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3 Father’s Day Activities for Preteens and Elementary Kids

Father’s Day will soon be here. To help you in your planning, here are some fun and easy Father’s Day activities you can do with your kids.

1. Feats of Strength

Have kids form pairs. Say: We’re going to discover how strong you are by trying a series of challenges. Your first challenge? One-Legged Elbow Wrestling!

Have partners interlock their right elbows and hold one foot off the ground at the same time. When you say “go,” kids will attempt to push their partners off balance. The challenge ends when the first person in each pair has to put his or her foot down to keep from falling. Allow time.

Have kids switch partners. Say: Next? Flat-Bottomed Back Wrestling!

Have kids sit on the floor, back to back and with elbows interlocked, with their knees raised close to their chests. Say: On “go,” the first person to get his or her partner’s right shoulder to touch the ground wins. Ready, go! Allow time.

Have kids switch partners again. Say: Last? The Toe-to-Toe Hand Pull!

Have kids sit on the floor facing their partners with toes touching. Say: Interlink both your hands with your partner’s hands. On “go,” try to lift your partner off the ground by pulling back on his or her hands. The challenge is over when one person leaves the ground. Ready, go! Allow time.

Once kids complete all three challenges, encourage them to share which events they were strongest in. Applaud everyone’s efforts.


  • Tell about a time you felt strong.
  • Other than physical strength, what are ways people are strong?
  • Who’s the strongest person you know—and what makes that person so strong?

Say: Father’s Day is a day we recognize all the great things about our dads, including their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual strength. Father’s Day is also a day to recognize that we have an amazing, strong, and powerful Father in heaven—God, who loves us very much and is stronger than anyone.

Close in prayer, thanking God for being a strong Father and for giving kids great dads and men in their lives.

2. Muddy Situation

Set out a dishpan full of mud. Make sure the mud is wet enough for children to plunge their hands deep into it. Mix in several coins with the mud. When children arrive, tell them there’s money in the mud—all they have to do is dig for it and it’s theirs. Require each child to dig for the money.

Afterward, ask:

  • How did it feel to dig in the mud for hidden treasure?
  • How does it feel to have mud on your hands now that our search is over?

Don’t allow children to wash up. say: Today we’re going to learn about a young boy who left his father to hunt for a better life. Let’s see what happened to him.

Have the children listen and stand up when good actions and attitudes happen and sit down when bad actions and attitudes happen. Read aloud Luke 15:11-32 from a modern translation. Review the story by letting the children describe times they stood or sat.


  • What was so special about the way the father in this story loved his son?
  • What happened to the son when he wouldn’t receive his father’s love?
  • How is what happened to him similar to the way you feel with mud on your hands?
  • Who in your life loves you the way the father in this story loved his son?

Say: Jesus told this story so we’d understand that God loves us the same way the father loved his son.


  • What’s one way you know that God loves you?

Allow children to wash their hands.

3. Father’s Day Card

Have children create a unique card for Father’s Day. Using their thumbprints, children create pictures of sheep. Then have children drew a shepherd and glue this poem to their picture:

Children are just little lambs
Needing love and care.
We have a Heavenly Shepherd
Who is with us everywhere.

But even on this Earth,
God gave us shepherds, too.
He knew just what I needed.
I’m so glad He gave me you!

Inside their cards, children glued the preprinted words to Psalm 78:5-7: “For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them—even the children not yet born—and they , in turn,will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.

For those children in our congregation who don’t have dads living with them, we encouraged them to give their cards to people who had been like shepherds or fathers to them.

Sharon Noble
Iwakuni, Japan

Looking for even more great ideas for Father’s Day? Check out all our Father’s Day posts

3 thoughts on “3 Father’s Day Activities for Preteens and Elementary Kids


    I appreciate the effort you all put into these added ideas for teaching but the games that involve mud are not conducive to our classroom. I can’t even imagine the mess this would make and that the parents would probably not be overjoyed with it either.


      Hi Debbi! If teaching with mud isn’t conducive to your classroom (as may be the case for many!) feel free to skip this idea and search among our many other ideas that are available on our website. We know that each classroom has it’s one set of needs and resources and we strive to create a varity activities that are easily adaptable!

    • Christine

      Have you ever tried kinetic sand? It’s a great alternative. You can also purchase little plastic beads from early childhood companies that work well in the classroom. Or try the shredded paper that you purchase for wrapping presents. Any of these are great sensory experiences that don’t require children to mess up their Sunday clothes.

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