I’ve always referred to Fathers Day as the “Rodney Dangerfield Holiday;” it gets no respect. I have gone to my kids’ dance recitals on Father’s Day, had friends take their kids to their sports games or practices on Father’s Day, or had some other event scheduled on that day that would never, ever be scheduled on Mother’s Day. However, through the years, I’ve almost accepted the fact that this is just the way it’s always going to be.
So, let’s get down to the Father’s Day gifts. I don’t want a tie (plus I never wear one!), or a sweater, belt, gloves, or accessory. I want something fun, and even better, I’d like a gift that I could enjoy with my kids. A gift or toy that can be shared experience with my girls is always the best present.
Having three daughters, I’ve had my share of tea parties. My idea of a great gift? This Father’s Day, I suggest a Wii system (if you don’t have one already). Now that is a present. Make sure you have enough controllers for everyone so you can play the multi-player games (four people maximum). Wii Sports comes with the system and, I can assure you, there will be endless hours of fun with the games included in this title: tennis, bowling, boxing, golf, and baseball. My girls love the bowling and tennis games and like to mix it up. Now that’s my kind of Father’s Day!
Since Father’s Day falls in June, a fun outdoor game makes a great gift. Buy dad a set of bocce balls. If you haven’t played bocce, it’s a lawn bowling game that’s enjoyable for two to four players. While my girls are not fond of bowling (except on the Wii), they’ve enjoyed playing bocce since they were seven years old. Jarts is another great outdoor activity that’s fun for the entire family - it’s lawn darts without the pointed dart. With tips that are plastic and safe, Jarts is another skill game that you can start playing immediately and will get better at with practice.
If your family is into baseball, and you want to get dad something special, buy him the Junk Ball Strike Zone. Many of us grew up with the Wiffle ball, the Junk Ball is the Wiffle ball for the next generation. The Strike Zone gives the pitcher a target, so pitching and hitting are both fun.
If your kids are younger, bubble toys are a perfect gift. The fact is, bubbles are cool. Last month I recommended the No-Spill Bubble Tumbler for the little ones. But dad isn’t worried about spilling; we want to make the biggest bubble possible, or the most bubbles possible. It’s a macho thing! Buy us the Gazillion Bubble Rocket and then we’ll be ready to play with bubbles.
Father’s Day is about sharing and enjoying the day with your kids.My advice is to buy dad something cool, something he will have as much fun with as the kids will. After all, we need to have a little fun before we start the grill and cook our own meal!
Jim Silver is recognized as one of the preeminent experts in the toy, licensing, and family entertainment industries. As editor-in-chief of family entertainment website www.TimeToPlayMag.com, Silver and his team provide adults with information on what’s fun for children and their families, including toys, games and trends.
Silver is also editor in chief of trade publications Royaltie$: The Journal of the Licensing Industry and Toys & Family Entertainment at aNb Media. You can follow him on Twitter.