146551519_e83cdbfcbc_oFathers and father figures play an important role in helping children grow, as Illinois Fatherhood Initiative founder David Hirsch noted in his TEDx talk. Children with engaged fathers develop:

  • Better friendships
  • Fewer behavior problems
  • Better results at school
  • Higher self-esteem and life-satisfaction
  • Lower chances of becoming criminals or abusing drugs
  • More satisfying adult relationships

But many fathers struggle with how to engage with their kids, especially when they are little. All-Pro Dad, a partner in PTA’s MORE (Men Organized to Raise Engagement) program and Male Engagement Initiative, recently posted a list of 34 memory-making things fathers can do with their kids. Among the list of free or low-cost ideas are:

  • Driveway Bowling using empty two-liter bottles with a little water in the bottom.
  • Building an indoor tent or blanket fort.
  • Make a leaf maze while raking for your kids to work through.
  • Live Action Storybooks, where you act out one of your child’s favorite stories.
  • Indoor Fishing with a stick, string, and magnet to catch cutout fish with paperclips on them.

When you think back on your father, you probably remember some special times simply playing catch in the yard, building or fixing something around the house, or going on a short trip together. We remember the things we did together, not the toys bought, so check out the full list for more great ideas, then go and build a memory with your child.

Photo © 2006 by Lucid Nightmare under Creative Commons license.