Hey dad, treat yourself (and the family) to some quality time together in the great outdoors this Father’s Day! Here’s five things we know about dads, and why getting into some nature play this weekend is the perfect gift!
1. Dads like to “do stuff”
Dads work hard, and many work long hours. They volunteer for their kids’ sports teams, and in community groups: they like to “do stuff”. So if you want to spend some good, quality time with the family this Father’s Day, plan to “do stuff” together. Try a bushwalk to discover hidden wildflowers, or find a fishing spot you’ve never been to before. Wake up early to watch the sun rise, or a walk along the beach at sunset. Organise a barbecue at your neighbourhood park, or a bike ride to the local shops to pick up the weekend paper and some sweet treats for morning tea. To quote our favourite brekkie cereal ad from the 80s, the simple things in life are often the best.
2. Dads like to teach their kids things
Dads like to teach their kids things, but with advances in technology moving faster that the speed of light, these days kids know more about how stuff works than their parents do. But it’s nice to know there’s still plenty of things dads know how to do, and are keen to share. If you’ve got a sturdy tree in the backyard, why not make a tyre swing, or start a backyard project like cultivating a veggie garden or creating a worm farm? Longer term projects are a great way to spend regular time together, and the kids will find out that the old man might actually know a thing or two.
3. Dads love to reminisce
Dads love reminiscing. There’s something about becoming a dad that brings out the “in my day…” pronouncements, and if that includes telling tall tales, all the better. Take the kids to the local park and regale them with stories about the “death trap” equipment you used to play on as a kid, like seesaws, wobble walks and merry-go-rounds. Your kids won’t believe how you took your life in your hands, and you’ll get to relive each and every battle scar you earned falling from the top of the monkey bars or copping an errant swing to the face.
4. Dads love adventures
Dads love adventures, just as much as kids (maybe even more!). It could be as big as a white water rafting expedition, or as simple as breaking out the old Scouts compass and heading off on a bush walk, but there’s something about the call of the wild that dads love. And kids love seeing dad as the hero, whether you’re tackling massive dunes on a sand board or rescuing the Frisbee from the neighbours guttering (only to watch the kids hurl it straight back up there). Whether you’re ready for a full-on Alby Mangels-style adventure, or a just an overnight camping trip in the backyard, this weekend is the perfect time to get to it.
5. Dads love to spend time with their kids
Dads love spending time with their kids (and vice versa), but with our busy lifestyles, long work hours and commutes, opportunities to spend uninterrupted time together as a family is so important, and the precious time we have away from work, school and other commitments can disappear in the blink of an eye. But time together doesn’t have to be action-packed to be meaningful and enjoyable. Remember trips to the rubbish tip with Dad that saw you bring more things back home than you took out? Or following behind the lawn mower as Dad carved a clean, new path in fresh cut grass? Or being the “handy helper”, passing over the 3/8 inch combo spanner (no, not that one, mate, the next one along) while Dad changed the oil in the Falcon, or fixed that dickie starter motor? The days of pulling apart and rebuilding the engine of the family car might be long gone, but finding simple ways to spend time together never goes out of style.
Whatever kind of dad you are, why not do what dads do best this Father’s Day and build some awesome new family memories?
Want some inspiration for great locations for nature play adventures this weekend? We've updated the Play in WA section of our free Nature Play WA app! 34 nature play spaces, and over 100 reviews of great parks, bushwalks, beaches and campgrounds to explore! Find out more, or search for Nature Play WA in your app store.