The best Father's Day memories are homemade.

Homemade Father's Day Cards for Toddlers

by Lori A. Selke

Forget the racks at the gift store -- the most heartfelt Father's Day card is the one your child makes herself. Even toddlers can have a hand in assembling something special for Daddy on his designated holiday. Moms or other adults can set up the card-making, supervise and put the finishing touches on the project. It's not much work and it makes for extra-special memories for both parent and child, even if it's just fingerpainted posterboard.

1. Finger Painting

Even the youngest of toddlers can manage to produce a bold and vivid piece of art with the help of some finger paint and paper. If the weather permits, strip him down to his diaper and paint in the back yard or at a park, then hose him off afterward for easy cleanup. After the painting dries, fashion it into a card for Father's Day. You can cut out a panel and paste it to the front of a folded piece of posterboard, or paste a folded cut-out inside the card. Print "Happy Father's Day" and your child's name and you're set to go.

2. Hand and Foot Prints

Hand and foot prints provide a moment-in-time keepsake for Father's Day. Go ahead and use finger paints for the printing process -- your toddler will probably love the process. You can make as many "prints" as you like and choose the best for the card.

3. Color a Necktie

Neckties have become a somewhat cheeky Father's Day symbol all to themselves. For a one-of-a-kind Father's Day card, find a printable drawing of a man's shirt with a necktie. Let your toddler color the drawing with markers or crayons. Some printables come with "Happy Father's Day" or similar slogans already provided, but if not, any supervising adult can finish the card off by writing something suitable in marker, along with the child's name.

4. Heart Cards

Cut out a heart shape from craft paper, posterboard or construction paper. Fold it in half. Write "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" on either the inside or the front cover. Let your toddler embellish the heart with glitter glue, markers or crayons, finger paint or whatever other material you choose. You can even let your child glue pom poms or feathers to the card if you like -- make sure any items you provide do not constitute a choking hazard, and be sure to use non-toxic white glue.

5. Collage Card

Most toddlers love making collages. You can provide materials such as cut-out pictures from magazines and catalogs or old greeting cards. Scraps of wrapping paper, old maps, patterned craft paper from art or scrapbooking supply stores and fabric scraps also make for excellent collage materials -- yes, you can even hit the thrift store and buy some old ties to cut up. Another alternative is to provide pictures of Daddy and your child as the building blocks of the collage. Give your child some white glue or a glue stick plus a folded piece of card stock and let her assemble a masterpiece. Add "Happy Father's Day" or a similar message in the center in bright-hued marker or paint.

6. Sticker Card

Toddlers love stickers, so why not use them to make an easy -- and almost mess-free -- Father's Day card? Buy a bunch of stickers representing some of Dad's favorite things, whatever they may be -- from hamburgers to bugs to golf clubs to racecars to baseballs to hardware items to dinosaurs to rocket ships and robots. You can buy some letter-shaped stickers to "spell out" Dad's name, too, if you like, just for fun. After your child has decorated some folded cardstock to his heart's content, place the letters yourself or let your toddler choose the order. Either way, the result will be both heartfelt and extremely individualized.

Photo Credits

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