Fathers, like everyone else, long for custom-made expressions of love—the kind that is not transferable, the kind that money cannot buy. When they talk about such gifts of love, no one else can say, “I received something identical.”
Help the children work on one or more of the following suggestions to help make the day special. Schedule a special hour during the day and celebrate Father with gifts created with love. The ideas below may even generate others!
How to Celebrate Father’s Day Without Money
- Show and Tell
- Create Acrostics
- Sing His Song
- Make Him Laugh
- Play a Game
- Pass It On
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1. Show and Tell
Tell stories featuring father in action, like driving the child to a friend’s house, watching a football game with the child, or picnicking with the family outdoors. Recall the event as being very special. Show one or more articles associated with the event. It might be the shirt or cap he wore, the cup he drank from, something he asked the child to hold, or even something he said that the child wrote down. This will help add details to the story, and father will be impressed.
2. Create Acrostics
Create poems using the letters of father’s name as the first letter of each line, or make a list of positive character qualities which begin with each letter of his name. Employ the best penmanship on a colored notepad, or in a tuxedo card like the one below; or type it on the computer and add an impressive page border. It could be quite meaningful for him to see in writing what his child thinks about him.
3. Sing His Song
Perhaps there’s a song he always sings halfway through and hums the rest because he doesn’t know the words. Find the lyrics online, print them, and have the family sing along with him.
Or there may be a song that he sings very well. Tell him it would make the family honored to sing it with him. This kind of family sing-along could become a tradition.
4. Make Him Laugh
If you have the equipment or can get help from someone who does, make a home video of family members mimicking him in action. The aim is to have him recognize himself in the performance and laugh. So choose some fun things like dancing and missing the rhythm, singing off key in the shower, juggling calls between his cell and home phones, or getting overly excited about a dish he cooked. Give the video a title like “World’s Best Father,” or some other grand theme. Of course, instead of a video the family could perform live acts. Either way, be funny but respectful.
The video will also be great for a father who is away in the military or on business.
5. Play a Game
Have fun with a guessing game (modeled after the old Newly Wed Game) in which someone asks the father about his favorite things: his favorite color, recipe, movie, sports team, song, etc. The easy way would be to have multiple sheets of the same questionnaire so that the father and children can write their answers on separate sheets. Then have the father speak out his answer, followed by each child speaking out his or her answer. See which child knows most of the father’s favorite things.
If there is only one child, play the game in reverse with other questions by having the child answer first and the father trying to match his or her answer. This could turn into discovery time for the family.
6. Pass It On
Unfortunately, there are homes in which a memorial is observed on Father’s Day because the father is deceased. The father is unaware of how the family is getting along without him, but if he knew, he would want the family to have positive experiences. Cheer up each other by celebrating precious memories. Take turns recalling the lessons he taught in his lifetime. Tell or write the stories to keep the memories alive for this and the next generation.
Focus on the love that he gave, the different ways in which he expressed that love, and the wonderful memories which that love created.A father’s love outlives him and deserves to be celebrated at least once a year on Father’s Day.
Father’s Day brings an opportunity for the family to affirm a father’s uniqueness and his positive impact on the children.
For various reasons, too many children (25 million mentioned by Fathers Speak) live apart from their biological fathers. It would benefit both father and child if mothers and guardians who have custody of the children allow them to spend some time together on this day. Hopefully, older children who live on their own will make the effort to reach out to their fathers, whether or not they feel like it.
Even while we are celebrating the father, the children are experiencing the value of affirmation, respect, and gratitude in family relationships. They are learning that despite the differences and dislikes that occur in everyday interactions, we make time to forgive, understand, and celebrate each other.