A Father’s Day Tradition | Gift Ideas for Dad

We have a Father’s Day tradition in my family that I hope to be able to continue for years to come.  Each year, the kids and I choose a book for their daddy to read to them.  Inside the front cover of the book, I write a note from them.  I include a print of each child’s hand at the bottom where a signature would go.  As Aiden and Lily get older, I hope to encourage them to write in the book and eventually completely write the notes. This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made through the links may earn me a commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Inspiration Laboratories!

A Father's Day Tradition - Gift Ideas for Dad

Our Father’s Day Tradition – A Book for Dad

For their first Father’s Day {Aiden was 6 months old}, I chose the book, Me and My Dad! by Allison Ritchie. It’s a #1 New York Times Bestseller about the adventures of Daddy bear and his son. This book continues to be special to Aiden.
Aiden was 18 months old for the second Father’s Day. He helped me choose My Dad, My Hero by Ethan Long to give to his daddy. With its colorful illustrations, this book reads like a comic book. A little boy lists all of the ways his dad is not a superhero and describes why his dad is his hero. When we first got this book, Aiden requested to read it every night for at least a month. It is adorable and funny. I highly recommend this book.
For their third Father’s Day, we got the book What Dads Can’t Do by Douglas Wood. Reader Michelle suggested it, and I’m happy we purchased it. The book shows all the things dads do, but from a kid’s perspective. Dads can’t cross the street without holding hands. When dads play hide-and-seek they always get found… Dads need kisses before bedtime.
The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins was Aiden’s choice for their 4th Father’s Day. He was very fond of penguins and liked how the book shows how much the daddy Emperor Penguin cares for his baby. While mom heads off to catch lots of fish, dad holds the egg on his feet for two months keeping it warm. The egg hatches and daddy feeds the penguin chick until mom returns with fish. The book is illustrated by Jane Chapman, who is well known for illustrating the Bear books by Karma Wilson.
Last year I chose My Father Knows the Names of Things by Jane Yolen. The father in this book knows the name of lots of things and teaches them to his child. They talk about the names of birds, clouds, planets, insects, plants, dinosaurs, and more. Aiden loves asking his dad questions about all the things around us. This book is perfect for the two of them. Lily was barely two months old, but I made sure to add her handprint to the book as well.

There are several new books out that would make great Father’s Day gifts. I’ll be sharing that list on Monday. And on Tuesday, I’ll share what books we’ve chosen for this year along with the rest of my husband’s present. I couldn’t choose just one book for the kids this year, so they’re each giving one.

Other Gift Ideas for Dads

There are several other books that we own or have read that would be great choices for Father’s Day.

We purchased Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney because Aiden enjoyed reading the library’s copy so much.  Had I thought about, I should have waited for Father’s Day to give them this classic story about how much a little hare loves his daddy.  This is a perfect story to act out the actions as you read.
The Adventures of Little Nutbrown Hare is another wonderful book by Sam McBratney about Little Nutbrown Hare and his father. If you loved the interaction of the hares in Guess How Much I love You, you’ll love following the hares on four new adventures.
Have you ever been owling? Owl Moon by Jane Yolen is the story of a father who takes his daughter out looking for a Great Horned Owl for the first time. The father tries to call the owl in and the two of them listen and wait. Eventually the owl calls back. Read the story to see how it ends.
The Very Best Daddy of All is an adorable board book that shows how fathers take care of their children by bringing them food, playing with them, and keeping them safe.


When choosing a book for another person to describe them, be sure to read it cover to cover. For example, there was one book I looked at that talked about all of the fun things the dad and son did together, but then it mentioned his dad wasn’t good at camping.  Totally not my husband who is very competent with all things nature and outdoors.  I felt it would be insulting to buy that book. I also try to get books that are different each year. Many of the books are very similar to Me and My Dad!

Your Turn

Now I need your help.  Do you have any favorite children’s books that are perfect for a father to read to his son?  What about those for a father to read to his daughter? I need ideas for next year. Read the comments for wonderful reader suggestions.

Thanks for any recommendations you have!

This post was originally published on May 25, 2012.


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