This Father’s Day, sit down with your children and consider creating a handmade gift that truly conveys the love and appreciation they have for the father figure in their life.
One of the most important lessons parents can impart to their children centers on the quality of a gift. A thoughtful, handmade gift can be galaxies better than an expensive tool or another grilling set. Check out these thoughtful gift ideas:
1. Name Poem
For $20 or less, you could create a beautiful name poem. Travel to your local craft store and purchase a canvas, small wooden letters, paint and glue. Let your child paint the canvas in light colors. Then have your child brainstorm words that begin with the name you’d like to create the poem for; it could be a variation of father such as dad, daddy, papa, or his name.
For example, if you select FATHER, F could represent Fun, Funny, Fortunate, Fair, Fantastic, Fabulous…you get the idea. Paint the wooden letters and glue them to the canvas. Finish it off by painting one hand and having the child “sign” the Name Poem by handprint.
2. Handprint Art
Here’s a great father and kid art project for Father’s Day! Grab a canvas or two, or some high-quality art paper and a variety of paint. Have the dad and child paint each other’s hands to create a variety of animals. They can create “father” and “child” animals with their hands—perhaps even enough to populate an entire zoo! The best animal pair can then be framed and displayed in a prominent area of the home or taken into the office. Check out these ideas for handprint art here.
3. Artistic Tie
Grab a plainly colored tie and invest in some puffy paint or fabric markers. Encourage your child to create a one-of-a-kind tie for dad! While older children may wish to create some type of pattern, younger children can discover their inner modern artist and paint or draw away! For infants, consider tracing his or her hand (providing he or she will stay still long enough).
4. Scavenger Hunt
Work with your child to create a scavenger hunt with clues to reveal dad’s favorite snacks or candy at every stop. The hunt can take place inside the house, outside, or both. For younger children, the clues could be rhyming words such as, “I’m in a drawer and rhyme with fox” to get dad to go to his sock drawer for the next clue. One year we did this with ice cream toppings — every clue revealed a new topping: sprinkles, crushed cookies, M & Ms, you get the idea! The last clue led dad to the freezer with his favorite type of ice cream.
5. A Family Collage
Prior to Father’s Day, print a variety of pictures throughout the year of your child and his or her dad. Vacations, trips to visit family, participating in sports or other activities together — print as many pictures as you can. Buy (or make) a nice frame to put the collage in when done. See if you can find some appropriate stickers or other doodads to add to the collage to personalize it. Does dad love Star Wars? Find some stickers to add. Does he love fishing? Buy a special lure or two to include in the final product.
6. Make a Dad’s Brag Book
Create a brag book that dad can take to the office or keep at home featuring the kids and the time he spends with them. Organize one entry per page, and encourage kids to draw or paste a picture of special moments they’ve shared with their dad with their written thoughts about the moment. For example, our family enjoys hiking, and one entry could be a picture of a hike, and what my daughter remembers most while hiking that day.
7. Coupon Book
Make a book of coupons for dad! While some could be for chores such as washing the car or mowing the lawn for older kids, other coupons could be for snuggle time, desserts for dad, breakfast in bed, no whining, five extra chores, a movie night (where dad picks the movie), and so on. Encourage kids to write and decorate the coupons!
8. A Meal Fit for a King
Sit down and ask your child to brainstorm dad’s favorite foods and let the kids plan a dinner fit for a king — their dad! Pancakes for dinner? Check! Burgers with Cheetos? Sure! The focus should be on considering what others’ like and honoring their preferences for this special day.
Let kids go grocery shopping and do any age appropriate food prep. They can also create a menu, and decorate a plastic table cloth from the local dollar or party store. What type of dessert does dad love best? Brownies? Make a pyramid-shape “cake” out of brownies. Does dad love French fries? Cut up a pound cake into “fries” and use red icing as ketchup for dessert. Get creative and let the kids’ love for their dad shine through a special meal.
Handmade gifts for dad don’t always need to be wrapped — it’s more about creating the special memories. While dads can always use a new tie, hat, or pair of socks, memories of creating something for dad or with dad will always last longer.