Toddlers can show their love for Dad in many special ways.

Things Toddlers Can Do for Daddy's Birthday

by Dana Tuffelmire

A toddler's self-centered world consists of little more than his own needs, desires, thoughts and feelings. Mom and Dad are merely there to serve. You can broaden your tot's horizons a bit by honoring and celebrating events that have -- gasp -- nothing to do with your child. Include him in Dad's birthday festivities so he learns that giving and celebrating in the name of someone else actually feels good. Help your child make or buy something special for Dad this year.

1. Make a Card

Help your toddler create a birthday card for Dad. Fold a piece of paper in half, write "Happy Birthday!" on it and let your tot take it from there. Supply him with crayons or washable markers, stickers, foam shapes or glitter. Include a picture of Dad and your child on the front or inside cover. Add a chuckle by asking your child what special birthday wishes he has for Dad and include the quote in the card or request a list of "Top Ten Reasons I Love My Dad."

2. Sing a Song

There are few things sweeter than children singing, especially when the child is your own and you can actually (sort of) understand what he's saying. Surprise Dad with a birthday serenade by teaching your child the words to "Happy Birthday," or "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow." Take the cuteness up another notch and make up a song for Dad's birthday that's all about him. Use a simple tune like, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," and compose new lyrics -- "Daddy is the best Dad, the best I've ever had, he likes to hunt, fish and golf, I'm happy he's my Dad."

3. Decorate a Cake

If you don't mind a mess in the name of Dad's special day, let your toddler get creative with the cake. Bake and frost it, then supply your child with a tube of writing gel to create a design, give him sprinkles or let him place the candles. Watch those little fingers, though, as they will undoubtedly sample the frosting at every turn. Consider serving this cake to Dad only. Your guests may not think your toddler's chubby fingers are quite as cute as you and Dad do.

4. Give a Gift

Help your child pick out a special gift for Dad's birthday to let him experience the act of giving. Before you go to the store, talk about what Dad might like and narrow down the options to one specific item. Shop with caution, steering your tot in the right direction. Let your child pick the item and carry it to the check-out. Avoid the toy aisle like the plague or Dad will surely end up with the latest interactive, musical, ultimately annoying toy.

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