Book Club

50 Fantastic Ideas For Engaging Dads – Book Review

Occasionally I’ll be sent a new book to read and tell you all about. Sometimes these books are absolutely perfect in every way. 50 Fantastic Ideas For Engaging Dads by June O’Sullivan and Alice Sharp is most certainly one of those books.

Children benefit from sensitive and supportive engagement from all of their carers, but sometimes engaging dads specifically can be a bit of a challenge. Some blokes are a bit shy, some feel a little awkward and some have just forgotten how to act like big kids! This wonderful little book has 50 fantastic ideas to get dads playing and engaging with their children, with ease and minimal effort.

I especially liked that the ideas featured in this book are perfect even with those on a little budget or even no budget at all! Flicking through the book, I notice activities that just require some old clothing, sheets of paper, old picture frames, real tools, kitchen utensils and even nothing at all, just the world around them. Simple ideas that will be so much fun for children and male carers alike and create wonderful memories.

Some of my favourite activities from 50 Fantastic Ideas For Engaging Dads include:

  • A letter for someone special
  • Paintball
  • Number hunt
  • Pirate Dad’s Treasure Hunt
  • Building a house
  • Making a fishing rod
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Make a bird feeder
  • Den building

This book is written with childcare practitioners in mind, but I also think that the book would make a wonderful gift for any new father-to-be or just as a thoughtful gift to a special dad. With just 64 pages, it’s small paperback that can fit on any bookshelf. It has a very brief introduction for why and how to use the book, and then every page thereafter contains an activity. Perfect for just flicking through, when looking for something to do. Throughout the book there are clear full-colour photographs and illustrations.

For professionals working with children, it is an easy go-to book for quick ideas, or last minute time-filling ideas. As the chairperson of our local nursery PTA, we shall be hosting some Dad’s Days, special activity days throughout the year. This book has been perfect helping us plan what activities we shall have available during these play sessions.

Each activity has a box featuring the things you will need for that activity. The rest of the text then explains ‘What’s in it for the children’, ‘Taking It Forward’ and ‘Advice For Dads’, just to explain a little more about why the activity that they have chosen is great and how this helps a child learn certain skills or knowledge. Occasionally a page may feature health and safety advice for the activity.

Buy The Book

50 Fantastic Ideas For Engaging Dads is available through Amazon or Bloomsbury with an RRP of £9.99.

Also available in the book range:

50 Fantastic Ideas For Involving Parents

50 Fantastic Ideas To Captivate Boys

50 Fantastic Ideas For Take Home Activities

About The Authors

June O’Sullivan MBE is the chief executive of the London Early Years Foundation, which is the UK’s largest Childcate Social Enterprise. She has over 30 years hands-on experience within the Early Years, Social Services, and Social Enterprise sectors and created the first Social Enterpirse Childcare Group in the UK.

Alice Sharp is a well-respected international trainer and speaker. She is the owner of Experiential Play, a dynamic and innovative training company who deliver all things Early Years globally.


*A copy of 50 Fantastic Ideas For Engaging Dads was sent to me in exchange for this post. All words and opinions are my own.*

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply