How to Be an Awesome Uncle

Kids are the most important people in any person’s life, and that is especially true for their uncles. There is so much to teach them about being a good person but also about how to be an awesome uncle. These tips will help you get started teaching your kids all of the things they might need from you as well as showing why it’s such a great job!

A good uncle is someone who is always there to help and guide their nephews or nieces. They are like a second father or mother because they give advice, teach lessons and show unconditional love. Read more in detail here: words to describe a good uncle.

Vintage uncle with niece riding motorcycle 1970s.

According to psychologists, the number of excellent connections in our life is one of, if not the most, essential factors in our happiness. Relationships like this were common decades ago. You were almost certainly surrounded by extended family members who often gathered for noisy and rowdy festivities. You got to know your cousins, as well as your aunts and uncles, as you grew older.

Many families nowadays live far away, and family reunions are rare and far between, if not non-existent. However, everyone still wants to be a member of a family, and family bonds are as vital as they have always been.

As an uncle, you have the opportunity to strengthen those bonds with your nieces and nephews in good ways.

Uncles perform a special and significant role in families. Because they are older than their nieces and nephews, they may serve as good male role models. They are, however, younger than Gramps and are more prone to have a good time. They’re also distinct from their siblings, giving nieces and nephews a glimpse into life through the eyes of someone who came from the same family tree as their parents but lives a totally different lifestyle. Siblings may have a broad range of personalities and interests, and the perfect uncle is one who can introduce his nieces and nephews to a world other than the one they’re growing up in at home.

For example, Kate’s Uncle Buzz lives in Vermont, and when she visited him as a child (and still does now), he taught her things that were strange to her suburban upbringing: mountain climbs, canoe outings, and backyard BB gun shooting. Buzz inspired an interest in the outdoors and a passion for all things Vermont in Kate as she grew up idolizing him.

The uncle position is particularly significant for unmarried males who do not have children of their own. Bachelor uncles not only have more time to spend with their nieces and nephews, but they also bring a different kind of influence into their lives. It’s difficult to put into words, but “undomesticated male energy” is the best I can come up with. Bachelor uncles are inherently attractive to children, who see them as very amazing males.

Most of us can recall that cool uncle in our life who we looked up to, whether he was married or not. As you become older and your siblings have children, it’s time for you to take on the role of cool uncle. I’ll confess that I haven’t always embraced the role as completely as I should have, but here are some of the things I’ve done, and am trying to improve on, in my quest for wonderful uncle-dom.

What Does It Take to Be a Fantastic Uncle?

Engage in conversation with them. It’s tempting to stay with the grownups during a family gathering and let the youngsters do their own thing. Take the time to chat to your nieces and nephews and have some fun with them. Inquire about their recent activities and experiences. Do you find it difficult to communicate with children? Inquire about their favorite topic in school, what they’ll be for Halloween, what they want for Christmas, and so forth. It doesn’t have to be much, but an uncle or aunt who looked genuinely interested in me made me feel significant. Plus, kids want to play rather than speak, so go down there and join in the fun.


If you live close, offer to babysit. Offer to take the rugrats off their parents’ hands for a couple of hours or an entire evening if you live near your nieces and nephews. Your siblings (or in-laws) would appreciate it, and it will offer you an opportunity to connect with the kids. It will also serve as preparation for when you have your own children. When your nieces and nephews are newborns, babysitting will be a little more involved. When I was in college, I promised to care my sister’s two children, my niece, who was four, and my nephew, who was only a few months old. It was simple to keep an eye on the niece. The nephew, on the other hand, is a different story. During that babysitting job, I had to change my first diaper, and he cried the whole while his parents were gone. I was a bit taken aback, but I had no idea that two hours of babysitting would prepare me for the first few days at home with Gus, when all he did was cry and soiled his diaper.

As the children get older, monitoring them becomes less of a chore and more of a pleasure. Show them how to do and build cool things, expose them to your favorite cartoons and movies from childhood, and wow them with magic tricks (see below).

