Last updated on Jun 17th, 2021 at 02:26 pm

There’s no doubt that Father’s Day is going to be a bit different under lockdown this year, but here are some cool ideas for you and your little ones to make it a great one for their dad. Remember that getting messy is all part of the fun!

Set up a pancake or waffle bar

Who doesn’t love hot, golden pancakes (or waffles) right off the griddle? The best part is that you can make the batter the night before. Fruit can also be washed, chopped and put in the fridge directly inside the little serving bowls. That way, in the morning, all you have to do is cook the pancakes on a griddle or in a pan with the kids. (Dad can even get involved!) Once everything is prepared, the kids can set out the pancakes, fruit, cream cheese, and other toppings like sprinkles, chocolate and syrup their dad might fancy on the breakfast table and everyone can assemble their own plate. (This idea works well for afternoon tea with ice cream and chocolate sauce, too. )

ALSO SEE: 4 yummy waffle recipes, perfect for Sunday brunch

Give Dad a “spa day”

Dads deserve some pampering too! Turn your home into a relaxing spa complete with some of Dad’s favourite candles and soothing music, then you or the kids can treat him to an at-home massage (it’s the thought that counts!). You can even pair it with a spa-themed gift bag — just load it up with some of his favourite shaving kit, lotions, and soaps.

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Go backyard glamping

Just because you can’t travel to exciting new places right now doesn’t mean you can’t plan a fun outdoor experience for Dad – even if it’s just while the sun’s out. If you have some outdoor space, you can pitch a tent or set up some lounge chairs, pile up some comfy pillows and blankets and even create a DIY fire pit if you don’t have one already to create a camping adventure at home. Don’t forget to bring out the charcoal, dad’s steak, some crisps and marshmallows for toasting.

ALSO SEE: S’mores on sticks

Challenge Dad to his favourite board game

This year, let Dad flaunt his competitive side with the best board games for the whole family, including favourite classics like Jenga, Charades, and Monopoly. (Tip: you can even let him win!)  If Dad loves trivia and brain teasers, the little ones can even host a family trivia night!  (Invite granny and grandpa to join in on Zoom.)

Invent a story

Another cool idea we’ve come across is to take a few sheets of paper, cut them into squares, and write a random word on each, for example: cookies, aliens, broccoli, elephant, toilet. Use whichever ridiculous words you like. Then ask your kids to make up a story for Dad, occasionally flipping another square over to add a word for a twist to the story. You’ll be amazed at the tall tales that come out as their imaginations run wild!

Prepare for a zombie takeover

James Breakwell, a father of four girls under 7 who tweets under the handle @XplodingUnicorn, has one simple go-to activity for Father’s Day: zombie training. “My kids and I pretend to fight off the undead with foam darts, pillows or whatever else is handy and safe.” It’s loud, messy, goofy, and totally make-believe. “It’s great fun,” he says.

Cuddle up for movie night

When it’s time to settle down, why not let the kids cuddle up with Dad on the couch and put on a movie they’ll enjoy together. We recommend Stick Man on Showmax and LEGO Jurassic World: The Indominus Escape on Netflix. Popcorn is compulsory, of course!