Taking time to remember our dad, spend time with our pop or create something a bit special for the father-figure in our lives can help show we love and appreciate them. Maybe you’re a mum looking for ideas for your kids to do something to celebrate this day, a teacher planning creative lessons for your students or a grandparent deliberating over activities to do with your grandies. Every day can be fathers' day but can we do something a bit different, a bit special for this day, this year?

Whether you are homeschooling, in a classroom or just looking for activities, what you choose to do will also depend on the father at the centre of this attention. What’s he in to? Does he like cooking, gardening, building things, reading, painting, fishing, playing board games or solving puzzles, watching or playing sport…? Would he prefer that you do something for him or with him? Is a handmade gift a better option?

There are oodles of options but I thought I’d look at just 5 that involve some art making. When drawing pictures or decorating gifts, try searching Artventure for help on how to draw specific things - maybe people of different ages, the family dog, beach activities...

For dad

1. Glass jars

Purpose - storage
# The office worker: bits and pieces like paper clips or bulldog clips, rubber bands, pins or thumb tacks.
# The fisherman: hooks, swivels, sinkers, rigs.
# The gardener: various sized nails and screws, irrigation pipe clips and joiners.
# The cook: spice packets, a range of nuts and seeds, toothpicks or small skewers, stock cubes.

Preparation

Clear jars are best. One might do or several can be used (with lids). Initially, after washing out the jar, labels may need to be removed. Soak in water first then if the label still is not coming off easily, eucalyptus oil is a great way to remove sticky substances.

Decoration

Lids - place down on a piece of paper, trace around then cut a slightly smaller circle and glue on. Colourful paper could be used or, better still, colour the shape yourself with patterns or pictures.

Sides - want to be able to see inside so adding a decoration to one side works best. This could be anything or it could relate to what will be in the jar or it could follow a theme.

Theme ideas - drawings of
# One family member on each jar
# Favourite animals on each jar
# Dad’s favourite things per jar - car, animal, footy colours, food, drink…
# Colours of the rainbow
# Each letter for dad’s name

2. Matchbox for memories or kisses

The box
# Use an empty matchbox, or create a net to make a box or build a box with pop sticks - paint or decorate the outside.

Contents
# Collect memories of experiences with dad like shells from a beach holiday, stones from a hike.
# Draw little pictures of times together, fold and save in the box.
# Add ‘kisses’ to the box by applying lipstick, cutting up small pieces of paper that fit in the box, kissing each paper to leave a kiss mark (when dad is away or at work, he can open the box to get a kiss from you)

3. Picture placemats

On an A4 sheet of paper, or perhaps cardboard, children paint a picture of themselves engaged in an activity with their dad. They can add a message as well. This picture is then laminated and can be used like a placemat. A smaller version can have magnetic strips adhered to the back so the picture can stay on the fridge. For a more permanent keepsake, there are more costly options where the children’s artwork can be added to plastic plates, mugs, bottles, bags, calendars, books or albums...

With dad

4. Woodwork

If you can get hold of some scrap wood like off-cuts, various sized nails and screws, a hammer, some screwdrivers, and even a measuring tape, kids love having a go with banging things in. How this activity looks depends on your resources and the age and disposition of the child or children.

This could just be an exercise in showing them how the tools work and how to use them safely. The kids could, however, actually build something creative with lots of blocks hammered together or nailing on things like coloured paper, bottle tops, scrap material. These may look abstract or real and can then be painted. Here are a couple more suggestions online: a catapult and simple projects.

5. Backyard 'bird' hide

Creating a cubby or tent with simple available things like chairs and sheets in a position in the yard that allows for observation at ground level provides a perspective on the world that we usually just walk over. A chat about the purpose of a bird hide can evolve into the idea that your own construction gets you up close and personal with the bugs and beetles and plants. Just as a birdwatcher might note what they see, encourage your child to sketch or together draw what you can see. Pretend to be a beetle or bee - draw what your world might look like.

Yay for dads!

Quality time together can be the most precious thing. A gift may be a reminder of some of these times together or a reflection of the time and care taken to prepare something personal. An activity might be a common task like making breakfast but with the child doing the cooking and preparing the coffee for dad. It might be a special treat attending a sporting match together or hiking to a waterfall: one-on-one time.

We wish all the dads and father-figures all the best for Fathers' Day and every day with a hope that there are plenty of opportunities for quality time and fun with your kids. May their handmade gifts be a delight!

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