There’s no doubt that fathers play a special role in children’s lives. In fact, today’s dads are more involved with bringing up their children and children have stronger bonds with their fathers than in previous generations.
With more dads making the time to have quality engagement with their children, celebrating fathers in early childhood education, from childcare centres through to school, is a must.
While many children will be overjoyed to invite dad along to a Father’s Day celebration, there are many other children who don’t have their father present in their life. This can be for a variety of reasons, and with over 740,000 families in Australia headed up by solo mums, it’s something most early childhood educators will have to address.
Father’s Day is coming up on 4 September, so make sure you create an inclusive Father’s Day celebration that can be enjoyed by all children. This could be by inviting fathers as well as special male friends or role models. These can be family members like an uncle, grandfather or step-dad, or perhaps a sports coach or friend of the family.
When you’re organising craft and other fun activities to mark the occasion, try to leave it open for children to design for their chosen person rather than specifying ‘To Dad’ by default.
Father’s Day also gives educators a chance to have a conversation with children about family diversity – there are plenty of books on the subject that may be worth looking at to help you explore this topic.
Enjoy your centre’s Father’s Day celebrations and of course, we think every celebration is a good time for a song, so feel free to incorporate this poem, ‘My Daddy’.
If you’ve got some great ideas to share and help all of us celebrating Father’s Day in early childhood, please post them on our Facebook page!
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