Children’s books about fathers can be a wonderful way to teach your students the importance of a male role model in their life. Each of these books features a father figure in the story and is appropriate for children ages three and older. Use these stories as an introduction to your Father’s Day activities or simply to show students the significance their father has in their life.
The Night Before Father’s Day by Natasha Wing
This story uses the same lyrical rhyme of the beloved “Night Before Christmas.” A mother and her children surprise the dad by cleaning out the garage and washing the car. This story is an introduction to showing children the special things they can do for their father on Father’s Day.
The Ten Best Things About My Dad by Christine Loomis
The main character in this book talks about all the fun things that his dad does that makes him special. The father reads stories, scares away the monsters, tells jokes and teaches him right from wrong. It is the perfect book to read for Father’s Day because the children can relate to the young narrator in the story.
Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer
This classic critter book shows the tale of a father and son camping trip. Along the way the little critter makes some mistakes but manages to turn things around. It’s a delightful story that shows children their dad will always be there and things can get better.
The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman
This delightful witty book tells the tale of how a young boy traded in his dad for two goldfish because all his dad did was sit and read the newspaper. When the boy’s mother finds out what he did she tells him to go get him back, but it wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be. The father gets traded all around town! This whimsical, yet sarcastic, book is a fun read for upper elementary children.
My Dad’s a Hero by Rebecca Christiansen
Trying to explain to children about the war is not an easy subject to pull off. The author takes this tender subject, and has found a warm and endearing way to show children how to be proud of their father for serving in the military.
My Father Knows the Names of Things by Jane Yolen
This story is the perfect book to show children how a father knows it all. The father in this story shares his knowledge of the world with his child while they take a walk together.
The Berenstain Bears and the Papa’s Day Surprise by Stan Berenstain
This classic Berenstain Bears book features Papa as a grumpy old bear that thinks that Father’s Day is only a greeting card holiday. So when the day approaches and he doesn’t receive anything, he is very upset. This is a great read for Father’s Day and teaches children the importance of keeping secrets and lying.
A Perfect Father’s Day by Eve Bunting
Eve Bunting’s lyrical text makes it the perfect read for Father’s Day. A young child takes her father on a fun filled adventure for Father’s Day. This is a cute read for kindergarteners through first grade
A Wild Father’s Day by Sean Callahan
After two young children give their dad a father’s day card that says “Have a Wild Father’s Day” on it, the dad insists that the children act like animals for the day. The illustrations are simple and the repetition in this story is great. It will help the children predict some of the things that are going to happen next in the story.
Father’s Day Activities and Crafts
Use the following Father’s Day activities and ideas in your elementary school classroom.
The best gift a dad can get from their child is a gift that is handmade. By having each student hand craft and personalize their gift, their dad will appreciate it even more than that necktie he’s used to getting.
A simple and easy craft for kindergarteners is to make a handprint tree. Simply have each student paint their hand in different colored green paint and use it as a stamp to create leaves on a tree. First draw a brown tree trunk on white paper, then stamp handprints for the leaves. Write “Happy Father’s Day” on the bottom of the page and the year. To make it even more special, add a border, frame, or have students decorate the tree with craft supplies.
This craft is for all ages. First send a note home a week or so before Father’s Day to ask the family to send in a few pictures of the student and male figure that the student will be making the project for.
Once all the pictures are in, have students create a cube out of cardboard, wood, foam or whichever material you like. Then have students place photos on each side using double sided tape or glue.
I Love You Placemat
Have students create a personalized place mat for their dad. Set out a variety of arts and crafts supplies and let the students’ imaginations run wild.
First brainstorm some ideas to help the students get their creative juices flowing. Suggest ideas such as cutting out pictures of their father’s favorite things from a magazine or newspaper, bringing in a favorite photo, using his favorite color marker, etc. Once their placemat is complete have it laminated. Tell the students that every time their dad sits down for a meal they will think of them!
Books and Cards
Books are a great way for young readers to express their love and appreciation for their dad. Have students create their own book or read them a few books that feature a dad in the story. A handmade personal card is another great way for your students to show off their creativity and honor their father.
Me and My Dad
Have students create and personalize a book titled, “Just Me and My Dad.” Have the students write and answer the following sentences:
Me and My Dad like to eat…
Me and My Dad like to play…
Me and My Dad like to go…
Me and My Dad like to watch…
On the last page of the book have students place a photograph of themselves with their father and write, “I love you Dad.”
Every father loves to get a personalized card from their child. Browse through these homemade card ideas to get a little inspiration or printout the directions and help your students create a card of their own.
Pop Up Book
Instead of having students create a Father’s Day card, try having them write and create their very own pop-up book. All you need is Card stock, whole punch, stickers, markers, glue and string. As a class, brainstorm ideas about past memorable moments they have had with their dad or things they would like to do in the future.