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Dear old Dad. Silent and steadfast or cheerful and chatty, dads are pretty wonderful. Most of the time. And unless you live with your parents, it's very likely you've not seen enough of your pa recently. So this year, schedule in some one-on-one quality time so you can shoot the breeze and quietly say, "hey, thanks for all that stuff you've done for me over the course of my life, I really appreciate it."

Usually you'd take dad down the pub, buy him a beer and let the booze do the talking. Or the not talking, if your dad is anything like ours (definitely in the silent and steadfast group, unless one too many of said beers have been consumed). 

The problem with Father's Day in lockdown is that, well, there's nawt to do. No pubs to visit, no dusty car museums to drag yourself around, no films to see in the cinema. If the thought of having to actually talk to your dad – beyond the usual "how're you doing, love?" – makes you feel a bit lost, we've got some conversation starters ready to go. 

First things first: get a picnic

Autumn picnic

(Image: Jill Wellington)

Food and drink are always a good idea. Not only is it a treat for both of you, you can lapse into comments on how great the antipasti platter is in moments when the conversation runs dry. You don't even have to organise anything – just order one of The Indytute's brilliant Italian picnics and everything you need will get sent right to your door. You could even pretend you made it all yourself, we won't tell. 

Fly a kite

Flying a kite

(image: cocoparisienne)

Yes! That well-known father-child activity, and trust us when we say you're never too old to have fun flying a kite. And hey, we've even stuck one in our picnic hampers for you. 

Bring a game of cards

Card game

(image: sabinevanerp)

Another failsafe option. Get things warmed up with some highly competitive rounds of Snap before moving onto the tougher stuff. For added thrills, throw some bets in – who gets the last bite of the limoncello posset, if you win you get to drive his car etc etc. 

Ask him what he was like at school

Football schoolboy

(image: Carol Austin)

And get prepared for the misty-eyed nostalgia of when he was a young lad, full of rough and tumble adventures. Those were the days, eh? 

Make him a family album

Old photo album

(image: congerdesign)

OK, this one's a bit more effort on your part, but ask your extended family for photos of him when he was younger, as well as old family shots. Print them out and stick them in an album for extra brownie points. 

Have an art sesh

Father daughter drawing

(image: Daniela Dimitrova)

One for creative dads. The ideas are endless here: blind drawings, use opposite hands, creative line drawings. 

Bring him something to fix

 Vintage woman's bike

(image: Dima Marov)

And if all else fails bring him something to fix and ask him to teach you how to do it. Bikes are prime example – endless hours of activity that mean your bike will be spinning like a top and dad feels, well, dad-like.

FURTHER READING: If your dad likes to cook, treat him to our sourdough starter kit. And if you get to reap the reward of some freshly baked bread, it's a gift for the both of you. 

(main image: Mabel Amber)

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