Brush up on your childhood jokes, riddles, and magic acts. One of the most essential duties of an uncle, according to Will Murray, author of the Definitive Guide to Becoming the World’s Greatest Aunt or Uncle, is to educate youngsters how to be children. I believe he has a point. My favorite uncles were the ones that went out of their way to teach me all I needed to know as a youngster. Uncles taught me a lot of the crazy jokes, riddles, and magic tricks that I know. One uncle taught me how to create a trumpet noise, which I used to irritate my family with; another uncle showed me how to do the famous “pull your thumb apart” magic trick; and another cowboy uncle taught me a lot of excellent jokes, which I still use and get chuckles from today.

I taught my nephew how to “levitate” and make it sound and seem like he was breaking his nose the last time I was with him. That, he thought, was pretty cool. My brother and I spent the time by telling riddles to my niece and nephew. I even picked up a few new ones.

We’ll produce a post one of these days showing how to perform a number of fantastic uncle stunts. Leave a comment if you have one in your repertoire that you believe should be included!

Play games with them that are both entertaining and potentially hazardous. This piece of advice is linked to the previous one. Make it your mission to teach your nieces and nephews all the fun and possibly risky things their parents won’t allow them do at home, apart from jokes, riddles, and magic tricks. When my extended family gathered for Thanksgiving at my grandpa’s house in New Mexico, my cowboy uncle would build hay forts in my grandpa’s barn for me and my cousins. From the loft of the barn, he’d also construct a large mound of hay for us to jump into. That stunt was kept a secret from our mothers. Instead of being led around the corral by a leader rope, this same uncle would let me ride a horse by myself. That made my week as an eight-year-old suburban child.


My brother and I have attempted to carry on the long-standing uncle tradition of causing parents to worry. My nieces and nephews have learned how to use a sling shot, and my brother has taught them how to use Fourth of July firecrackers. We simply attempt to teach them the pleasant things we did as kids, apart from the harmful stuff. For example, when my brother and I were in elementary and middle school, we used to build obstacle courses in our backyard and pretend we were Navy SEALs training. My sister and her family were visiting my parents a few summers back, and the kids were bored. My brother and I donned our uncle hats and rescued the day by resurrecting an ancient obstacle course. It was a hit with the kids, and we all had a great time racing each other through it.

Also, remember to roughhouse! It isn’t only for fathers. Make Superman out of them, play horsey with them, and hang them upside down. Wedgies are never acceptable; playful noogies are.

On your nieces’ and nephews’ birthdays, send a birthday card loaded with cash. Once upon a time, you were a child. How did you feel when you received a birthday card from an aunt and uncle, anxiously tore it open, only to discover nothing inside? Most likely, you’re heartbroken. How did it feel, on the other hand, to open the card and discover a little green? Do you feel like Scrooge McDuck in his pool of coins and cash? Okay, so it may have been just me. However, you were most likely in high spirits. Remember to send a card with a piece of lettuce hidden inside to make your nieces and nephews feel special, too. Send a little more if you’re the child’s godfather as a token of your unique relationship. It doesn’t have to be a large sum of money. It will mean a lot to them that you remembered their birthday.

I’ll confess that I’m terrible at sending cards to my nieces and nephews. I always remember on their birthday, so I have to be a chump uncle and send a belated birthday card. But I’m trying hard to improve. I eventually entered all of my nieces and nephews’ birthdays into my Google Calendar, and I try to send a card at least a day or two before their birthdays.

Important events should be remembered. Keep track of your nieces and nephews’ birthdays and other significant life events. Religious rites of passage, such as First Communions, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and Baptisms, are all worthy of a card. If at all possible, try to be there to see it. Graduations, college acceptances, first jobs, weddings, and first children (Congratulations! You, as a Grunkle, are a great-uncle who deserves to be recognized. Don’t be afraid to compliment your nieces and nephews on apparently little accomplishments. My family and I have a secret Facebook group where we communicate with one another. We send our digital high-fives to my sister’s children when they do well in a dancing performance or pinewood derby.


Whenever you visit them, bring a modest gift. This is something I’m bad at, but I’m working on it. Children like being surprised. They also don’t have to be anything special. Something they can use right away is usually a winner. (For ideas, see the Christmas gift section below.) Pick up some snacks that are exclusively available in your area and offer them to the kids. (When Uncle Buzz came to visit, he carried a bag of these unique, freshly made apple cider donuts that can only be found at this apple cider mill in VT on the plane with him.) There were some huge uncle points earned there.) Old-fashioned sweets is always a hit, particularly when it comes in the form of bubble gum cigarettes that puff “smoke.” Corporate swag that has accumulated in your trash drawer may also be used to present a variety of little gifts. Small children are unexpectedly intrigued by apparently insignificant trinkets.

