Dad’s are an odd bunch sometimes – between the sandals with socks and the mysterious things that go on in man-caves, it’s hard to know exactly what they’re thinking sometimes.
But believe it or not, they’re actually pretty easy to please when it comes to gift-giving.
Fujifilm’s Father’s Day report last year found that Aussies were planning to spend an average of $66.95 on a gift for Father’s Day, but it turns out we don’t need to spend nearly that much. The very same report found that 61% of dads were hoping for a handmade pressie and ¾ wanted something sentimental that they could keep.
Dads are just big old saps, apparently, and the key theme this Father’s Day should be to spend more time than money.
So no matter what kind of dad your dad is, I’ve got a wallet-friendly, heart-string-tugging Father’s Day gift idea for him:
Does your dad tear up when you call him on his Birthday? Does he flick through faded photo albums and sigh fondly at images of tiny you standing proudly before your latest wall-art masterpiece? You’ve got a Sentimental Dad on your hands.
Give him: Sentimental Dad, more than anyone else, wants something handmade, something from the heart. You could go the DIY route and fill a photo album with your fondest memories of the two of you, or, if you have trouble getting the sentimental juices flowing, check out the What I Love About Dad By Me Book, for some inspiration and a cute gift all in one.
From uncommongoods for $13.93
If your dad is routinely to be found wandering in the outback, and occasionally starts to resemble big foot a little more closely than is comfortable, then he’s the Adventure Dad. Maps, swiss army knives and ski gear are the tools of the trade – this Dad likes anything outdoorsy that requires getting his hands a bit dirty.
Give him: A family camping trip. Adventure Dad is all about experiences, so he’ll love the chance to drag his family into the wilderness with him. Let your Dad put up the tent and catch fish with his bare hands. Listen closely to his reasoning about why “Bear Grylls couldn’t do this.” And don’t forget to take plenty of pictures so he can have a memento of the trip.
Your dad hasn’t missed a match in 40 years, of any game. He’ll watch anything – cricket, tennis, competitive cheese rolling – and somehow seems to know all the rules, the top teams and exactly what the ref is doing wrong in all of them.
Give him: Chances are your dad mainly watches sports on TV – so why not take him to a real game? This one could get expensive, depending on what your dad’s favourite sport is, so an alternative would be to play his favourite game with him. You could even set up a tournament if you have siblings you can rope into it. And then just let him cream you.
The Dad who has only just embarked on fatherhood, and probably doesn’t quite realise what he’s got himself into yet. Depending on where he is in the Dad Life Cycle, he’s either still filming every snort and flail, or he’s so tired, he strapped the dog into a car seat this morning.
Give him: The New Dad is super proud of being a dad, and wants everyone to know it. So think of something he can flaunt – like framed art using the new baby’s handprints or a collage of baby pics for his desk at work. If you’re not crafty, let him show off his new Dad status with a cool T-shirt, like this:
From Etsy, for $20
It’s a known fact that barbecuing is some kind of mystical activity in Dad World – a chance for Dads to both bond and prove their superior Dad-ness. If your dad is the first to pick up a pair of tongs and has his flipping stance perfected, he may just be the Barbecue Dad.
Give him: Throw a barbecue, and make sure everyone knows that your dad is manning the grill, because no one cooks a steak like he does. And then gift him a jar of homemade barbecue sauce to compliment his epic skillz. Sweet and Tangy and Coca-Cola barbecue sauce are two recipes you could try, or for a really personal touch, experiment with flavours you know your dad loves. Tactfully ignore the scorch marks on… everything.
Dad Joke Dad
“Hi, Hungry, I’m Dad.” If this sounds familiar, your dad is probably Dad Joke Dad. This dad has it all – wit, situational sensitivity, and a killer sense of timing. He pulls out some of the most… original humour you’ll ever hear at any and all occasions, from your 16th birthday party, to your wedding reception.
Give him: All he really wants is for you to laugh at his jokes. So do that. Otherwise, turn the tables on him and get Dad Joke Dad a gag gift – and make him laugh. There are plenty of hilarious options out there. One of our favourites? The inflatable Bee Beard.
No matter where the Fishing Dad is, he would rather be on a boat, with a fishing rod. Fishing Dad is a simple man – he doesn’t want drama, or big displays. In fact, usually, all he wants is to catch a fish. Or not catch a fish. Catching fish is only tangentially the point of fishing, anyway.
Give him: Join him on a fishing trip! And before you go, try your hand at fashioning some homemade fishing lures. You can use them on your fishing trip, and then after, your dad can keep them, either to use again, or as a keepsake of your trip together.
The Coffee Dad always smells like a freshly roasted pot of java, and occasionally twitches uncontrollably. He says things like “Espresso is an art form” and “Sorry kiddo, I can’t hear you until after my first cuppa joe.”
Give him: A Starbucks gift card. But if that will get you disowned, on Father’s Day, have a piping hot cup of your dad’s favourite coffee ready when he wakes up in a clever new mug – it’s useful and can also be either as sentimental or hilarious as you see fit.
Mug from Amazon – $13.99
Your dad could probably map out every pub within a 10 kilometre radius of your house – and probably has. He might be a connoisseur of micro-brews or a VB 6-pack kind of guy, but one thing’s for certain, in Beer Dad’s eyes nothing beats a cold stubby on a hot day.
Give him: If you’re old enough, shout him a pint at his favourite pub. If not, go for a thoughtfully picked stubby holder. Extra points if it has a cringey joke on it, because deep down, every dad is Dad Joke Dad. You could even get one custom printed for maximum sentimentality.
The Nerd Dad has watched Star Wars more often than your home videos. He quotes Lord of the Rings like it’s his job. And when you graduated high school he hugged you, tears in his eyes, and told you to, “Live long and prosper.” We won’t even mention how many times you’ve heard, “Luke, I am your father.”
Give him: Set up a marathon of his favourite movies. Don’t forget to supply his favourite snacks, and if he shushes you in the important bits, you’re not allowed to feel put out. Also, be prepared for him to make Dad Jokes during the film – it’s your job to laugh at them. Make your own movie ticket themed card as well, so he can keep it as a reminder of the experience.
What kind of dad is your dad, and what will you be giving him this Father’s Day?