Father’s Day is right around the corner, as is summertime! Here are some great ways to make dad feel special on his day (or any day) while keeping little hands engaged and learning.
GO ON A NATURE WALK
Gather the family together for a walk outside. Take note of plants, trees, insects and other interesting things you see on your walk. Collect dandelions, pinecones and leaves in a bag. When you're done with your walk, you can turn your collections into art for dad. Try making dandelion paintings or printing with leaves.
CLEAN OUT DAD'S CLOSET
Sure, this sounds like a chore, rather than an activity--but stay with us. Kids can help dad with some better-late-than-never spring cleaning and turn some of his castoffs into cool household items or gifts.
Give new life to some of dad's old ties by turning them into wearable art. Handprint ties are a fun, messy, hands-on, way of creating something new from something old. Kids can also help dad clean out his closet and collect old tshirts that can be turned into pillows, a quilt, or reusable grocery bags.
EAT SOMETHING, MAKE SOMETHING; MAKE SOMETHING, EAT SOMETHING
Create a special breakfast together or work up a sweat with some chores, eat some popsicles to cool off, and then use the left over sticks to make a key holder for dad's keys, ID and pocket change.
UPGRADE THE BACKYARD
Recycle old milk bottles into a backyard bowling set, set up a DIY outdoor movie screen, or turn a stump into an outdoor tic tac toe game.
WASH THE CAR
Give each kid their own bucket, grab some sponges and cloths, and have at it. Not only is car washing fun and physical, but it's also productive. Feel free to sidetrack that productivity by tossing a bubble wand or two in with the soap buckets.
Start the Summer with PJ Library
If you are a young family in the Greater New Haven area, you can receive a free Jewish children's book every month, compliments of PJ Library. PJ Library serves any family raising Jewish children from six months through 12 years of age, including affiliated, unaffiliated, interfaith and non-traditional families.
There is no cost to you! It's a gift from the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, the Abraham Cohen Family, and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
In our community, PJ Library is about more than just the books. Throughout the year, we normally gather for story times and special programs where you can come to meet new friends.
Have you ever wondered, 'What's Jewish about Father's Day?' Read Rabbi Brad Hirschfield's "Father's
Day, It's a Mitzvah!" (thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/opinion/fathers_day_its_mitzvah) to learn more.
Todah by Kyra Teis
AGES 6 MONTHS TO 2 YEARS (pjlibrary.org/books/todah/if00534)
Babies have so many blessing—so many things to say "todah" or "thank you— for! And so do their parents. All you need to do is stop and notice.
No Room for a Pup by Elizabeth Suneby and Laurel Molk
AGES 5 TO 6 YEARS (pjlibrary.org/books/no-room-for-a-pup/if01039)
Mia wants a puppy, but her mom thinks their apartment is too small. In the tradition of a classic Jewish folktale, Mia and her grandmother hatch a plan. Big question: When have you stretched your heart?