What pops into your mind when you think of Father’s Day? A new tie? Dad jokes? (Hi hungry! I’m Dad!) Memories of your father? Father’s Day inevitably makes me thankful for my perfect Heavenly Father and I love using Father’s Day as an opportunity to teach kids about Him! I’ve put together some ideas to help you plan meaningful fun with kids, even kids from fatherless homes, on Father’s Day.
Some of these ideas are geared primarily toward a Sunday School setting while others are more appropriate for family use at home. Along with the Bible Lesson, craft, and game ideas below, I’ve included suggestions to help you adapt them for situations where dad is not in the picture. Whether you’re a Sunday School teacher with foster kids in your class or a single mom looking for meaningful ways to make an otherwise difficult holiday special for your kids; my prayer is you’ll find some ideas to help you have fun pointing kids to God, the greatest Father of all time!
Father’s Day Activities for Kids
Father’s Day Bible Lesson for Kids
Here’s a Father’s Day Bible Lesson video that you can share with kids in your home or church. One thing I love about this lesson is that it provides hope and comfort for kids who may not have an ideal father (or any father at all) in their home. For 25% of kids, Father’s Day is awkward at best and painful at worst because their father is distant or totally absent from their lives. This Bible lesson highlights several Bible characters who had absent or majorly flawed fathers and uses their stories to point kids to God, the greatest Father ever!
Baby Animal Matching Game
Did you know a father emperor penguin starves itself for two months while caring for its chick!? (Don’t worry, God designed him with a dad bod that’s up to the challenge.) Animal dads are fascinating and you can use some of them to review and reinforce truths about God, the greatest Father ever! After watching the Father’s Day Bible Lesson video above (or borrowing the idea and teaching it yourself), you can play this Animal Dad Matching Game to review and reinforce what the kids have learned. Take turns matching the baby animals with their dads to answer the questions!
P.S. Just for fun, you can also have the kids guess the “official” name for each animal baby. How many of these did YOU already know?
Foal (zebra), hatchling (dinosaur), tadpole (frog), cub (lion), duckling (duck), joey (kangaroo), fawn (deer), chick (chicken), joey (koala)
Bible Dads Matching Game
Joshua may have fought the battle of Jericho, but did you know he didn’t have a father? Numbers 13:16 says he was the son of Nun! (Get it!? Nun/None…haha!) All Dad jokes aside, how many of these Bible characters can you match with their dads?
I used this game in the Bible Lesson video above, but you can also play it all by itself. Just write the names of Bible characters and their fathers on a paper or whiteboard. The kids will enjoy trying to match each Bible character with his or her father and you can make an important point as you play this game. Talk briefly about each Bible character and point out how none of them had perfect fathers. (Amon was a super bad guy, Laban was a sneak, and Moses and Esther probably barely knew their dads.) Help the kids understand that even when human fathers are messed up or missing, God is a good Heavenly Father. This is a simple and powerful way to include and encourage foster kids and others who don’t have their dad at home.
Here’s the answer key so you can see how many you got right! Bible Dads/Bible Heroes: Lamech (Noah), Abraham (Isaac), Laban (Leah), Amram (Moses), Nun (Joshua), Amon (Josiah), Mordecai (Esther’s father figure)
I Love You More Than Dinosaurs! Coloring Page
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 4 kids live without a father in the home. Giving them crafts with messages like “Dad, You Rock!” or “Happy Father’s Day!” can unintentionally hurt these kids. That’s one of the reasons I made this dinosaur coloring page. It’s not “Dad” specific so it works as a craft that includes everybody. There’s even a place for kids to personalize it with their fingerprint. (And it has a baby T-Rex!!! That pretty much guarantees that kids will love it!)
You can use the poem on the picture to lead a simple discussion as kids decorate the dinosaur picture for someone who takes care of them. Let them take turns reading a section of the poem and ask questions like “What is something people do to take care of you?”, “What’s something people have said to help you learn?”, and “What are some things people give you that you need?” You can also ask questions focusing the things God, Our Heavenly Father, does, says, and gives to take care of kids. Click the picture to download and print copies for kids in your home or church.
“Dad Says” Game
This is basically “Simon Says,” except Dad (or another caregiver) is in charge. If you are a foster dad or single mom, you can use your own name in place of “Simon” instead of saying “Dad.” The kids have to listen closely and follow every instruction Dad gives that begins with the words “Dad says…” Mix in silly instructions like “Dad says, bellow like a moose,” or “Dad says, stomp like a brachiosaurus” with more practical instructions like “Dad says come here,” or “Dad says put away one toy.” Afterward, read Ephesians 6:1 and explain that Dad’s instructions have authority because God has given parents authority (power) over their children. When kids obey their parents, they’re also obeying God!
Father’s Day Scavenger Hunt
This scavenger hunt is a fun way for kids to enjoy discovering new things about Dad. Read the descriptions one at a time and have kids rush to find something to match each description. If they don’t know what Dad likes to talk about or which chore he REALLY doesn’t like, they’ll have to ask him for that clue. (In case anyone’s wondering, I like to talk about animals and my least favorite chore is mowing the lawn.) For kids who do not live with their dad, you can substitute the name of a foster parent, grandparent, or anyone else who takes care of them. Click the picture to download and print this Father’s Day game for kids. (No printer? No Problem! Just download it to your phone and view it from there!)
After the game, read Ephesians 6:2 and explain that one way to honor Dad is to get to know him and treat him in a special way. When we honor the people who take care of us, we are also showing honor to God. Encourage the kids to remember what they have learned about Dad and use it to honor him in special ways.
God is My Father! Devotional
It is not enough to simply call God, Father. We must understand the implications of this relationship if we are to live out our true identity. I want to give you a FREE printable devotional that helps kids learn what it means to be a child of the greatest Father ever. God is My Father! helps children experience the Father and child relationship as God intended. This 4-week devotional includes daily activities to engage the child in the content and a final activity to help the child engage personally with God.
Enjoying God My Creator!
Father’s Day is an excellent time to think about the many ways our Heavenly Father shows his care for us. The “God Does It All!”, “God Keeps It Running”, and “The Reflection Connection” ideas on pages 15 and 16 of our book, “Enjoying God My Creator!” are play-based activities you can use to help kids consider and give thanks for the fatherly care of God, our Creator. If you don’t already own this book, you can make the brilliant decision to download a FREE digital copy and check out these ideas today!
You can click the various pictures and links throughout this article to access free Father’s Day resources to your hearts content. If you want to grab most of them all from one place, you can find them in the “Father’s Day” section of our resources page. What other fun ideas have you used to celebrate Father’s Day with kids in a meaningful way? I’d love to read your ideas in the comments!