When it’s appropriate, provide counsel. When you’re not teaching your nieces and nephews how to fire a BB gun, don’t be hesitant to give them some uncle wisdom. Because kids don’t perceive uncles as simply another bothersome adult, they’ll often take your advise more seriously than they would if it came from their obnoxious parents. If you know your niece or nephew is experiencing difficulties with anything in their lives, reach out to them and provide some helpful advice. It’ll amaze you how much it can assist.

Get them some amazing Christmas gifts. And when I say cool, I don’t mean pricey. Consider when you were a child. Remember those clever, yet low-cost gadgets and games you used to enjoy? Get these for your nieces and nephews. They didn’t realize they desired these things until they began playing with them.

Here are a few of ideas:

  • Spy sunglasses with reflectors
  • Puzzle of a horseshoe (I received one of these from an uncle one year and liked showing off how I solved it to the students at school.)
  • Rubik’s Cube is a popular puzzle game.
  • Planes made of balsa wood
  • Men in plastic parachute
  • Silly Putty is a brand of silly putty.
  • Dinky Shrinky Shrinky Shrinky Shrinky Shrinky Shrin
  • Yo-yos
  • 8-Ball Magic
  • Those sponge dinosaur capsules that you submerge in water to reveal
  • Cushions for whoopee
  • Slingshot created at home
  • The victim of a prank gum that snaps
  • Space Wheel with Magnets
  • Slinky
  • Ink that vanishes
  • a book called ‘How to Draw Cartoons,’ or something like
  • Dinosaur Exploration Kit

Allow them to search through your valuables. Take something from it and give it to them. Start your box of macho treasures if you haven’t already. Kids like searching through them and learning about the many stuff included therein. You’ll be a cool uncle just by letting your nieces and nephews go through your treasure chest. Give them one item from your box to become the coolest uncle of all time. Just make sure it’s something that doesn’t mean much to you but a great deal to them. Plant things in your box to give to the kids if required. Freebies include bullet pencils, terrible baseball cards, and ancient, useless, but cool-looking coins.


Maintain your connection with your nieces and nephews as they get older. The majority of this advise is intended for your nieces and nephews while they are young. That’s because, in my experience, you see your nieces and nephews more while they’re younger, but as they become older and busier with other things, you see them less and less. It will take a little more effort, but you can absolutely maintain the connection as they get older; you’ll know you’ve achieved wonderful uncle status when your adult nieces and nephews want to visit and remain in contact with you on their own own.

Allow a niece or nephew you adore to stay with you for a week away from their parents while they are in their tween or teen years. Make an attempt to stay in contact after they’ve graduated from high school. On Facebook, my uncles and aunts keep in touch with me. Kate’s Uncle Buzz has maintained their friendship by writing her honest letters and giving her a nice book he’s read.

Buzz’s uncle-dom is something I admire since, once Kate and I married, he fully included me into the family. He contacts me and sends me intriguing macho trinkets he finds at yard auctions in Vermont.

Set a positive example for others. Your nieces and nephews most likely believe you’re one of the coolest guys on the planet. They look up to you, whether you want it or not. Make every effort to be a good male role model for them. Demonstrate how a decent guy should act and behave. Don’t do anything that will cause them to be disappointed. We have a lot of influence on our nieces and nephews as uncles, but as Spiderman’s wise Uncle Ben pointed us, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Make the most of your uncle’s influence.



The “what is the role of an uncle” is a question that has been asked for as long as there have been uncles. The answer to this question can be found in the article “How to Be an Awesome Uncle”.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a great uncle?

A: A great uncle is someone who likes to give you gifts and make you feel special.

What does a cool uncle do?

A: A cool uncle is a nice person that your parents pick to watch you when they go on vacation. They are often responsible for taking care of the kids, but sometimes also help out with chores and other tasks around the house.

How can I be my uncle?

A: Your uncle is a man that has both parents. You are not related to him as you do not have either of your mom or dad in the picture.

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