Despite lockdown regulations gradually being eased, life is not 100% back to the normal we once knew and as such it makes it very difficult to celebrate a special occasion in the way you might have perhaps planned. With Fathers Day rapidly approaching wouldn’t it be nice to be able to treat the special dad in your life (whether that be your own dad or the dad of your kids) to something verging on normal?
If you have youngsters, buying presents for Fathers Day isn’t exactly the easiest thing right now. Under normal circumstances, you’d be able to take the kids round the shops with you so that they could choose something nice for their dad, however social distancing and certain shopping restrictions means this is almost frowned upon and therefore may not be an experience you want to expose your kids to. Of course there’s always online shopping and online retailers have really upped their game during the pandemic, to help us continue to be able to buy the products we need in as safe and as convenient a way possible. If you’re looking for unique or personalised Fathers Day gifts just remember to allow a little extra time for delivery as some places may have longer lead times in the current climate.
It’s not all about the presents though is it, and there are lots of ways you can still make Fathers Day special this year. We’ve put together a few ideas of some of the things you can do at home to help create the perfect lockdown Fathers Day
Throughout lockdown we’ve tried to get the kids out as much as possible, which isn’t always easy. Like most other kids, they’re not only having to fit in their schoolwork but they are also slaves to their screens. We do ensure they get some form of exercise everyday, but it might not always be outside. One thing we do insist upon however is a family walk on a Saturday morning and we’ve adapted this for the perfect Fathers Day treat… a breakfast picnic.
I don’t know about you lot, but we’re always keen to avoid the crowds and seeing as how we’re all early risers (well, the husband isn’t but he doesn’t get much choice once the rest of us are up) it makes sense to go out early doors. Pack a rucksack with a picnic blanket and all your fave breakfast food and just get out there and go exploring.
Some easy to eat options could include:
- Chocolate brioche
- Fruit, such as bananas or strawberries
- Juice or smoothie cartons
Guaranteed to start Fathers Day on a positive note and get the step count up in the process. Dad’s gonna love it.
We have family film night every Friday, so it’s arguably nothing that special. But my husband never usually gets a look in when it comes to what films we watch, so on Fathers Day it goes without saying that it’s 100% his choice… as long as it’s age appropriate obvs, and not James Bond…. I can’t stand James Bond films!
Seeing as this is a special day you can really up your home cinema game by throwing in a few added extras and there are plenty of things you can do to make it that much more of an experience for everyone. Why not get the kids to make a cinema ticket that they can put inside a Fathers Day card as a way of revealing the surprise. And of course no movie night is complete without snacks, right? (Sometimes I think I prefer the snacks to the watching the film part!)
How about making some of these yummy film night snacks and setting them up on a table as a snack kiosk complete with labels and help yourself pots:
- Homemade popcorn – It’s so easy to make popcorn at home; simply heat some oil in a saucepan, add the popcorn kernels, put a lid on it and wait for the magic to happen. Serve in a big bowl and offer different flavours to shake over the top, for example: salt, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon.
- Pick and Mix Sweets – Next time you do an online food shop, whack in a few extra bags of Haribo. Empty the sweets into different bowls and leave a spoon next to each one for people to use to scoop them out. Tart it up by digging out some old party bags you’ll no doubt have knocking around at the back of a drawer somewhere and et voilà you’ve got your own pick and mix station.
- Trail Mix – If dad’s a bit of a health bod you could take a slightly healthier stance and instead of pick and mix sweets, switch it up with a good selection of trail mix instead. Think raisins, different nuts, dried apricots, seeds, hey you could even chuck in a few dark chocolate chips if he’ll let you.
- Chocolate – You gotta love a bit of choccy while watching a film and as it’s Fathers Day why not go all out and give him his very own bar of the good stuff.
- Nachos – My husband LOVES nachos when he goes the cinema and they’re so easy to do at home. You can either take the easy option and buy a couple of packets from the shops, or if you’re feeling proper fancy schmancy it’s really not that hard to make your own. Simply cut some wraps up into triangles, toss in a small amount of oil (you could also add any flavourings at this point like smoked paprika or cinnamon if you want to give sweet tortillas a go), spread out on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until crisp and golden brown. Serve with salsa, sour cream, cheese, jalapenos and a shedload of guacamole.
