A couple days ago I heard on the radio that mothers have it better on Mother’s Day than fathers do on Father’s Day. Moms get flowers, chocolate, clothes, jewelry, gift cards, soaps – and what do dads get? A tie, or maybe some grilling tool. While I don’t think it’s that extreme of a difference between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I will admit that dads are usually harder to get gifts for than mothers (and in general, men are harder to shop for than women). But maybe dads don’t necessarily want a material gift for Father’s Day. Maybe they want some of the things that most moms get more frequently than the dads – quality time with their kids, hugs and kisses, handmade gifts, etc.
Whether or not you’ve heard of Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages, you’ve probably heard of the term “love language”. It refers to the way that a person either receives or gives love. Giving and receiving love may look different within one person. For instance, I give love in the way of gifts and acts of service, but I receive love best through quality time and words of affirmation. Chapman theorizes that the way to love people well is to learn their “love language(s)” and seek to show love to them in that way, otherwise they won’t necessarily feel loved. The five love languages are Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, and Receiving Gifts. I’m sure that everyone has a mixture of several of these in terms of receiving love. For the purposes of this post, I simply divide the gifts up into these categories so that you can see what a variety of gifts you can give for Father’s Day that aren’t necessarily something you would go purchase at the store.
- Back Rub or Back Scratch
My father used to love receiving these when I was a kid, and it’s really easy for a child of any age to give to their dad! You can either give one on Father’s Day itself or make a cute coupon good for 5 back scratches that dad can use whenever he feels he needs it – or use my free printable here!
- Hugs & Kisses
I think dads probably desire this from their kids more than you might realize. It is natural for women to be more physically affectionate with their children than men, but if Physical Touch is dad’s love language, he will feel really special to receive extra hugs and kisses from the kids on this day. And just like the back rub, you can also create a coupon to give him to use in the future!
Acts of Service
- Assist him in his “chores”
Kids can offer to help dad with his typical “chores” around the house – washing the car, raking leaves, etc. This will make it more enjoyable for him and he will feel appreciated for the work he does around the home. Keep in mind these do have to be dad’s chores, not the kids’ chores – otherwise it doesn’t count!
- Cook a special meal
Depending on the age of your children, they can either work together or help you make dad’s favorite meal on Father’s Day. Go all out, serve it to him in bed, give him the special plate – whatever will make him feel loved!
- Iron his shirts / Shine his shoes
If you have older kids, they can iron his shirts or shine his shoes for him. Going to church or work the next day with a freshly pressed shirt and shiny shoes will give him confidence for the day ahead even when he is tired from working so hard providing for the family.
Words of Affirmation
- Acrostic Card
Make an acrostic card that spells “D.A.D.” or “F.A.T.H.E.R.” (or whatever your kids call him), and have your kids come up with attributes they love about him that start with each of those letters. See an example below:
- Make a video
Most kids, especially little ones, can be extremely cute on video when put on the spot. Take individual videos of each of your children saying into the camera what they like most about their daddy, and then compile the files into one big video for him to watch on Father’s Day!
- Watch his favorite movie or play his favorite game
Dads are so sacrificial, playing Pretty Pretty Princess with their 6-year-old girl for hours on end. Take Father’s Day to do something he likes to do. Not only will he enjoy getting to do something he likes, but he will enjoy getting to do it with the people he loves!
- Give a Groupon for a local activity
If you know he’s been eyeing those tickets for a basketball game of a local team, get a groupon for the whole family to go. Or, if the kids are giving individual gifts, get a groupon for something like a pizza place to encourage a father-son outing.
- Join in on his hobbies
Does dad like to play frisbee? Play a game of catch together. Does he like woodworking? Ask him to show you how he does it. For someone whose love language is Quality Time, who the time is spent with is more important than how the time is spent.
- Not something he needs
The more that I give and receive gifts, the more I realize that a gift isn’t necessarily something that you needed. A dad can get the stuff that he needs, but most dads won’t buy the things that they want, because they’re not really necessary. So unless dad’s hobby is collecting ties, you don’t really need to get him one for Father’s Day.
- Give him something to fuel his hobby
Does he like video games? Get him a fancy new controller for his game system. Does he like to cook and watch sports games? Get him an oven mitt representing his favorite sports team (2 hobbies in one!).
- Give him something handmade
For those whose love language is Gifts, receiving something that took a lot of love, time and energy to make it means a lot. Little ones could make cards, bookmarks, or framed pictures. Older kids could make more involved crafts like coasters, beer/mug koozie, or a keychain.
I hope this list helps you as you think about what to get those dads for Father’s Day! This list really could apply to gifts for all males in general. 🙂 And the great part about most of them is they’re practically free!
Do you have anything you would add under these categories? If so, please leave a comment!