Father's Day is Sunday and I know you're probably rolling your eyes at the thought of another necktie or bottle of cologne. By the same token, we're also looking ahead at summer, and summer camp and holiday outings to be paid for. How do you show Dad you love him without taking a bite out of the vacation fund?
Here are five terrific ideas for making Dad feel special without overspending your budget:
1. Have a Dad and Kids campout. This can be right in your own backyard, or find a nearby campground. Tent camping is inexpensive and so much fun for the kids! More than that, it's making memories, and those are the best kind of gifts! If you have an outdoor firepit, cook some hotdogs and marshmallows together and then zip the kids in with Dad for the night. No fire pit? Just stack some chocolate and marshmallows between graham crackers and bake at 375 on a cookie sheet until the marshmallows start to soften. Let them cool slightly before biting in!
2. Get the neighborhood involved. This works especially well in conjunction with a backyard campout – have one yard host the campers, and another home can host the Father's Day pancake breakfast the next morning! Get a group of people together and let the Dads sleep in while the moms and kids serve breakfast. I have friends who've done this for years. Their kids are teens now and they still look forward to the Father's Day neighborhood campout!
3. Tie-Dye some tee shirts. I did this when the kids were young and it was so much fun for them. We bought an inexpensive tie-dye kit like this one (with pre-measured dye in squirt bottles). I put down a disposable plastic tablecloth, handed out the rubber gloves, opened up a pack of plain, white tee shirts and let the kids go to town on them. Dad loved his colorful new shirts, and he wore them when he hung around the house or mowed the lawn.
4. Paint some picture frames. You can find inexpensive wooden frames at any craft store (as well as Target and Wal-Mart). Let the kids brush or fingerpaint them, then take pictures of them dressed as superheroes or office workers – make it fun! Dad will love them on his desk at work and they're sure to make him smile every time he sees them!
5. Older kids? Get them to detail Dad's car or cook him a meal from scratch. Break out the Armor-All, the Windex and the vacuum cleaner. Take the car through a car wash (or wash it at home) and then hit the inside (Here's a great guide to home detailing for reference). Give one last spritz with Febreze before tying a bow around the steering wheel. Or have the kids make an elaborate meal (one of Dad's favorites, of course), complete with appetizer/salad, entrée and dessert. Whichever you pick, be sure and take pictures through the process for posterity!
Father's Day is a day to show Dad how much you appreciate all that he does. Making your gifts more personal and full of fun memories will ensure that he's got something he'll treasure for years to come.