Father's Day Gifts for Fathers & Father Figures

5 questions to teach your children to choose their own Father's Day gifts

Boy (8-9) giving gift to father
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Many single moms struggle with the issue of how to handle Father's Day gifts.

Should I expect my kids to pick out their own Father's Day gifts? And what about father figures like grandfathers and uncles? Should I encourage my kids to make Father's Day gifts and cards for them if their father is not around?

Father's Day gives your children the opportunity to honor all of the men in their lives, from biological fathers to father-figures—like grandfathers, uncles, mentors, and even friends and neighbors who play an active role in their lives.

So if your kids are asking what to buy dad or how to celebrate father figures from your family's extended support network, use the questions below to help them select—or make—appropriate and meaningful Father's Day gifts. Then, step back and let them make their own choices about how to honor Father's Day in a way that makes sense to them.

5 Questions to Help Your Kids Choose Father's Day Gifts

  1. What does your dad, your grandfather, or your uncle like to do?
    Does he have any hobbies or interests that point toward appropriate Father's Day gifts? For example, maybe he's an avid fisherman, model train fanatic, or sports enthusiast ...
    Gifts to consider:
    • Fishing lures
    • A model car
    • A magazine subscription
  2. What do we like to do together?
    Encourage your kids to think back on all the ways they've spent time together and what they like to do together—either spontaneously or through planned events.
    Gifts to consider:
    • Sports equipment
    • Tickets to a sporting event or concert
    • A DVD of a movie you've seen together
  1. What's a special memory we share?
    Fathers, grandfathers, and uncles love to be reminded of special memories. From sporting events to family reunions and vacations spent together, treasured memories are a great source of ideas.
    Gifts to consider:
    • A framed photograph
    • A shadowbox filled with pictures, drawings, and mementos
    • A drawing or story that illustrates a special memory
  1. What does your dad, your grandfather, or your uncle need?
    Sometimes a great Father's Day gift idea can stem from something he really needs. Perhaps he's in the middle of moving or he's just accepted a new job offer. Encourage your kids to think about what would make his day a little easier ...
    Gifts to consider:
    • Phone accessories
    • Automotive accessories
    • Cooking utensils/kitchenware
  2. Is there anything else you'd like to give your dad (or your grandfather or uncle) from my heart?
    Gifts from the heart are the best gifts of all—especially when they are the homemade variety. To help your kids choose a gift from the heart, encourage them to think about how they feel how they would like to demonstrate their emotions.
    Gifts to consider:
    • Writing a letter
    • Making an audio CD of your favorite songs
    • Baking his favorite cookies

Finally, remember that it's the thought that counts when your kids are selecting Father's Day gifts for the dad and/or important father figures in their lives. No matter what they choose—including a simple "Thank you" and a hug—it will be appreciated.