Father’s Day activities that all of your children will enjoy
When it comes to Father’s Day or Mother’s Day it is always best to go for flexible rather than rigid definitions of terms. Parents are delicate subjects and it is so easy to tread on little toes.
‘A father is someone you look up to
no matter how tall you grow’
My years spent working with vulnerable children, (some of them the ones that need our care the most), have taught me that children are like little Cadburys Crème Eggs – it is only when you unwrap them, that you realise that they are crashed and smashed inside.
I have never wanted to be someone that makes people feel small or invisible. These things are all too easy to do- especially when we are overloaded and time-poor. My passion has always been to ensure that every child feels valued.
So when Fathers’ day makes its yearly entrance, I prefer to use the phrase ’like a father to you’, because we have no idea what feelings and memories the word ‘father’ evokes for our children.
It could be loss, anger, distress, sadness, shame, fear, embarrassment. Children may have experienced fathers who are: dead, absent, uninterested, abusive, cold and more.
Of course, this is not to detract from the celebratory spirit of the day, but it is these moments that stay etched on a child’s mind, then linger on into adulthood. There are many terms in teaching that are little more than fluff, however inclusion and the duty to consider multiple perspectives can only be a good thing for all children.
According to the huffingtonpost.co.uk, it is widely accepted that the first Father’s Day was created by Grace Golden Clayton, and held on the 5th of July 1908 in West Virginia. Affected by the large number of fathers killed in the 1907 Monongah mining explosion, where 200 of the 360 men killed were fathers, Grace established a day to remember the men that had died.
Due to a number of unfortunate factors, the event had to be cancelled. When Sonora Smart Dodd successfully organised a Father’s Day two years later, she delivered gifts to fathers that were ill in Washington, her hometown. Clayton was consigned to the history books.
The phrase: ’like a father to you’, means that every child, some with a little help, can identify someone that gives them that little warm glow, no matter how small. For example, many schools are lucky to have a premises officer who has a chat with children around school. Most children have a grandfather, family friend or uncle who is like a father to them.
In the week leading up to Father’s day, it is always useful to have a number of different activities in mind, so take a look at my top teaching activities for Father’s Day.
Here are my seven Father’s Day activities that all of your children will enjoy.
Create a monoprint using polystyrene tiles and printing ink. Children can create their own message or copy a quote about fathers, then decorate around the edge.
There are few occasions where children get an opportunity to express their feelings about their dad. Let children spend some time reflecting on their father-like role model, by creating a shape poem about their dad or ‘someone who is like a dad to me’.
In the same vein, it is not often that dad gets a special picture from school that is just for him. Get children to create vivid portraits in oil pastel, or more detailed ones in sketching pencil. Something for Dad to treasure for many years to come.
A great excuse to get the clay out! You can never have enough accolades, so get the children to research, then draw the trophy from their Dad’s favourite sport or hobby. Ask children to write an award on it that explains why they are the best dad in the world. Once complete, they can have a go at recreating the design as a 3D clay sculpture. Whilst it is wet, they can draw in their award details with an old pencil.
A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so get the children to choose the flavouring and additions, that they think their Dad will like, then bake biscuits as a class activity. Children can add their own special mix of flavours to make a batch that their dad will enjoy.
Super Dad Comic
As a classroom explore comic book writing and cartoon drawing. Create a super dad hero together. Get children to create then publish their own one or two page super dad comic book story. All the Marvel and D.C. dads will be at your service for the rest of the year!
Super Dad Rap
Together create a superdad rap about all the reasons why their dad, or the person who is ‘like a dad’, is special to them. Practice it, record it, then post it on the school’s Twitter or Facebook page, or the school website, on Father’s Day.
Do you agree or do you approach Father’s Day in a different way with your class?