Dad. Dads and father figures come in so many forms. Perhaps Dad is the guy who taught you to ride a bike or build a campfire. Or perhaps he’s that voice on the line, reminding you to dust yourself off and get back up again. Whatever you love about the dads, grandpas, or rad uncles in your life, we’ve compiled some great ideas for honoring Dad this Father’s Day by spending quality time together, no gift required.
Activities With Your Dad, as an Adult
Just because you’re not a kid anymore doesn’t mean the fun memories with your parents have to end. Whether you spend a whole afternoon with Dad or give him a quick phone call from a thousand miles away, here are some in-person and long-distance ways to let him know you’re thinking about him this Father’s Day weekend.
1) Interview with Dad
Think you know your dad pretty well? Who knows, you may learn something new. Turn on a voice recorder, sit back, and just listen to him talk. Ask him questions about his childhood, favorite memories, monumental experiences, and life perspectives. Not only will this be a special time to simply enjoy each other's company, but it will also be a gift to his posterity, who may someday be curious to know about the history of his life. Check out the list below for some example questions to help spark the conversation.
- Tell me about your favorite childhood memories.
- If you could go back in time, what advice would you tell your 20-year-old self?
- Tell me about the day I was born.
- What was the best gift you have ever received?
- What is your wish for your children/grandchildren?
2) Rekindle Your Favorite Hobby
Growing up, did you and your dad share a special hobby? Maybe he took you to football games or you shared a favorite spot to drink milkshakes at the neighborhood park. Whether it’s camping, golfing, or even watching reruns of an old TV show with plenty of popcorn and treats, he will love taking a walk down memory lane and spending some quality time with you.
3) Cook a Special Meal Together
You could go out to dinner at a restaurant, but that probably wouldn’t be as special as taking the time to plan, prepare, and enjoy a meal together. It could be fun to make one of his favorite dishes or recreate a recipe that you both enjoyed during your younger years. A quiet meal paired with great company and heartfelt conversation is the formula for the perfect evening. It may seem like a simple activity, but it will be one that you will both appreciate.
4) Digitize Your Childhood Pictures
While scrapbooks hold a lot of special memories, how often do you actually look at them? Gone are the “olden days” of bulky scrapbooks filled with family photos that collect dust on your bookshelf. Go through your pictures with your dad and reminisce about the past memories, like the vacations, graduations, and birthday parties that you spent together throughout the years. Scan the photographs into digital files so they are safe, more compact to store, and easier to look through.
5) Work Together on a Project
Whether Dad needs help fixing some things around the house, or you just want to try your hand at a household project (HGTV just makes building a birdhouse look so easy...), working together to create something new is a fantastic way to bond. Not only will it give you time to talk and enjoy each other’s company, but it’s also a test of patience for when the project gets difficult. This activity gives you a chance to step away from the TV and get back to creative problem solving and working with your hands, just like when you were a kid.
Activities with Your Child, as a Parent
Even if your children are younger, it’s still important to set the habit for intentional interactions that will form strong bonds between parent and child. The activities don’t need to be expensive or extravagant, but sometimes a small act, such as a one-on-one conversation or sharing an ice cream cone, can help your child feel special.
6) Get Outdoors
June is the perfect time of year to get outdoors because it's warm but not too hot. Turn off the electronics, slather on some sunscreen, and take the kids outside. Whether you go swimming, on a hike, have a picnic, or play on the playground, it will be a blast to soak in some Vitamin D and get active.
7) Attend a Sporting Event
Whether you’re diehard soccer fans or you’ve never been to a baseball game, take your kids to a sporting event. You can probably find cheap tickets for a local team playing in your area. It’s all part of the experience to chant along with the cheerleaders, eat snacks from the concessions stands, and cheer for the winning team. Fair warning, your kiddos may have such a fun time that they will want to return every week!
8) Play Games
It’s easy, it’s cheap, and it’s fun. Dust off the Chutes and Ladders, Uno, Operation, or whichever game that would be the most age appropriate for your kiddo. Kids love to win, and it's fun to see their competitive side. You may want to even run to the store together and pick out a board or card game that you have never played. Not only will you be able to work together to figure out the rules, but you will also get a new game to add to your collection! This simple night-in will be the reminder that you don’t have to always go out to have a fun time and make memories.
9) Host a Movie Night
Lights, camera, action! There’s no need to leave your living room for this “outing.” Pop some popcorn, turn on an age-appropriate movie, and snuggle close. This activity is a great idea if you’re exhausted after a long day and don’t have enough energy to run around a playground or go to a basketball game. It still promotes family-togetherness, but in a lowkey way. Some of our favorite family friendly films are Home Alone, Star Wars, Mary Poppins, and Coco.
10) Time Capsule Interview
Kids are constantly changing their minds. One day they have dreams of being an astronaut, then the next day they’ve decided that they want to become a doctor instead. How interesting would it be to compile the answers to a bunch of questions, then do it again in a few years, and compare their answers with their past interview? You may be surprised by how much they’ve changed or how much they’ve remained the same. Take your kiddo out for dessert and talk to them about their likes, dislikes, and dreams. Write everything down and complete the same exercise in a year or five years.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask:
1) What is your favorite color?
2) What is your favorite food?
3) What is your dream job?
4) What is your dream vacation spot?
5) Describe your perfect day.
6) Describe yourself in 3 words.
7) What is your favorite subject in school?
8) What are your hobbies?
9) If you had any superpower, what would it be?
10) What is your favorite movie?