Father’s Day comes at the perfect time of year for kids to interact with their dads or father figures. The weather is warmer and that makes a great opportunity for quite a few fun outdoor activities. Not sure where to start? Here are a few things that Dad and the kids (or the whole family) may enjoy doing together.
Camping – This is one great activity for children to enjoy with their fathers or other significant men in their lives. Does it mean you have to pack up a car, drive a long distance and find a secluded campground spot to enjoy camping? Absolutely not! If a long drive and spending a whole week camping isn’t possible, why not pitch a tent in the back yard? The important thing isn’t where you camp or for how long; the important thing is that children and the important men in their lives share the time together.
Fishing – What man doesn’t enjoy throwing a line in the water and seeing what he can catch? If the men in your children’s lives, or even some women, want to spend a quality day with the children, make plans to go fishing. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive fishing tackle. If money is an issue, you may be able to fish with a cane pole without a license and children do not require a fishing license. Of course, you will want to confirm your own county or state fishing license.
Swimming – Perhaps fishing isn’t possible because the children get queasy touching fish or worms. You can still enjoy a fun near the water by heading to the local pool or lake where swimming is allowed. Be prepared with sunscreen to keep everyone from becoming sun burned.
Hiking – Hiking through the woods is a wonderful activity for dads and children to plan for during Father’s Day weekend or any time during the summer. Find a local forest preserve with hiking trails. Pull together a backpack with snacks, water, sunscreen, a mini first aid kit and jackets. Let someone know what the plans are and when you intend to return home. It would also be a good idea to charge your cell phone before you leave and to check in periodically.
Cooking Out – Is Dad the king of the grill? Celebrate by planning a cook out. If he would rather relax than show off his expertise, let him take the day off. An alternative would be to let him sit in a chair while he passes on his knowledge to the kids by talking them through grilling the meal. Even if Dad does decide to man the grill, make sure everything else is already prepared so you can enjoy a great meal once the food is ready.
Playing Tennis – Many communities have a tennis court or two where local people can play. If you don’t know of one, it may be a part of the recreation department so check with them if you need help finding one. You may not consider tennis to be fun for the whole family but it can be. Obviously, older kids can play a game and enjoy the fun that way.
If you have very young children, you may want to consider letting them participate by picking up or chasing stray tennis balls. This should only be done at a safe time. You can make a game out of it for them by doing some impromptu “timing” or counting how long it takes them to retrieve the balls.
Backyard Bowling – This can be another fun game for Dad and the kids. If you don’t want to go to a bowling alley for the real deal, this is a great option. Just mark off an “alley” and use empty 2 liter drink bottles for the bowling pins. There are a variety of balls you could use for the bowling ball such as a kickball, soccer ball or basket ball. To make play a little more difficult for older kids, you may want to consider adding a bit of water to the bottles to give them more weight.
Summer time, or anytime really, is the perfect time for children to spend quality time with their dad, grandfather, uncle, or a special father figure. Choose one or more of these outdoor activities or come up with your own special activities that your family can enjoy together.