permanent ink markers (crayons will melt!). Cut the tag out and use a hole punch to make a hole. Follow package directions for baking.
Hand Print & Poem
Here's a craft for dad (or a big brother or sister) to help a little one do for mom. It's a favorite activity to do with kindergartners and preschoolers that has been in circulation for many years, that is sure to bring a happy tear to Mom's eye. You will need paper and washable tempra paint (and a plan for getting the paint of the child before it ends up everywhere). Put the paint in a flat pan, like a pie tin, or simply brush it onto the child's hand. Then have the child make a handprint on a sheet of paper. Allow the print to dry thoroughly. You will also need copy the text of the following poem and print it out on another sheet of white paper:
There are different ways to display the poem and handprint together.
You could make it into a large card by folding a rectangular sheet of construction paper and gluing the handprint page to the front cover and putting the poem on the inside.
You could also make a kind of sign or plaque by using a large piece of construction paper to mount the handprint sheet, with the printed poem pasted on underneath. Use a hole punch to make a couple hole at the tip of the sign and then attach a nice ribbon or piece of chubby, colorful yarn through the holes to make a loop for hanging.
And of course if you use smaller print for the poem, you can simply squeeze both on the same sheet of white paper (only works if the hand is small). Another fun touch is to add a photo of the child whose print is on the project. There are many other ways you could adapt this craft. Be creative!
Make a Cookie "Jar" & Fill It With Home Baked Cookies
For this activity you'll need a good cookie recipe. And, you'll need something to make the decorative container to put them in. Look around your house for something you can use: a round oatmeal box, a coffee can, or even a shoe box. Now you can spray paint the outside of your container or cover it with wrapping paper (wrap the lid separately!) or construction paper.
After the cookies are cooled and baked, and all the glue or paint on your container is dry, line the container with wax paper and place your cookies inside. To keep them extra fresh, you might put them in a ziploc bag and lay this inside the new cookie container. Be sure to include a special note for Dad.
A Box of Love
Materials: box, paint, glue, ribbon, nice paper, hole punch, scissors and lots of love!
What better gift could their be! This is another classic gift craft that could be used for a birthday, Mother's Day, or even Father's Day. You'll need a small box. You could get one from the craft store or look around the house for one. Be sure to check with a grown-up before you "borrow" one from around the house. Then you'll need to decorate your box. You can paint your box, cover it with stickers, or cover it in pretty wrapping paper held on with glue or tape. Don't forget to decorate the lid!
Now you will need to copy the following poem onto some pretty paper to make the "gift tag".
Don't forget to cut the paper down to a gift tag size that looks nice with your box. When you cut, try using special scissors that make a zigzagging edge as you cut. Then use a hole punch to make a hole, and slip the ribbon through the hole.
Then when everything is dry (glue, paint, etc.), put the lid on the box and tie it on with the pretty ribbon. You can tie the ribbon into a bow on top (just like tying shoes) or try curling it by pulling the ribbon hard and fast over your thumbnail (or some other hard edge). Now you're all done!
Note: If you want you could put something in the box like a pinch of glitter, or a dried flower from the garden -- just to make it extra special. But remember, the idea is that the box won't be opened up again.
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