They might act all macho, but secretly every dad loves a pamper sesh every now and again. And even though spas are closed at the mo, there’s no reason you can’t treat him to a bit of papa pampering at home.
Let the kids take over the bathroom by turning it into their very own beauty parlour. If there’s room you could put a chair in there for dad, but if not then I’m sure he won’t mind sitting on the loo. All you need is a washing up bowl filled with soapy water to act as a DIY foot spa – the kids could even use straws to blow bubbles for a truly authentic experience. While he’s soaking his weary feet, get the kids to whip up a face mask for him using natural products like yogurt, avocado, coconut oil etc. and don’t forget the cucumber slices for his eyes. Leave him to rest with a bit of whale music playing in the background (if you haven’t got any whale music I’m sure the kids won’t mind doing their best whale impressions 😉 ) and that’ll give you a chance to tidy up the face mask mess in the kitchen!
After dad’s feet have had a good soak, if the kids are feeling brave they could give his toenails a bit of a trim, and if dad’s feeling brave he might even let them paint his toenails. Other ideas could include a back, head or foot massage, a manicure, or possibly even a haircut. Well, we are in lockdown… who’s going to see him anyway!?! Here’s what happened to my husband when he let the kids get near his hair:
I’m sure you’ve got tonnes of board games in your cupboards, but the problem is where we’ve been in lockdown and had to find ways to entertain ourselves and the kids we’re all a bit, well… bored of them aren’t we? So why not take this opportunity to treat dad to a few new games that can be used for a special Fathers Day games night. There are so many different board and card games out there so get your researcher head on and have a hunt around.
A few of our favourite games include:
- Forbidden Island
- Exploding Kittens
- The Colour Game
- The Emoji Game
- And I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a game of UNO.
Make a scoreboard out of a big sheet of card and have yourself a gaming marathon, with a prize for the ultimate winner at the end of the evening. The kids could even make some medals out of old ribbon and a bit of tin foil covered card. Just remind them of the classic dad phrase… “it’s not about the winning, it’s the taking part”.
But if you really can’t face another Monopoly board being thrown across the room in a fit of rage (and that’s just dad 😉 ) how about getting the family involved in some retro video games or an online escape room.
Most dads love going to the pub, but with lockdown restrictions still very much in place and pubs remaining closed for the time being, it seems an impossible ask at the moment. Well, if dad can’t get to the pub, let’s bring the pub to dad!
Create a bar area in your home by setting up any bottles of spirits, beers, wines etc. that you’ve got knocking around at the back of the cupboards, or you could treat dad to a new crate of beers or a bottle of his favourite tipple as part of his Fathers Day present. Get the kids to make some beer mats with pictures of dad on them, bad dad jokes, or their favourite dad sayings like “I’m not made of money” or “Where’s the remote?”. Put together a pub playlist featuring dad’s favourite tunes or why not go one step further and organise a karaoke session over Zoom with some family or friends. It’s all about creating that pub atmosphere, so if you’ve got a darts board brill, if you’ve got peanuts and pork scratchings excellent, and if you’ve got a bell to call time even better.
If the weather’s decent on Fathers Day and you’ve got a garden, then it would be criminal not to use it. So how’s about throwing your very own Fathers Day garden party complete with pool (paddling pool is obviously fine), homemade slip and slide, cocktails and every dad’s favourite… a BBQ.
We made our own slip and slide by placing a big tarpaulin on the grass, smothering it in washing up liquid, then running the hose down it to make it super slippy. You can just throw yourself down it on your belly but if you happen to have an Ikea blue bag knocking around it works an absolute treat. And yes I know it sounds like an idea for the kids rather than the dad’s but trust me the big kids get just as much enjoyment from it… if not more!
Listen I know things aren’t as we’d like then to be at the moment, but it really doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. I hope this has given you some inspiration to make this year’s Fathers Day a truly memorable one filled with fun and laughter.