It’s nearly impossible for my wife and kids to do the traditional ‘breakfast in bed’ thing for me on Father’s Day. It’s not that I don’t like breakfast, quite the opposite actually – give me a Swiss cheese, caramelized onion and grilled asparagus omelet any day. It’s that I’m usually awake hours before them, out for a run and back for a shower, all while they blissfully snore away the morning. But, there is another time they can be together in the kitchen preparing me a balanced and delicious meal: lunchtime!
The kids can help make my all-time favorite lunch – a Cuban sandwich on my own fresh baked bread (pickles on the side, please) with a handful of kettle cooked BBQ potato chips and a tall, ice cold glass of water. In my Father’s Day lunch dream sequence, my wife and kids would merrily present their plate of lunchtime goodness to me while I watch a World Cup soccer match. Now that’s a Father’s Day foodie treat they can (and hopefully will) do for me this year!
Once lunch and the match is over, here are a three outdoor family activities that will let dad know how much he is loved this Father’s Day:
Homemade Car Wash
A few buckets of soapy water, a handful of towels, a hose, some sweet kids rock tunes (I recommend the new Recess Monkey album, Wired, featuring a fuzzy pop-rock song called “Car Wash”) and everyone in their bathing suit equals the cleanest outdoor fun on offer this summer. As a Together Counts™ Ambassador, I know how important it is to be outdoors and active as a family, and washing the car checks all those boxes! Of course a child’s chief occupation is to dirty the family car with their snack crumbs – and don’t forget the banana peel under the seat that everyone forgot about (yuck!), but there’s nothing kids love more than getting sudsy while the car gets shiny. And you know that after they beg you to stop squirting them with the hose, the next thing they’re screaming is “more, daddy! more!”
Fresh Flowers for Dad
Get the family together and plant flowers for dad in a cool ceramic pot, using a floral color scheme that speaks to his unique personality. For me, that’d be a cluster of red and blue flowers, to express my passion for FC Barcelona, encircled by green and white blooms for my beloved Michigan State Spartans. Maybe there’d be a fairy statue nestled in their too, to represent the magic of childhood wonder I adore so much, as well as a tiny garden gnome hiding devilishly beneath a leaf…because who doesn’t love a garden gnome?!
Sharing Old Passions
My oldest daughter has been taking a weekly golf lesson for the past month and a half, which recently had me digging deep in my shed for my old set of clubs. Her joy in seeing me drop a ball into the middle of her jungle gym with a sand wedge (I still got it!) was evident. I suggest you dust off your tennis rackets, lace up your retro roller skates, or pull those old hockey sticks out of your garage and relive your sporting glory days with your new roster of tiny teammates. Giving your kids a look at the active guy you were before there was a them, is incredibly rewarding…for them AND for you!
Discover more creative ways to stay active together as a family this summer on the Together Counts blog.
Jeff Bogle is Together Counts Ambassador, and an at-home dad who writes humorously about parenting and All Things Childhood on his site Out With The Kids. His work also frequently appears on The Huffington Post and The Good Men Project, among other print and online outlets.