Quick, Easy, and Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Dad

Updated on June 11, 2019
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Sarah is a yoga teacher, custom framer, babysitter, and artist. She loves painting and spending time with her rat, gerbil, and hamster.

It Is Always the Right Time to Show Love

Fathers and father figures certainly have a special place in our lives. Although all relationships are unique, different, and certainly not perfect, it is always a good time to acknowledge the positive influence having a father has on us. So whether it is dad's birthday, father's day, or perhaps just an ordinary day, any time is a good time to give back and show our appreciation. Explore the following ideas for gift-giving inspiration and show your dad how much you care. Choose something that fits well with both of your personalities and really lets dad know you were thinking of him.


Photographs are a very simple, yet extremely thoughtful gift is to give your father. Photographs are very special because they really are a snapshot of a memory. There are many different images that would work perfectly as a gift. These could be images of a moment you were together, your father when he was younger along with a photo of yourself at the same age, a family vacation, and so on. If you don't have any photographs that specifically include your father, you may choose to give him a photograph of yourself. You can write a little note on the back of the photograph and slip it inside a card or put it in a frame. Easy! If you have many photographs, you may even consider putting them into an album.

Personal Art

Art that you have made is a wonderfully personal gift. If you think you aren't "good" at art, try drawing or painting an abstract piece with just shapes and dad's favorite colors. You could also attempt a portrait or perhaps an image one of his favorite activities, like a golf ball or steering wheel. It doesn't have to be complex or perfect. Having something hand-made in itself is a very thoughtful gift that will truly be appreciated. Even if things end up looking a little lopsided, think of it as having more style. Be creative, and have fun!

Framed Treasures

Perhaps you don't have any decent photographs to give dad. That's okay! Another simple idea is to frame anything that is meaningful. This could be a picture cut out from a magazine of a favorite sports team or figure, a newspaper article, certificates, or an image printed from the internet. You can get creative here, basically anything that is flat enough to place in a frame will work! The frame is what makes this gift feel complete.

Food Basket

You really can't go wrong with giving someone food! Perhaps you want to give dad a plate of your best home-made cookies. If cooking and baking is not your specialty, or you are simply pressed for time, another idea is to gather a few of dad's favorite food items and give them in a basket. Some ideas might be a box of his favorite candy, hot sauce, seasonings, specialty jams, and snacks. Add a ribbon or bow on the top to complete the look.

Helping Hands

A great and no-cost idea to show dad you are thinking of him is to help out with a chore that he usually does himself. This could mean mowing the lawn, washing his car, cleaning the litter box, or scrubbing the bathroom clean. You could give this gift as a surprise when he is out of the house, or encourage dad to relax with his favorite beverage while you complete the task.

Event Tickets

Giving tickets with the intention of accompanying your father to the event is a great gift because you also get to spend time together in the future. These could be tickets to the zoo, the movie theater, a local comedy show, concert, or sporting event. If you buy them online, or if there are no physical tickets for the event, you can make your own. This can simply be a small piece of paper that says "good for a movie night out!" This particular gift is especially good for occasions when you may not have a lot of time to spend with your father or father figure on a certain day (like father's day or his birthday).

A Little Goes a Long Way

As you can see, it doesn't take too much time or energy to be able to give dad something that is both personal and thoughtful. A small gesture can go a long way. With a little creativity, you can use these ideas as starting points and perhaps think of some of your own ways in which you can make your father feel special and appreciated.

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