- Help develop language and literacy through talking about, exploring, and participating in meaningful experiences. Examples: Listening to and reading stories and poems, going on field trips initiated by the child’s interests, dictating stories.
- Do collaborative writing/dictation with your child where you both create and illustrate a book of your own that reflects a meaningful experience you have shared.
- Express love, concern, and forgiveness often.
- Show a genuine interest in your child’s day, feelings, thought, friends, etc.
- Stimulate your child’s learning in physical, social, emotional, and intellectual area by allowing them to learn through active exploration of their environment.
- Ask your child many questions, offer suggestions as to alternative options and add more complex materials or ideas to their play when ready.
- Draw your child’s attention to the environmental print which surrounds them - cereal, candy bars, restaurants, etc.
- Reinforce and model cooperative social skills, helping behaviors, and negotiation skills.
- Give your child many hypothetical social situations in which you can coach appropriate responses. For example, tell stories of a child taking their toy while they are playing - discuss many alternatives and then enforce the proper response.
- Teach your child a skill such as catching a ball, riding a bike, tying knots, jump rope, etc.
- Facilitate social development by monitoring their peer relationships and play. Intervene only at appropriate times.
- Monitor your childs safety, health, and grooming.
- Think, write, or discuss with your spouse about the hopes and dreams of being the kind of father you want to be. Have you in any way lost touch with some of these hopes and dreams. Why?
- Think, write, or discuss with your spouse about a person in your life who you have noticed parents in a way you feel is admirable. What can you learn from their example?
- Think, write, or discuss with your spouse about the memories you have of your own father. What did you decide about how you would like to father your child based on those experiences.
- Think, write, or discuss with your spouse about times you enjoy most with your child. Notice the aspects of your relationship you think you are doing right.
- Think, write, or discuss with your spouse about times you felt personally challenged in interactions with your child. What are some of your strengths from which you can draw on to better meet these challenges?
- Think, write, or discuss with your spouse about what you believe others (partner, children, relatives, friends, community, etc.) expect of you as a father. How do they differ? When have you met or not met these expectations?
- Create a story about the kinds of stories you would want your child to tell of you as their father
- Drop off and pick up your child from preschool / kindergarten / day care if enrolled.
- Spend time teaching your child how to tie their shoes, undo buckles, do up buttons or zippers, etc. as you are helping them dress.
- Tuck your child into bed.
- Help with the cleaning, laundry, and cooking associated with your child.
- Repair broken toys, bikes, beds, etc.
- Be willing to adopt the excitement for learning your child has and slow down enough to really look at a butterfly, a fire truck, a construction site, etc.
- Be available to attend preschool or kindergarten teacher conferences.
- Let your child’s teacher know you are willing to help out in the classroom.
- Be available for the spontaneous adventures your child embarks on and willing to drop things so as not to miss the moment.
- Plan field trips that would be of interest to your child. A trip to the fireman station, post office, flower shop, apple orchard, bakery, animal farm, museum, etc. Allow for a lot of exploratory time. Bring things to the child’s level of understanding.
- Plan birthdays, vacations, and holidays, that take into consideration the needs and interests of your child.
- Explore animals, plants, water, wheels, gears, etc.
- Work together planting a garden, building a toy, or fixing a flat tire.
- Draw, paint, work with clay, finger paint, etc with your child - do not expect a representational product.
- Cook easy recipes together, letting the child measure, stir, bake, etc. Integrate subjects of math, science, etc. together.
- Sort objects together - candy, buttons, rocks, leaves, etc.
- Start a collection of interest - leaves, rocks, cards, buttons, etc.
- Collect many safe props for dramatic play - a cardboard or wooden house, kitchen tools, child size living room furniture, old clothes, hats, or shoes, hospital paraphernalia, fire station hats, mechanic tools, etc.
- Purchase child-sized tools, tables, chairs, and other materials for a play room.
- Provide children’s books with lots of repetition in them (There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly , Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see, The Napping House, etc.) This will encourage pre-reading skills because they can memorize or anticipate what the words say.
- Hug, wrestle, kiss, tickle, give horse rides, etc. to show love and affection.
- Teach your child to stay on sidewalks and to only step off curbs if he or she is holding your hand.
- Allow outdoor play in only the safe, hazard free places of your neighborhood. Carefully supervise play. Three year olds often over-estimate their newly developed physical powers and will try things that are unsafe or beyond their capabilities especially if they are playing with four or five year olds.
- Always buckle up your children in the backseat.
- Install Electrical outlet covers that are large enough not to be a choking hazard if taken out.
- Install cabinet and drawer locks on locations that contain dangerous materials such as cleaning chemicals, sharp tools or appliances, medicine cabinets, etc.
- Many house plants can cause illness or death. Keep out of reach of children.