I’m going to assign the pre-schooler the age group of 0 to five. I know they start school at five, but many turn five before they ever get to that first class. So for the five and under group, who want to recognize Dad, let’s see what we can do.
For most anything they may want to make or give to Dad they are going to need a little help from Mom. It’s important for Mom to give only the help that is really needed though; whatever the pre-schooler can do they must be allowed to do. That is what will make it so much fun.
10) GO AWAY FOR THE DAY: This really isn’t one of my top ten but I know men who would put it on their list. In fact they may even put it higher on the list. I can understand why but I am a Grampa now so the pre-schoolers I am talking about are my grand babies. I don’t get to see them enough anyway but for the Father who does see his pre-schooler, constantly, perhaps a day off could be a welcome relief.
9) BACK RUB: If you have never had a pair of little tiny hands and ten little French fry fingers massaging your neck and shoulders then you have a pleasant surprise. The pre-schooler is no massage therapist but those little hands can do a number on a tired back. The child won’t last very long either but your sighs of relief and groans of pleasure will be reward enough for their efforts. Don’t be surprised if your pre-schooler comes back for more.
8) BREAKFAST: This one will need Mom’s help. Think of something simple. Maybe toast and boiled eggs or juice and a bagel. Something the pre-schooler can work with. They can butter anything you can toast and can pour any cold liquid you serve. They could also take the shells off boiled eggs, peel a banana, and even pour cold cereal into the bowl. If you have a large, sturdy tray the child can deliver Dad’s freshly made breakfast to him while he relaxes in bed or in the recliner.
7) CONSTRUCTION PAPER CROWN: Dad is the king. He knows it and so does your pre-schooler. Work with the pre-schooler to make Dad a construction paper crown. Cut some really nice points on it so it looks very regal. You could even paste a little glitter on the outside of it to make it shine. Your pre-schooler will love the sparkle.
6) COOKIES: Simple chocolate chip cookies; every Dad’s favorite. Dough comes in a bucket today. All the pre-schooler has to do is to take a spoon and dish it out onto the cookie tray. Mom, of course, controls the oven. When the cookies are done and cooled, your pre-schooler can take them off the tray and make the delivery to Dad.
5) FINGER PAINTING: Your pre-schooler is sure to have fun with this one. Get several colors of children’s finger paint and let your pre-schooler go for it. Prompt him or her to dip their fingers in every color and draw whatever they want. Make the colors pretty and make it a picture Daddy will like. They will have a ball and Dad will have a memory.
4) SING SONG: My daughter used to play act little stories with her cousin, my sister’s daughter, every time I went to visit. They would get together right away and study and plan for most of the visit. When it was almost time to go home they would announce their new Broadway opening. My Sister and I would be privileged to enjoy the two little girls act and sing their little hearts out for us. That’s over 25 years ago, I’d say those little singsongs left an imprint on my feeble little brain, wouldn’t you?
3) HAND PRINT CARD: Everybody knows how rapidly little ones grow. Before we know it they are graduating. We miss so much it seems. The only way we can really hang onto their childhood is through memories. One of the fondest memory ticklers I have is my little girl’s and my son’s, handprints on Father’s Day cards they made me one year. There on the very front of a four fold piece of construction paper is their hand in bright watercolors with the barely discernible, :I Love you Daddy,” scrawled on the inside. Her little hand really was that small and she made my heart explode it got so big.
2) DRAW PICTURE: A very good classic is the thought out picture drawn as carefully as possible. This one could take a little coaching from Mom also. We don’t want a finger paint job on this one. We need the best rendition the child can make of whatever subject they want to draw. I had my son and daughter draw Christmas scenes one year then I had them copied onto Christmas cards. Everybody has a little bit of my kids today.
1) SPEND THE DAY: For me, since I am a Gramps, this is the number one Father’s Day Gift any of my pre-schoolers could give me. I have three grandbabies all under the age of two. We do get to see one of them over night once in a while and the other two we get to see for an afternoon every now and then. I would love to have Mom and Dad just give us each one of the Grandbabies, one at a time, for a day and a night to take care of like they were our own. You see I did say “one at a time,” don’t you? I love them all to pieces, but I’m no idiot. One at a time, for one night and one day is plenty for me but I know I would love that one occasion.
Most of my top ten gifts for Dad from a pre-schooler are based on grandbabies giving gifts to Grampa; because that is where I am right now. Still, most of these would work equally as well with Dad. Simple, innocent and memorable.