Family Fun | Holidays

9 Father's Day Gifts That Let Dad Play in the Dirt

You may have read somewhere  that “dirt is the new Prozac.” I’d argue that it’s the old Prozac (really, what's older than dirt?), but no one asked me. It turns out that Mycobacterium vaccae, a little bacteria found in soil, improves mood by tweaking the same serotonin-releasing neurons in the brain as Prozac. (This discovery certainly explains Ciscoe’s unflagging ebullience!) 

So, skip the electronics, the World’s Greatest Dad coffee mug, and the barbeque tools and get the papa in your life something that will really make him happy: Gifts that will help him get his hands dirty. Remember, a backyard dad is a happy dad!

Hori-Hori, the MacGyver of gardening tools A Hori-Hori knife, commonly referred to as the “MacGyver” of gardening implements, is almost the only tool you need. Great for digging, sawing, weeding, planting and transplanting, or even just hacking into bags of soil or compost. Really, what dad wouldn’t want a little MacGyver swagger? Try this Stainless-Steel Hori-Hori Knife with Sheath for $32.95 from Williams Sonoma.
Garden soaker bed

How about a raised bed kit to grow your own veggies? Check out the new Aquacorner™ Raised Bed Soaker Systems available from Gardener’s Supply. Dad may grumble because he’ll have to, you know, do something, but he’ll be jazzed by the ease of use of having the watering system built right in. (Remind him that he gets to make a trip to the lumber yard for this project — that ought to perk him up.)  Once the garden is built and planted, he just has to turn the handle to water. He can do that while opening a beer with his shoe. How, you ask?

Reef Men's Fanning Flip Flops Get him a pair of Reef Men's Fanning Flip Flops — these stylish thong sandals (so, no, he can’t wear socks) have a bottle opener engineered into the bottom of the sole. His hands will get dirty when he opens the beer, right? Kinda makes you wonder why all shoes don’t have this feature.
ENO DoubleNest Hammock

After Dad gets tuckered out from all that hard yard work, he’ll need to chill for a bit.  Get him a hammock — not one of those girlie ones Mom retreats to with her book, but a rugged, got-to-hike-into-the-woods-to-hang-it-up model. REI stocks one with the proper rugged-individualist gravitas, the ENO DoubleNest Hammock, for $64.95.

Camp Chef Everest Two-Burner Camp Stove

Before the sun goes down it would be nice to have a fire, and since you’ve got Dad out swinging from a tree, he’d better have the Gerber Gator Combo Axe II for $49.95, also from REI. Of course, after all that beer he’ll need to eat, so the Camp Chef Everest Two-Burner Camp Stove for $99.95 could come in handy.  It features two burners that each kick out 20,000 BTUs — that ought to get Dad's chili pot bubbling! Separate burner controls allow him to slowly warm the sauce for the ribs at the same time. Hmm, perhaps you should throw in a GSI Outdoors Cathole Sanitation Trowel for only $4.95. Just saying.

Jack Black All-Over Wash Of course, even though dirt is great for Dad’s emotional state, he will need to clean up eventually. Check out the fabulous offerings to get that clean, close shave over at The Art of Shaving. The AoS philosophy is that a proper shave has four steps — prepare, lather up, shave, and moisturize. Has Dad taken the time to find the right product for his skin type? Inexpensive drugstore products often contain fragrances and alcohols that damage the skin and cause ingrown hairs. He may not even know what a treat a good shave can be!

If revamping his shaving routine is too much for a simple guy with simple needs, treat Dad to some Jack Black All-Over Wash, available for around $15 at local retailers or online. The product has the visual appeal and performance of those fussy upscale toiletries, and he can use it on his hair, body and face, making the whole getting-clean thing a low-fuss no-brainer.



Emily Metcalfe Smith is an aspiring writer, wannabe supermom and ParentMap’s Out & About intern.


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