It seems that children have little difficulty coming up with great gifts for mom from kids, but there seems to be more trouble when it comes to gifts to dad from kids. Whether it is gender roles, society’s influence, parenting styles, or that many Dads are a little less well known to their kids for whatever reason, getting that perfect gift for Father’s Day, Dad’s Birthday, or even just a Christmas present for dad seems to be tough.
As an added difficulty, while many wives and moms have no trouble coming up with a gift for their husband or lover, it can be trickier to come up with an appropriate gift to come from the children. Even disregarding romantic gifts, some gifts just don’t really seem like good gifts from kids. For example, a band saw is in no way sexy (Well, maybe to some men.) but it is a dangerous and heavy piece of machinery. Does it really fit to have a gift from a child to dad be something that the children will be forbidden to touch from the moment it is opened?
Homemade Gifts for Dad
There is a mistaken impression out there that dads don’t like homemade gifts as much as moms do. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, a cold, distant father who thinks that being a good father is nothing more than bringing home a paycheck is unlikely to like a homemade gift, but the same thing could be said of that type of parent regardless of whether they are a Mom, Dad, or Grandma or Grandpa.
For dads that love their kids, homemade gifts hold the same wonder and joy as they do for their mothers. The catch is that many men remember making gifts for mom or dad in a forced setting such as school, day camp, or some arts and crafts class. They certainly don’t want handmade gifts from kids in those environments.
The solution is to get the children involved in not only making Dad’s gift, but in the creative process of choosing what to make, and how to make it. For children old enough, a conversation about what they would like to make dad for Father’s Day, or for their dad birthday, is a good starting place. Be sure to talk about what is feasible, as well as what dad might appreciate. While things that are useful are always nice, cool Dad tools aren’t the only possibilities for a nice homemade Father’s Day gift.
Presents from the heart are just as welcome, even if they have no utility in dad’s work or hobbies. For one Father’s Day, my wife helped my daughter create a collage of photographs arranged into a single framed picture. It was titled “A Year of Father’s Days” and featured pictures of fun and momentous events from the previous year. I had to employ the trick used by fathers around the world and pull my lips in tight and open my eyes wide to in order to hold back the impending tears and attempt to dry out the ones that had already made it. It failed, but its the effort that counts.
Gift Ideas For Homemade Presents for Dad from Kids
- Collage of Family Photographs (see above)
- Picture of Kids in a homemade frame
- Kids Decorate a Plain Wooden Frame
- Use Fabric Paints to Make a Dad T-Shirt (make sure its a t-shirt so that there are no hurt feelings that it can’t be worn someplace where it isn’t appropriate like formal events, the office, and so on.)
- Handmade Cards for Dad are always nice
- Handmade Signs
- Painted Pieces of Wood or Pine cones collected on walks with Dad
- Record Songs or Messages from the Kids and get them made into MP3 files so that Dad can listen to them whenever he wants (on his computer, his iPod, his car…)
- Record Video Messages to Dad
- Macaroni Art – there is one craft project no one (who is still young enough) has ever hated, and that is macaroni art. Just don’t use a paper plate, that’s so boring, and flimsy, and tacky, and…
- Poems to Dad – poems from kids are always a good way to touch a father’s soft spot. Don’t worry about quality. Nothing brings a tearful smile to a dad’s face faster than a child’s poem that rhymes dad with rad.
- Handmade Wrapping Paper – butcher paper + crayons