Okay, so a very heavy sermon with a lot going on. I would apologize, but I think those emotions are necessary sometimes to help us follow God more effectively. However, here is a not-very-heavy follow-up blog post that can help dads get started with engaging their children in a more positive way. So, dads, here are 60 fun things that you can do with your children, borrowed from a friend of ours! Enjoy dads!
60 Fun Things a Dad Can Do With His Kids
o Have a “Date with Dad” once every three months with each of your children.
o Hold a Sunday afternoon family board games marathon.
o Take a walk though the neighborhood at Christmas to see the lights.
o Do a basic home or car repair job together.
o Cook up a special meal for Mom. Have the kids make menus, and everyone serves as a waiter or waitress. (Then clean up afterward!)
o Go to breakfast together. Let your child order for you.
o Build a model together, but let your child do most of the actual work.
o Take a nature hike.
o Go camping overnight or for the full weekend.
o Bake a major batch of chocolate chip cookies to distribute to your child’s friends.
o Do photo shoots together on walks, at the zoo, around the house, and so forth. Select photos and work together on a scrapbook.
o Select key scriptures verses and memorize them together, discussing what each verse means to you. Reward each other with frozen yogurt each time you can both quote 10 new verses word-perfect.
o Have a croquet or badminton tournament in your backyard.
o Play a video game together.
o Work on a computer together.
o Go to your child’s athletic or special activities. Encourage and praise (but don’t be pushy. Be the parent and NOT the coach)
o Say, “I want to be praying for you this week. What’s on your mind? What would you like me to pray about?”
o Design and plant a flower garden together.
o Make a basket of fresh fruit, breads, gourmet crackers, and canned goods, and then leave it on a porch of a needy family.
o Ask, “What’s the best thing that happened to you today?”
o Ask your children to pray for you.
o Put together a surprise “This is Your Life” program for Mom and for the grandparents.
o Tell your kids why you love their mother. Have them tell you why they love her, then get a piece or poster board and join the kids in writing all these reason on a giant greeting card with crayon. Have the kids decorate and deliver the card to Mom.
o Join with one or two other families for family skit and talent night, with
everyone participating. Rent a video camera to record the event for posterity.
o At dinner, have everyone share “My Most Embarrassing Moment.”
o With 3x5 cards, stable together a handmade coupon book for each child. Each coupon entitles them to a one-on-one date with Dad for ice cream, a ball game, bowling, or roller-skating, a game of their choice, pizza, whatever. (Suggested rule: Limit one coupon per child per month.)
o Read thought a book of the Bible together, discussing it as you go.
o Go to a local, state, or national museum.
o Pick out cologne for Mom that you all like.
o Find an apple or cherry orchard and arrange a day of fruit picking with your child
o Go shopping for your and their clothes together.
o Check your city for free outdoor concerts or plays in the park. Fix a picnic and make an evening of it.
o Take a trip to the library. Get each child a library card and help them discover the world of good books.
o Buy or rent an aerobics video and work out together.
o Go to plays and concerts staged by local colleges and universities.
o Go for a series of family bike rides.
o Go fly a kite together.
o Walk to construction sites and watch the progress on a building, house, or the like
o If your children have surviving grandparents, have a “Grandparents
Appreciation Day” with homemade cards, crafts, and goodies made by you and the kids. Then do the same for Mom, then for a neighbor or friend, then for your pastor or youth pastor.
o Put together a jigsaw puzzle.
o After family dinner, back the chairs away from the table and play,
“Concentration,” that favorite old parlor game where players number of, then slap knees twice, clap hands twice, and call out their number and someone else’s number as they snap their fingers. Then everyone pitches in to clean up the kitchen. The winner gets to choose his task.
o Get on the floor and watch your young child’ favorite TV program with him.
o Take your kids with you to pick flowers from the garden, and assemble a bouquet for Mom or another special person.
o By yourself, pick flowers and assemble a bouquet for your daughter.
o Build a bookshelf or soapbox racer with your son.
o Have a candlelight night. Turn out all the lights, light candles and build a fire, pop popcorn, and sit around telling favorite stories.
o Pray together for special people in your lives.
o Call ahead, and then take a tour of the local fire station.
o Blow bubbles in the backyard.
o At Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, or some other special occasion, put on plays with your children to dramatize the meaning of the holiday.
o For each child’s twelfth birthday, give him a jar with fifty-two “Special Treat” slips. Your child can draw one slip per week. Include simple treats as well as more elaborate (for example, “Stay up an hour later one night this week,” “invite a friend to spend the night,” “Go to an ice cream or yogurt shop with Dad”).
o Serve together in some community or church project. Serve food at a
homeless shelter or volunteer to help in the church nursery.
o Write letters to shut-ins from your church, or visit local nursing homes with a puppy for the patients to cuddle.
o Begin reading C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia together.
o Surprise your child by picking him up at school and taking him to a movie, on a picnic, or out for pizza.
o Arrange to have lunch with your young child at school.
o Plan a “hidden Supper.” Hide quick-fix items throughout the house, then give a clue to where the first item is located (The second clue is found with the first item, and so on). Fix the food items together.
o Have an “Honor Night” for each family member. Prepare that person’s favorite meal, have a special place of honor at the table, design an honor plaque, and have each family member share “What I appreciate about…”
o Once a month, plan a formal dinner. Everyone dresses up and the table is spread with the fancy china. Use this fun occasion to teach etiquette.
Anyone of these can get you involved with your kids in a fun and easy way. This is a great first step to making disciples of our kids. Never too late to get involved and started!
Clearly this list works for moms as well, but is addressed to dads to start. Look for more blog posts this week to help us out!