3 Fun Father’s Day Activities To Do With The Kids!

3 Fun Fathers Day Activities for kids and dads

Father’s Day will be here before you know it and you are struggling to think of something to do with your little one(s) to celebrate Father’s Day.  Does that sound familiar?  If so, I hope that these 3 Fun Father’s Day Activities will inspire you.

It can be really hard to come up with something to do for Father’s Day, especially when the kids are young.   It ends up being “mom” who buys a gift for “dad”.   Instead of buying something just for the sake of buying something because that’s what the media bombards you with (unless you know there is something that he really wants), why not plan a fun activity that dad and the kids will both enjoy.

3 Gifts For Father’s Day That Come From The Heart!

To clarify, these aren’t physical gifts.  These are activities for young children to do with their dad’s.

These activities should not cost you an arm and a leg.  And, they happen to be full of learning opportunities for your child as well!

Have a Picnic

Either have a picnic in your backyard, on your balcony or drive/walk to a nearby park.  If it happens to be raining, move the picnic indoors but make sure you are sitting on the floor or else it will just feel like any other meal.  Most kids love the idea of having a picnic and getting to eat while sitting on the floor!

Use the “setting up” of the picnic to encourage new vocabulary and language development.   Make sure your child helps you think of what is needed for the picnic. 

Here are a few ideas:

♥ plates, napkins, cups, utensils

♥ a blanket or tablecloth

♥ food (sandwiches are probably the most simple to prepare and your child should be able to help somewhat depending on his age).

♥ drinks (water bottles work well).  I have created water bottle labels that you can print and glue/tape onto your own bottles just for Father’s Day.

If your child is able to print, let her print her own name beside “Love”.  Download the labels here: Fathers Day Water Bottle Labels

Language Development Opportunities:

♥ Label all of the items you will be packing

♥ Ask questions such as “what do we need for our picnic?”, “what do you think Dad wants to eat?”, “what should we sit on when we are at the ____?”, “where should we go for our picnic?”, etc.

Tailor the questions to your child’s language level.  If these are too broad, make them more specific, for example: “what will we put our food on?”, “what should we bring to drink?”, “should we bring a blanket or table cloth?”, etc

♥ Narrate the steps involved in preparing the meal (e.g. sandwiches) -> First we need the bread, next we need to spread butter on the bread, then we need to add the meat, etc.

If your child is able to follow instructions, ask her to tell you what steps are involved in making a sandwich.

♥ You Might Also Like: Why Mom Was Right About Family Mealtimes! ♥

Go On A Fishing Trip

Kids, and (most) dad’s love fishing!  Get creative with this one.  If there is a pond, river, stream, or lake nearby, get your fishing gear together and head there.  Make sure to prepare your child that you may not actually catch anything.

If you are looking for an affordable kids fishing rod take a look at the ones below.  We have these for our kids.  The quality isn’t the greatest, but it is only about $10-$12 (US), so you can’t expect too much.

Shakespeare Disney Frozen Fishing Rod for kids
Shakespeare Spiderman Lighted Fishing Rod for kids
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If you don’t have fishing rods, and don’t want to buy any, why not make your own?   All you need are some sticks (or purchase doweling – cylindrical pieces of wood – from your local hardware store).  You will also need to get some fishing line, hooks and bait (my family has discovered that lunch meat works well as bait if you don’t have anything else).  Tie the fishing line around the stick and then add the hook.  My kids and their dad have actually caught a few fish this way!

No Water, No Problem

Now, if there isn’t any water around (with fish), it’s time to get really creative!  Bring the pond to your home.  Fill the bathtub with water and throw in some toy fish.  You may already have a toy fishing set in your child’s bath toy collection.  If not, here is an example of what I am talking about.
Munchkin Magnetic Fishing Bath Toy

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If you don’t want to use water, you can still go fishing (can you tell that I am making it really hard for you to come up with excuses not to go fishing).  All you need to do is draw fish of different shapes and sizes onto colored paper and cut them out.  If you aren’t creative, a quick google search will bring up many pictures of fish you can print off and cut out.

You will need to either find sticks or some doweling and make your own fishing rod.  The easiest way to do this is to tie/glue a magnet to a string that is then tied onto the stick.  Then attach paper clips to the paper fish.  Cast your “rod” and catch a fish as the magnet sticks to the paper clip!

There is also the option of felt fishing sets.

Perhaps you could also incorporate a picnic into your fishing trip!

Language Development Opportunities:

♥ Label the items and vocabulary used for a fishing trip, such as: fishing rod, hook, bait, fishing line, cast, reel in, splash, worms, etc.

♥ Talk about fish – where do they live, what do they like to eat, what size fish might you catch…

♥ Make up stories – come up with creative stories about some crazy fish that might live in the water.

Go On A Camping Trip

I know, not everyone is into camping.  But, I have some ideas for even the non-campers!

If you and your family are campers, then you know what to do!  Get your gear together and head out for the night or weekend to a favorite campsite.

If the weather isn’t looking great or your family isn’t the camping type, set up a tent in your basement/living room/backyard.  If you are indoors, you won’t get to experience a campfire, but you could always pretend.  If you don’t have a tent, check out the this tent section for lots of great deals!

Gather some sticks and cut out some flames with orange, red and yellow paper.   Position the “flames” in between the sticks.  Then put a marshmallow at the end of a stick and pretend you are roasting it.

