- Active family involvement in early childhood is thought to be beneficial in young children’s learning and development.
- Research shows that family involvement in the education of young children leads to better school readiness and social development.
- The way fathers engage with their kids in play differs from the play and language from other adults that helps in improving cognition and language.
- Fathers usually engage in physical play and use direct and challenging speech involving directions, requests and open-ended questions.
- Activities encouraging physical play and direct speech involving multistep directions (are areas where fathers’ unique skills can be utilized) to enhance father child engagement.
- It has been shown that father involvement in play increases social competence.
Following are the activities through which fathers can go beyond their “Daddy roles” and get involved with their children.
- Sports activities (such as Father–Child Adapted Basketball Game, make your own bowling with plastic cups and lightweight ball and gross motor activities like obstacle crossing, kicking/throwing foam balls or playing with exercise balls)
- Family games (involving development appropriate turn-taking games and creating your own activity folders)
- Literary activities (such as reading books with monthly highlighted authors or genres and library events)
- Build with me activities (with the help of cartons/ boxes and age appropriate Lego sets)
- Nature activities (e.g., nature walks, leaf rubbings and growing vegetables)
- Cooking activities (such as ideas for weekend breakfasts and healthy snacks)
- Art and sensory activities (involving materials for sensory play and art projects such as Daddy and me self-portraits)
- Daily activity skills (such as dress-up activities so children can learn to put on clothes and shoes)
Ancell KS, Bruns DA, Chitiyo J. The Importance of Father Involvement in Early Childhood Programs. Young Exceptional Children. 2018;21(1):22-33.