Making your dad-time memorable

When it comes to memorable dad-time your child will remember, the everyday type moments together can have just as much value as big events. Regularly reading or telling bedtime stories, when your child is younger, establishes the supportive conditions for the brain to learn and remember.

Of course, there are certain circumstances that result in some dads being unable to spend time every day with their children, yet it has been found that it’s what you do when you are with them that is important. The time you spend giving your child your undivided attention to make them feel special will be equally impactful for their future.

A great way for dads to create memorable dad-time with their children is to play and have fun with them. Children will remember you smiling, laughing and enjoying being with them. Plus, evidence has shown that not only is fun play a great way to connect, but play with dad, has a unique role in the development of your child. Play encourages children to explore, discover, negotiate, take risks, and problem-solve which supports the development of cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills. Even as they get older, they will still crave time with you, and love to play.


  • Remember, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on big activities or events. Playing, laughing and having fun together doing simple things. It’s how you make your child feel that’s important, rather than the activity itself. 
  • Reinforce the good times. Use story telling to remind your child of all the good times you’ve had. This helps to solidify the memory. 
  • Take each of your children on a dad date. These don’t have to be expensive but it gives your child one on one time with you which they’ll cherish.
  • If you can’t see your child everyday because you don’t live with them, or you’re away for work, utilise FaceTime to read them a bedtime story, play games together and engage in conversations by asking open-ended questions i.e. what was the funniest thing that happened today? 

Don’t stop creating memorable dad-time with your kids or revisiting the ones you already have. Remember, the times they will remember most are when you make them believe:

“Dad thinks I am important to him, and he wants to spend this time with me”.

Mondays with Fathering Project founder Dr. Bruce Robinson
We want to foster connection, sharing, and collaborating in this time of isolation and need. The Fathering Channel is an online community hub and a source of research-based advice, support, and information. Tune in every Monday for Bruce’s weekly video – packed with fathering advice and tips.
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