Dad and child(ren) (and mom if she wants) can actually sleep in the indoor or backyard tent for the night, or you can just pretend to go to sleep after the campfire has ended.

♥ You Might Also Like: Pretend Camping Toys For Kids – Open Ended Play That Leads To Learning! ♥

Language Development Opportunities:

The language opportunities with this activity are endless.   If you are going camping for a night or weekend to an actual campground, you can talk about so many things (what you see outside, what you need to bring along on the trip, what food you will eat, steps involved in setting up the tent, etc).

Here are some ways to facilitate speech & language development.

♥ Focus on camping vocabulary (e.g. tent, fire, sleeping bag, hiking, sticks, marshmallows, flashlight, etc)

♥ Ask questions: “where will we sleep?”, “how will we stay warm?”, “what will we eat?”, “how will we see at night when it is dark out?”

♥ Collect some nature items to make a craft later on.  For example, find some leaves and dry them.  Then place the dried leaves in between pieces of cling wrap or wax paper.  Mount the cling wrap onto a Popsicle stick frame (if you      aren’t sure how to make one, google “popsicle stick frame” and you will get many results).

There are many crafts you can make with items found in nature.  Check out 32 Awesome Things To Make With Nature for some ideas (these are crafts for both adults and kids!).

♥ Make sure to talk about what you are doing when you are working on your craft.  Again, label all the key vocabulary words and ask your child questions about what supplies might be needed.

You can also incorporate a picnic and fishing into your camping trip!

Happy Father’s Day!

What are some of your favorite activities to do with your children on Father’s Day?  Please share in the comments below.

Fathers day gift ideas that are activities to do with the children and dad


  1. Ally

    Hi! I love the idea of having a picnic. I haven’t done it since my youngest son was born. Now that the weather is warmer we will have to try it. We have them indoors all the time but outside brings yet another layer of opportunity to develop more vocabulary!

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      A picnic is such as simple idea but often overlooked! It’s so much fun for kids and a great way for them to bond with Dad on Father’s Day. And if you can get outside, even better. You are so right about the opportunities for language development and vocabulary building increasing outdoors. There are so many things you can talk and learn about in nature.

  2. Vicky

    I loved your article on Father’s Day activities. I think it is so great to get a gift from the heart than store bought items. It helps to make such wonderful memories. Your article is so well laid out and easy to follow too! Thank you for the information you have provided – now that I am a new grandma, your links also make it easier to quickly get to item ideas without having to search without a recommendation.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks for your comment Vicky. When children are really young gifts from the heart are perfect for Father’s Day, or any occasion. Simply having the kids spend a fun filled day with Dad can be one of the greatest gifts since many families seem to be so busy these days.

  3. Chris

    Hi Tanya, what a refreshing site. Really nicely laid out. Love your article on the best leaerning toys to buy to help kids learn. I’ve looked at a lot of the toys and will certainly make a purchase for my niece. Really informative article and has helped with my decision making with a birthday coming up.

    I also love the simplicity of the Father’s Day activities you discussed. These ideas are great ways for fathers to bond with their young children.


    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for taking the time to look around the site. I am happy to hear that you have found the information helpful!

      I tried to keep the ideas for Fathers Day very simple because they are meant to be done with young children who most likely don’t understand the holiday.

  4. Kristian

    My 1 year old son would love that bath time fishing toy. It looks like a lot of fun.

    Do you know if it is suitable for someone of his age or whether there are small parts to worry about. I always find it hard to judge these things from photos.

    Also, do you know if you can buy it in the UK?

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Kristian,

      I don’t see any issues with your one year old using a fishing set such as the one in the article. Most toys like this are recommended for kids 18 months and up, but I assume you would be supervising your son, especially if he is in the bath.

      I wasn’t able to find the exact toy in the UK, but I did find this one which is similar except that it isn’t magnetic so it could be slightly challenging. Or there is this magnetic one, but it is a bit pricier.

  5. Keye

    This father’s day activity checklist is really helpful this coming fathers day. Thanks 🙂

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks. I am glad that you found my ideas for Father’s Day Activities helpful!

  6. Emily

    what a terrific post! As a former child psychologist who worked in schools, thank you! Creativity and developing language and reasoning skills is so important! Conversations with kids, asking them what they think, asking them some questions, introducing vocabulary words, that’s what I would recommend to parents 🙂 Integrating them in fun activities is for sure the way to go. Makes it informal and creates just fun moments to learn.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Emily,

      I couldn’t agree with you more, hence why I have started this website. I want people to know how important it is to play with their children. Sitting them in front of a TV (even if the show is “educational”) is not the same as learning through play, especially when the child is under the age of 2 (I would even go so far as saying 3). I also encourage my children to play on their own. Play does not always have to be adult led. They need to learn how to occupy themselves. Did you see some of the cool cardbaord creations my kids have come up with? If not, check it out https://seemeandliz.com/children-playing-with-cardboard

  7. Hope

    Great creative ideas to make Father’s day more fun. Camping and fishing are activities that scream Dad. Awesome website.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Hope. Thanks for reading the post. I know I always struggle to come up with things to do on Fathers Day. My kids are just now getting to the age where they want to buy their dad a gift. But when they are younger, just spending time doing things together that you may not normally do are better than most gifts you can buy.


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