Father's Day

These Father's Day games are perfect for even the youngest kids.
10'000 Hours/DigitalVision/Getty Images

12 Fun Games To Make A Father’s Day Tradition

Spoiler alert: He won’t let the kids win this time. It’s his day.

When Father’s Day comes around, how do you spend this special time? Some dads are generally easy to please if they have full bellies and a baseball game, but aside from loading him with gifts and breakfast in bed, there’s another way to celebrate the man of the house: have some real family fun. Put together a few games to add an interesting spin to this holiday, making it memorable and possibly creating a new tradition for your family.

Let’s admit it, anything involving a competition tends to trigger Dad’s testosterone — oops. I meant to say pique their interest. But the difference is, this time, instead of being the kind dad who feigns loss, they won’t feel bad about beating the kids. And to add a little more sauce to your fun rivalry, have a prize ready for the one who wins the most games.

With this list, you can show dad a good time at the kitchen table, in the backyard, or even on the basketball court, so don’t feel stuck. You can switch it up. While some of these activities may require a bit of prep time, they won’t disappoint. And chances are that all of those fun things you usually do on Father’s Day — fishing, a park picnic, hitting up a museum — don’t compare to a silly game at home.

1

Water Fight

There’s nothing like a good ol’ fashioned water fight! Dad will love hearing the screams and giggles (when he’s not running for his dry life)! If you don’t have or want to use water guns, feel free to use water balloons, a water hose, or even spray bottles.

2

Play HORSE

kate_sept2004/E+/Getty Images

If dad considers himself an NBA all-star who missed his chance at the draft, then he’s ready to lace up and win this hoop competition. Playing HORSE is simple, and you can always bend the rules found here to fit your family.

3

Foot Race

A good foot race is in order when the kids think they can best dad in all things physical! He’ll be ready to show that he ain’t too shabby, and his knees can still come through for him.

4

Cornhole

This may be the traditional backyard BBQ game, but that’s why dad will love it so much. Good thing he won’t be held up by flipping the meat on the grill this time. Even the littlest toddlers can understand the concept of cornhole, and they’ll love trying their own toss of the bag.

5

Sequence

Sequence is a board game favorite with families. It involves the board, playing cards, chips, and up to three teams of two people. Be the first to get five chips in a row and you and your partner win.

6

Speak Out: Kids Vs. Parents

Who spit on me? Sorry, but you’ll get used to it happening with Speak Out, so back up a bit when it’s not your turn. The game consists of four adult mouthpieces and six for kids. Each player grabs a card and tries to communicate the phrase on it to see if they can be understood.

7

Play A Card Game

We’ve been doing this with our kids since they were 5. Use a regular deck of cards and create your game. One way we chose was to create a spread of three or more of the same suit (spades, diamonds, etc) or the same number. Let dad get to choose what the wild card is, and have fun trying to win!

If you want something more classic, there are so many options for family-friendly card games. Consider it educational! Don’t forget to make some card snacks.

8

The Marshmallow Game

This one is simple, but will have everyone giggling. Print a list of phrases and pour a bowl of large marshmallows. Each family member takes a turn going to the front and after stuffing their mouth with marshmallows, tries to say the phrase. The person who can get the family to guess the most phrases wins!

9

Scavenger Hunt For His Favorites

In this activity, you can make a short list of dad’s favorite things to purchase. But here’s the best part. Hide them around the house and create a list of clues to randomly find that will lead him to his treasures. The more clever your clues, the more fun it will be to watch him figure it out!

10

Checkers Tournament

For the intellectual dad whose family doesn’t might not all grasp chess yet, he’ll be glad to do a checkers takeover. If you want to make it interesting, add a timer to crank up the pressure a bit for each player. Keep switching — the loser gets up and the next person takes a seat to challenge the champion.

11

Pudding Eating Race

Does dad have a favorite pudding or jello? If not, use applesauce or something equally soft. Whoever finishes first wins! This will be messy, but so worth the laughs. Especially for the toddler and preschool set.

12

Ping Pong Tournament

We all got really good at ping pong during quarantine. If you have a ping pong table, this holiday is the perfect time to use it! The family can take turns letting dad teach his winning moves or trying to beat him. But even if he loses, it’s his day, so let him hold on to his paddle and keep trying.