Nothing says happy birthday to a special dad like a crafty gift made by his favorite little munchkin. Whether your youngster's just getting the hang of drawing with crayons or he's already creating preschool masterpieces, you can help him make a special gift that dad will treasure for years to come.
1. Custom Toolbox
Help your youngster customize a toolbox for the handyman of the family for a one-of-a-kind gift. You can start off with a plain wooden toolbox and then transform it into a work of art with paint. Just place the toolbox on a flat surface and then hand the job (and the paintbrush) over to your preschooler and watch him turn the boring wooden box into a work of art. (Just don't forget to cover the work surface or the kitchen table may get a colorful paint job too. If you want to give dad more to unwrap on his birthday, help your kiddo customize a hammer too. You'll have to help out with this project by sanding down the wooden handle and sealing the paint job with paint sealer when he's done to keep dad from transferring the paint job to his hands.
2. Dad’s Paper Neck Tie
Even the youngest of toddlers can make a special tie for dad to wear on his special day. It all starts with a piece of construction paper, cut into the shape of a tie. Simply let your toddler or preschooler decorate the tie with crayons, markers and stickers to make it personal just for dad. When she's done, poke two holes in the top of the tie and attach a piece of string so dad can wear his tie with pride.
3. Number One Dad Trophy
What better way to celebrate dad on his birthday than with a Number One Dad trophy? While it might sound like a big project at first, it's easy enough for youngsters to manage with just a little help. Start with a square-shaped block of wood, about one inch thick, and glue a plastic cup on top. You've already got the shape for the trophy finished. Help your munchkin shape two gold chenille sticks into half moon shapes and tape them on either side of the trophy cup. Now the trophy has handles. To complete the trophy, glue squares of gold foil wrap all over and write "Number One Dad!” in permanent marker on the wooden stand. Voila! You've made a first class gift.
4. Family Magnets
If you're looking for a birthday craft your child can complete in a hurry, turn some family pictures into magnets for dad to display on the fridge. Cut out the pictures of all your family members and laminate each one. Attach the pictures to blank magnets or glue them on if the magnets don't come with sticky sides. If you have a few magnets left over, help your youngster make a little list of dad's favorite things, like baseballs, cars or computers and go on a search for some pictures. Laminate these and attach them to magnets and you're done.
5. Team Spirit
Decorate a special cap for a sports loving dad. Start off by writing the name of his favorite team across the brim of the cap and then let your youngster decorate it with fabric markers. You can use the same idea to decorate a plain jersey if his cap collection is already overflowing. If dad doesn't have a particular fondness for sports, help him show off his family team spirit instead. Rather than writing the name of a sport's team across the cap or jersey, write your own last name across it, instead. Go Team Family!
6. Dad’s Favorite Rock
If dad spends a lot of time at a desk, make him a paperweight that will remind him of his kiddos throughout the day and serve as a useful work accessory too. Start off with a plain rock – no fancy purchases needed here – and let your youngster decorate the rock with paint. That's all there is to it. When the paint dries, place the rock in a little gift box, so dad will have no idea what's inside.
7. Cookie Canister
If dad's always sneaking into the cookie jar, make him one of his own so he can snack on his favorite goodies anytime. Turn a cylinder canister (like the kind that holds potato chips) into the cookie canister by decorating the outside of the container with construction paper. Before you glue the paper to the canister, let your youngster transform it into an artistic masterpiece with his crayons. The special craft isn't over just yet; now you need some special treats to fill his new canister. Once you've finished decorating the container, bake a special batch of cookies together and then seal the lid on tight to make sure dad doesn't get a whiff of his surprise.
- Holiday Fun Year-Round with Dian Thomas; Dian Thomas
- The Toddler's Busy Book: 365 Creative Games and Activities to Keep Your 1 1/2- to 3-Year-Old Busy; Trish Kuffner
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