On Sunday 21st June, the nation dedicates a day to members of the family who they consider to be father-figures. This year, Father’s Day could well be a little different if social distancing measures are still in place at the end of the month. While we can still buy cards and presents for dads and grandads, we may not be able to spend quality time with them in person.

Father’s Day traditions

Traditionally, people post or hand-deliver Father’s Day cards and many try to visit their fathers in person or gather the whole family for a meal. Some dads are lucky enough to receive breakfast in bed or a home-cooked Sunday roast dinner, as well as gifts! But it’s not just fathers who are honoured on this day. Those men who are considered to hold an influential role in a child’s life, such as grandfathers or stepfathers, or even uncles or family friends, are similarly cherished and celebrated. These ‘normal’ traditions won’t necessarily happen this year, but that doesn’t mean that the father-figures in our lives can’t be made a fuss of. Although we may not be able to get to all the shops this month, there are still plenty of ways in which we can show them our appreciation - all from the comfort of being at home! 

Here are some ideas for a Father’s Day at home

A great British Bake-Off

This is such a good opportunity for children to bake or cook something special; and baking has even taken the country by storm during lockdown! Although many families are spending much of their time at home, it could be that they are still not actually spending quality time together as a unit. Baking all together can be fun, even relaxing, and you get to enjoy the delicious fruits of your labour!

How does baking help with child development?

Baking (and cooking) helps with children’s cognitive development by encouraging thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. It also allows children the opportunity to use the knowledge they have and apply it by counting, measuring, following a sequence, following directions, and cause and effect.

Theatre time!

What better way of indulging children’s obsession with dressing-up than putting on a special performance for Father’s Day. Dig out the dressing up box and let your imagination run wild! You can rehearse in the week leading up to Father’s Day and surprise him with a play. This can be practiced at home and also in your setting - you don’t need to make it complicated – you can recreate a story, a movie, or let the children invent a brand new story. They’ll love the idea of being actors for a day!

Spa time!

Some men like to be pampered…and some don’t! Making child-friendly (and even edible) face masks is an ideal way of helping children learn about personal care and teaches them good habits that will be handy when they reach their teen years. Bananas, yoghurt, honey, cucumber and avocado are all key ingredients for homemade face masks – and you can have so much messy fun practicing different recipes! You can find some wonderful examples here.

Get nostalgic

There’s nothing like a trip down memory lane. Why not collect digital copies of your favourite photos, save them all in one place and then go through them on a video call with the family. This is sure to be something that grandads would like as you look back through some of your best family memories and swap stories.

Virtual day trips

Even if you’re not able to physically visit your favourite places of interest, it doesn’t mean you can’t go anywhere! There are so many museums, galleries and tourist attractions that you can ‘visit’ virtually and many of them have adapted their virtual tours for children. Take a look at some of these and discuss with the children which they would like to ‘visit’!

The Natural History Museum has over 300,000 specimens to browse, along with 14 digital exhibits. You can even explore the deep oceans with their virtual venture into the life of a blue whale.

While the British Museum’s 60 galleries would normally be packed with visitors, their doors are closed for now. But you can watch, listen and learn all about the Egyptians, the Romans and lots more on their virtual tours.

London Zoo

You can explore the lives of all the wonderful creatures at London Zoo with webcams and live streams, zoo keeper diary updates and behind-the-scenes footage.

There are so many fantastic free online virtual tours for children and adults – you can find more here to suit all tastes. Whatever you decide to do, have a wonderful Father’s Day!


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