Personal Father’s Day Gift: Ready by June 17th!


So your kids are still little kids. Then Father’s Day lands on, guess who? You! We all know mom’s don’t need another burden on their shoulders, but here it is, right at the beginning of summer when you’re planning for the season’s fun and trying to figure out which sunscreen won’t harm you or the planet.

Try these meaningful ways to honor the man who makes your kids laugh and feel secure and deeply loved.  The man who has surprised you numerous times over the years, like when you overhear him talking deep stuff life lessons with your little ones, or when HE suggests facetiming his parents, or when he packs for the entire upcoming weekend trip while you’re out of town… ok, that only has happened to one of my friends once… Regardless.  He is the dad! We love him, our kids love him, and he important in our family.  Honor him this Father’s Day the way many of us crave – with more love and less stuff.

Memorable Photo Gifts

You still have time – Snapfish and Shutterfly work fast!  Remember to involve the kids (ages two and older) when creating the masterpieces, and the gift-giving will be all the more joyful.  You can upload your best photo choices to the sites ahead of time and let children help from there.  Teaching our kids to be a part of the giving process is invaluable. My favorite photo gifts are useful and fast to make – cell phone cases, collages for their workspace, mugs, travel coffee cups, magnets, coasters, or a t-shirt for the KID featuring dad and them!

If you have a little more time – make a short photo book – not a typical album, but a cute storybook he can read to the kids… featuring their photos and their story!  Use the caption space for each page to write the sentence or two about what the characters (your peeps) are doing.  Or make an “I Love My Daddy Because” book, with five examples – short and sweet. Young kids LOVE seeing themselves in storybooks, and dad will get a kick out of their joy when reading it to them. He will also surely feel the love when he sees something normal he’s done with them become special while he reads such words of affirmation. 

Unique Music

Find some albums that are fun for kids but written with adults tastes in mind so he can enjoy grooving to the tunes at home or in the car along with his kid without going crazy over another round of itsy bitsy spider.

Some of our favorites:
Family Time by Ziggy Marley
Family Photograph by the Dryer Family Band
Little Mo McCoury by Ronnie McCoury, Del McCoury Band
All you need is Love by Jason Lytle & Kids
Putumayo Kids Albums (World Playground, African Playground, Latin Playground, World Sing-a-long)
More options here.

Personal Gift Sans Stuff:

Write your own Daddy Song 

Pick one or two of daddy’s favorite songs that he always listens to or sings … and change the words. Use either a recent fatherly anecdote that is special to you all or the famous story about daddy from when the kid got hurt or was born, etc.  Or, unload all of your words of affirmation on daddy – what you all love about him, what he does well, what you all appreciate about him.  OR, for some good laughs, fill the lyrics with phrases and words daddy always says or does!  Stage fright? Write it out and present to him and have HIM sing it to you all! 

Breakfast in Bed

Old classic and always a hit, especially with those little ones helping and explaining all they made. Kids can even approach dad with a simple menu they can write out ahead of time. Fun for even a three-year-old with your help. Kids just LOVE homemade menus and watching daddy choose from their menu like a restaurant fills them with pride. While we are speaking of approaching daddy in bed, let daddy sleep in if he wants!  

Outdoor quality time

Surprise daddy with a fun and close-by adventure which will bring smiles to the kids, therefore, bringing smiles to daddy.   Here are some easy Father’s Day trips within 30 minutes of DC which won’t take away your smile to make happen – just pack a simple picnic lunch, hats, water bottles and head out and be back by nap time.  Plus, they are mostly all free!

Homemade Gifts & Fun Experiences

Bring on the homemade cards and words of affirmation from you and the kids. This artwork creates lasting memories and it is just good to remind the man in your life how much you appreciate all they do for your family. There are a ton of DIY things you can do for Father’s Day (hello Pinterest). Or get him an experience like a wine tour, cooking class, theatre show, comedy show, etc. 

pony rock creek 2

Physical Touch (don’t forget sex)

Make sure you’ve planned some “alone time” for Father’s Day weekend.  During naps, early morning, or as soon as the kids are down, make it happen.  Physical intimacy is a way that a lot of men feel loved.  So make sure he feels super loved this Father’s Day by the person who helped make him a Father! 


  1. Thank you so much–what an incredible post! I loved these ideas! We took that song idea and it was so fun to personalize the lyrics with my 5 and 8 year old. We chose JT’s “can’t stop the feeling” because its a family favorite and changed the lyrics with inside jokes and special things. It was fun to make, fun to sing and it will be fun to look back on over the years.

    Another thing that is free, fun and meaningful is making personal crossword puzzles — the clues are all sorts of special things–like things we like doing together, eating together, jokes, etc. For fathers day we made that song and crossword puzzle cards. Then we spent time solving them and talking the answers. It was nice. Good for back pocket!!

    Thank you Joy for this awesome post–such fantastic ideas that I will keep referring back to. My husband will be particularly grateful for that last tip 😉

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