A Father's Day gift guide for clever kids

It's not too late to get dad something great

Emperor 200

It's never been easier to get your dad a Father's Day gift he'll actually enjoy. The time when men's gifts were limited to durable socks and summer sausage has passed. Just about every dad has something unique that makes him giddy, and thanks to the internet, you'll have no problem tracking that thing down. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

For the early adopter dad

If dad has ever waited in line overnight to purchase the newest incarnation of popular gadgets, or if he has an electronic version of nearly every possible household appliance (from rake to pancake flipper), he's probably an "early adopter." For him, the apex of gift-giving this year will be the 3-D printer. Though the printer is now little more than an expensive toy, it is probably also the root of a civilization shift, as the radio, automobile, and computer were before it. Websites like 3D Hubs can help guide you through the complicated labyrinth of the different printers on the market, which sell anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. For the true techie dad, you can even buy him a kit that allows him to assemble his own.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

For the adventurer dad

We can't all be Bear Grylls, flinging ourselves into dangerous rivers filled with rocks and flesh-eating bacteria, but for the dad who daydreams that he could, you can offer him a symbol of his wild side. The Etsy store TaxidermyOnline offers real dried red-bellied Piranhas straight from the Amazon. Reasonably priced at around $45, these little monsters will be the prize of any angler's trophy case.

For the Trekkie dad

There are loads of options for the dad who knows what it takes to beat The Kobayashi Maru or can translate "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra" fast enough to bring peace to the quadrant. But don't go for the obvious choices. Dads like useful stuff. If you get him a replica phaser, make sure it can do double duty as a remote control. Or perhaps he would like to reek of power and mucus green masculinity with a hint of Tiberius Cologne. (The scent of "Red Shirt," which is presumably a heady mixture of disposable utensils and fear, is also available. But don't get that for your dad. That's just mean.)

For the 80's dad

Does your dad always get a look of despair whenever he hears Def Leppard piped into the grocery store speakers? Does he refuse to believe acid-washed jean jackets ever went out of style? It's okay, this is a common phenomenon in the 21st century. Help your father integrate the past and present with an ION ICade Arcade Cabinet For IPad. For $60, you can give dad the arcade feel of his youth while gently introducing him to the technology of today. And if he still struggles, you can always give him a Sony Walkman Case for his smartphone, complete with era-appropriate headphones.

For the H.P. Lovecraft-ian dad

It isn't unusual for dad to find a mythical universe to immerse himself in, whether it was created by George Lucas or J.R.R. Tolkien. But if your dad has made his imaginary home in the bleak and hopeless depths of H.P Lovecraft's writings, it's your job to keep him from sinking too low. You can do this by reminding dad there is a lighter side to the inescapable wrath of Cthulu; sure he'll one day rise from the deep and consume the world, but he also makes a surprisingly adorable tiki mug. As for Dagon and all the other Deep Ones, think fez! Beautiful replicas of the 1920s Weird Tales magazines that originally published Lovecraft's horrible visions are also available for purchase.

For the dad who has extremely wealthy children

(Image credit: Facebook.com)

When you think about the amount of time the average dad spends sitting at a computer, his back aching from the primitive ergonomics of desk and chair, doesn't it make you want better for him? Luckily, for $50,000, no more than the price of a late model Porsche, you can give him the Emperor 200. As advertised: "Hand built to your requirements, the Emperor 200 is the ultimate computer workstation with several exclusive features such as touch screen control center, air filtering system, light therapy, electric powered leather seat, up to 3 x 27" LED screens and a breathtaking sound!"

For every dad

Sooner or later dad is going to run out of room on his fridge, cubicle wall, or office corkboard for all the art his children proudly present to him. The Lil Davinci Frame is the solution. It allows dad to display the latest masterpiece while keeping past showpieces stored inside the frame. Or to transform a child's art to something more permanent, there are sites like Totally Out of Hand that reproduce crayon as metal, suitable for Dad's cufflinks or keychain.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.