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Give to Dad

Wondering how to celebrate the special dads in your child’s life this Father’s Day? This year, give dad the gift of experiences together in nature! Giving grown-ups the chance to play and spend time in nature with kids is a super way to gift all of the health and wellness benefits of time outdoors, spark joy, and create playful family memories together. In this activity we share ideas for how to turn an ordinary jar into an outdoor gift for dad that keeps on giving long after Father's Day ends.

This activity is featured in our June Activity Calendar. If you do not yet have your free copy of the calendar, get it here.

The Guide

Gather your materials: Grab a jar or other container with a lid and a pen or marker. Cut a piece of paper into small strips.

Make a Father’s Day Jar! Show kids your jar or container and ask, "Do you know what this is?" Take answers, then let them know it is no ordinary jar...it is a Father’s Day Jar.  This is a special holder for all of the ways we can spend time outside with dad and help him feel happy. Offer a few art materials (e.g.  paper, markers or crayons, tape, objects from nature) and invite kids to decorate the jar for dad. What colors and shapes might dad like?

Brainstorm and fill the jar: Talk with kids to brainstorm outdoor activities you could do with dad to make him happy.  Write ideas down on slips of paper and fill your jar with them. Here are some to start with:

You can also brainstorm with kids what they love and appreciate most about dad. Write your compliments and appreciations down on your slips of paper and add them to the jar. Dad can enjoy reading them whenever he needs a little boost of joy.
Give to Dad: Present dad with your Father’s Day Jar and explain that it is filled with ways that you can spend time together outdoors as a family. When dad is ready to redeem his gifts, he can choose one of the outdoor activities or pull a surprise idea out of the jar.

Why is this activity great for kids?

Thinking about another person and what they would enjoy is a super way to help kids get hooked on kindness and boost empathy. Celebratory moments like Father’s Day are a brilliant and joyful way to teach your children more about what you value. And when you incorporate nature and outdoor play into celebrations you’re letting your family know that the natural world, and connecting with it, is important—so important it is associated with the things and people you cherish most. 

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