It’s that time of year when it is impossible to figure out a gift for dad. Well, as a stay-at-home dad (SAHD) here are the things I use on the regular, and could maybe use an upgrade. There are a few general ones and then a few specific to your dad type. I also tried to include a variety of budget options. These gifts will help your SAHD life not be so sad.
Wireless earbuds are a staple of life. Sometimes you just need some music or tuning out of the kiddos. But guess what? You still have to listen for the kids. Earbuds allow you to catch up on Netflix, music, that funny youtube video or your favorite podcast with only one of your ears occupied leaving the other one free for the dreaded “Daddy, I need…”
I have come to love my Anker Soundcore Air ones but the Razer’s look like a worthy upgrade for the gamer-centric. Of course, if you rock the Apple system then the Airpods are great.
The amount of random stuff that needs a screwdriver in my life is massive. This is my favorite screwdriver. It ratchets and flexes into the inevitable tiny spaces that need tightening. You might need to pick up some bits for it but as an all-purpose cheap option, it rocks.
Women have purses for a reason. They need them to carry the mountain of items children need. We use backpacks. I use my Camelback without the water pack because they are high-quality and light (re: not heavy) backpacks. However, you could go for the typical Diaperpack. The things that matter are the outer pockets and the zippers. Bad Zippers wear out fast. Outer pockets matter for quick access.
Whether it’s water or the elixir of life known as coffee. A travel mug is necessary to lessen spills and keep things at the desired temperature. Bonus note: for those using frozen breastmilk throughout the day. I have poured boiling water into my yeti in the morning and made it to 5 pm thawing breastmilk along the way for my kiddos.
This one is as expensive as you want it to be. My wife and I just go hide in our bedroom or office to take a weekly night off. It helps us be better humans to each other and our children.
As a stay-at-home dad, I do almost all the cooking. So here are a couple of ideas to make it smoother.
These non-stick all clads are easy cleaning and easy cooking. A good pan makes a better meal. Simple but effective if the pans you have are wearing out.
I don’t use these, but I know a lot of dads who swear by them. I use our crockpot or rice cooker when I need it. For those who have neither combine them in the Instapot.
So this is something I have actually wanted for a while (hint, hint wifey). The more I cook the more I wish I were better at certain things. I actually have grown to really enjoy cooking a variety of dishes and work pretty hard to cook different things from around the world so my kids have palettes that can eat anywhere. They also like veggies because I have learned to cook them well. But there is always room for improvement and experimentation. If you have a SAHD who likes to cook you could combine the night-off with a cooking class.
I am a writer but I know a lot of dads who wish they had journaled along the way. These are cheap and easy journals. Get him a nicer pen and that night off might be filled with some reflection that he will enjoy sharing with you later.
Maybe he isn’t a writer, but a webcam would let him video journal stuff. Plus these days a nice webcams set-up is great for a lot of reasons. I use this Anker one. But the Razer Kiyo is hard to beat for the price, quality, and ease of its set-up.
Remember the earbuds earlier. A subscription to audible lets him pick a book a month. Whether it’s epic fantasy or some nonfiction awesomeness, this can let the SAHD in your life grow his library without having to make space for all the books or find the time to actually sit down and read. Also goes great with late nights holding babies. Sometimes the little ones just need to be held and an audiobook fits in nicely for you
I am a gamer and it can be an expensive hobby, but with cloud solutions today it is far more accessible to the dad on the go. Here is the Google Stadia Bundle. Play on the phone, laptop, computer. No expensive graphics card is required. But do make sure you have a strong enough internet solution. It’s my personal favorite when I can’t get to my computer because it works so well on my phone.
Xbox Game Pass
Is Google Stadia not your thing? That’s fine Xbox game pass ultimate comes with 100s of the latest and greatest. You can also install those lightweight indies to your pc if the cloud version isn’t to your liking. If you want to make sure they have everything they need to game here is a link to the official Xbox controller. Or you could let him design his own.
Ah, so you’re the outdoorsy type. Great here are a couple of solutions.
Nowadays even the most Luddite of us needs power. Why not make it solar rechargeable, lightweight, and highly effective. I don’t have this one. But the Anker brand one I have is 7 years old and the battery hasn’t really degraded. That’s something I can’t say for the 3-year-old Samsung one I have.
This is a great took kit but before purchasing make sure they don’t already have one.
While your SAHD probably already has a preferred cooking set. I think my dad still uses his from the 70s. The little ones are going to need their own. Or maybe, just maybe the SAHD in your life might ”lose” the old nasty set. At that point, it will be time to grab this new one. This set has all the essentials and is designed for lightweight portability whether dump camping or backpacking.
Shoes are a really personal thing. I love New Balances because apparently, I am already an old man. The only shoes that have taken me away from that brand are these fellas by Brooks. The Ghost versions are so light. I have a couple of hundred miles into them and they are only just now falling apart now 4 years later. Check the shoes and get him some new ones.
Maybe cleats if the running shoes are good. I like to get football ones because they tend to be some of the best multipurpose ones for turf or grass. But if you SAHD has a sport then stick with that type.
Another potentially cheap one. Sign him up for a league and then make time to play in the games and be at practice.
I don’t have a Hydroflask. But my brother does. If I were going to buy a water bottle, it would be a Hydroflask. They also work great for the on-the-go as a travel mug.
For the handy electronics guy or the guys who are constantly putting batteries in weird slots. This set has just about everything you could want to repair that new toy that broke on Christmas after five minutes of playing with it. But that never happens… right?
My favorite tool is the oscillating tool. This set comes with a sander and a blade. It is perfect for those fandom touch-ups. I loan this tool out more than any other. It is also my second most used power tool after a drill. If your husband is handy, he likely has a drill. Grab an oscillating tool that matches the brand he already has. If he doesn’t have or needs a new drill get that first.
After a drill and oscillating tool get a circular saw. While cordless has come a long way, I prefer my saw circular saw corded. It has more consistent power. There is nothing worse than being mid-cut and running out of battery. Being corded, in my experience, makes the saw more versatile. Harder to carry around yes, but I always know it is going to do the job I need it to. If I really need to go cordless, a lot of times the oscillating tool can handle it, or it’s worth making sure I can run the cord to where I need it.