By Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist
With the economy improving, many kids will be spending more on their dad this Father’s Day.
Your dad is a baby boomer if he was born between 1946 and 1964.
What would be the ideal gift for the baby boomer dad?
Here are my top 10 suggestions:
1. Tech gadgets
Baby boomers love technology. They were there when the tech boom was born, and they’ve been big users of computers, social media, cell phones, iPads, and all the other gadgets from the beginning. Remember, Steve Jobs is a boomer. Your boomer dad will probably love an Apple iPad, a Kindle or a Nook, or a digital camera. For ideas, go to the Amazon.com ad to the right and click on it. Select "Electronics" from the list, then type in Father’s Day.
Americans will be spending about $1.3 billion on electronics for Father’s Day 2011, reports the National Federation of Retailers.
2. A special outing
Plan an event that will bring you dad joy. It could be at a nice restaurant, or if you like to cook and entertain, a fabulous lunch or dinner at your home. Does your dad golf? Tee off with him.
About $2.1 billion will be spent this Father’s Day on activities such as golfing, eating out, or going to the movies.
June is a great month to get a good deal on tools, according to dealnews.com. Take a peek in your dad’s garage or tool shed and see what might need replacing, such as rakes and hoes. Or, see "Top 10 Power Tools" and "Gift Ideas for the Handy Dad" for ideas.
Americans are expected to spend $1.4 billion on home improvement, gardening tools, and appliances this year, the federation predicts.
Some boomer dads would like to get clothes for Father’s Day, but some wouldn’t. Ask your dad before you buy. See "Father’s Day Gifts" for the pros and cons of buying your dad clothing for Father’s Day. If you do buy your dad clothing, be sure you know the size and select an item that is nice looking and fits with his style.
Despite the objections many men may have to getting clothing for a present, Americans will be spending $1.4 billion on clothing for dad this Father’s Day.
5. Sporting goods
For the dad who’s a sports fan, watching a game or attending one with him would be fun. Or, your dad might like a book about his favorite sport or a magazine subscription. Other ideas are sports paraphernalia from his favorite team or new gear, if he plays sports. See "Sports Loving Dads Make Gift Buying Easy" for ideas.
Americans will be spending $653 million on sporting goods for dads on their special day this year.
6. Books and CDs
If you dad is a reader but you don’t know what he likes in books, ask your mom or peruse his bookshelves. Then see AARP and Publishers Weekly’s spring list of Books for Grownups. Among the recommendations are: "The Nomination" by William G. Tapply and "Started Early, Took My Dog" by Kate Atkinson.
For CDs, to get ideas, click on the Amazon.com ad to the right, select "Music" then type in baby boomers.
Americans will be spending $598 million on books and CDs for Father’s Day2011.
Make a book of your favorite photos of your dad. Many photo shops have templates you can use to insert your photos and write captions. Your captions can tell your dad how much you care.
8. A gift basket
Gift baskets work for dads if they’re filled with things for his favorite hobbies or activities: golf, fishing, grilling, baseball, brewing, collecting something, video games, coffee, beer, wine, or other foodie themes.
9. A gift card
A gift card isn’t the most personal gift, but it’s better than not remembering your dad.
10. A hug, a small gift, and a card you made
If your budget is limited this year, a small pocket knife, a coffee mug with your photo, or a photo of you and your dad in an attractive frame would be a nice gift.
In total, Americans will spend an average of $106 on dad, up from $94 last year and the most in the survey’s eight-year history, according to the federation. Total Father’s Day spending is expected to reach $11.1 billion for 2011.