Father’s Day can bring up wonderful memories for many of us, but also complicated emotions for many.  This year our celebrations are clouded by the many fathers, uncles, grandfathers, coaches and teachers we have lost to this terrible Covid-19 virus.

Father’s Day is a day to celebrate our fathers and grandfathers and congratulate all fathers who have stepped up and been there for all of us in difficult circumstances. One silver lining in this pandemic is that fathers have been spending a lot more time with their kids than ever before. In fact, a recent study shows that 45% of dads are spending more time with their kids.  

“The pandemic has reshaped the way fathers are involved with their families and children. Whether it's play, reading a book or getting down on the floor and spending time with their kids, this is an unprecedented opportunity for fathers to be really involved,” said Craig Garfield, Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University in a NY Times article.

Even a little extra father-child time makes a positive difference.  Highly involved fathers also contribute to increased mental dexterity in children, increased empathy, less stereotyped sex-role beliefs and greater self-control. And when fathers are more actively involved, children are more likely to have solid marriages later in life (Abramovitch in Lamb, 1997).

Research shows that students perform better academically, have fewer discipline problems, and become more responsible adults when their parents are actively involved in their learning.

Here are my Top 10 favorite activities that can extend beyond Father’s Day and help remind the fathers in your life how much you love them:

  • Video chat with relatives
  • Have story time and read aloud to dad
  • Watch movies together
  • Do an arts and crafts project together
  • Visit a museum online together
  • Set up a treasure hunt for dad where he can find things he likes
  • Make him a handmade card
  • Offer to help him do something he has been wanting to do
  • Create some homemade coupons for things Dad has wanted for a long time
  • Ask him to share a childhood story

For more inspiration about special dad moments, take a look at Ten More Times Dads were Especially Magical, a set of events shared by spouses and kids that really stuck with them.