There’s less than a week till Father’s Day! If you’re drawing a blank about what the kids can give Daddy (or Grandpa or other special men in their lives), here are some tried and true gifts from our house and and a few on my to-do list.
1. Twig pencil holder
Here’s an easy gift for kids of any age to make.
A clean can (soup can size)
Two sturdy rubber bands
An assortment of twigs
Twine or ribbon
Gather up some fairly thin twigs and then have an adult cut them to about an inch taller than your jar (leave some variety in the lengths). Garden shears are good for cutting them.
Put the rubber bands around the jar, evenly spaced from the top and bottom. Slide the twigs along the jar, holding them in place with the rubber bands. Make the twigs level with the bottom of the jar, so they extend a little higher than the top.
Keep adding twigs until the entire jar is covered. Hide the rubber bands by tying twine or ribbon over them. Voila!
2. Handprint Poem
Here’s a simple way to make a really whimsical keepsake. Print this poem in whatever font you like and leave enough space at the bottom to stamp your child’s handprints with paint. Frame it when you’re done.
Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls
But every day I’m growing
I’ll be grown up some day
And all those tiny hand prints
Will surely fade away
So here’s a final hand print
Just so you can recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
When I was very small
3. Papier Mache Bowl
Magical Mama Susan recommended this project for Dad’s keys and odds and ends. When we do papier mache we just use watered down glue and it seems to work well, if you don’t have watercolor paste.
4. Daddy Watercolor Poem
Victoria made this keepsake for her dad a few years ago. It’s faded from the sun but still brings a smile. She wrote DADDY going down the side of the page and then made up a poem where each letter started one line. Then she wrote the poem onto the paper and added some decorations with paint. We popped it in a dollar store frame.
5. Coupon Books
This is a simple standard in our house. The kids like to make them up and we like to get them. Cut strips of paper, write out little coupons, punch a hole on one end and tie with a string. Some ideas include helping Daddy with chores, hugs, yard work, making him a snack, afternoon together (fishing, going to the movies, golfing…) and breakfast in bed.
6. Altered Board Book
This is a really fun project if the kids enjoy things like scrapbooking and art. Take an old board book and gather up some scrapbook paper (or construction paper or even wrapping paper), adhesives, stickers and pens. Cover each page with the new papers (or paint them with light colored paint in advance) and have the kids each decorate a few pages. When we did this, there were just enough pages for each of us to do one DPS (double page spread) or set of 2 pages side by side. I had the kids list things they loved about Daddy on one page and they did whatever they wanted on the other. Jack was just learning to talk so I asked him questions and wrote his answers, which made everybody laugh. Some of the questions were "what does Daddy like to do?" and "What is Daddy good at?". I also did a DPS about why he’s a great father and wrote a sappy little letter on my page.
7. Dad and Me Portrait
A simple but sweet project for kids of all ages is to ask them to paint or draw a picture of themselves with Daddy. Have them title it, sign it and then put it in a frame. These can be really nice for Dad to put on his wall or desk at work or they can be sweet decorations at home.
8. Painted Walking Stick
If Dad likes to hike with the kids or needs a little extra support sometimes (like in our house), a walking stick can be a darling present. Have the kids go off in the woods and help them find a large, straight, sturdy stick that is about the right width and height for Daddy. Then put out an assortment of permanent paints and paintbrushes and have them go to town decorating it. I suggest doing this outside! If you have more than one artist involved, mark off grids with strips of masking tape and give each child a section to decorate and then sign. Remove the tape when they’re done and you can easily see each section. If you like, finish it with a coating of varnish.
9. Handprint Apron
If Daddy likes to cook or barbecue, here’s a fun present. Buy a plain, light colored apron (craft stores usually carry these cheap) and fabric paints. Paint each child’s palms with fabric paint and stamp them on the apron, facing down. Then have the kids write in fabric paint:
World’s Best Father
You can also use this idea on canvas bags, T-shirts, etc.
10. Painted Clock
This gift is super simple, affordable, cute and practical all in one. Simply take a plain clock (available everywhere for a few bucks) with a white paper face. Pop the clock open as if to set the time and take out the paper face. Give it to your child and ask her to decorate it for Daddy. She can use markers, paint or oil pastels (which are brighter and show up better than crayons) to decorate it. Then put it all back together and you’re done!
Alternate idea: Print a photo of Daddy with the kids (or just the kids) large enough to fit in the clock. Use the paper face as a pattern and trace around it on the photo (avoiding important elements being in the direct middle), then cut out the circle and punch a hole in the middle for the clock hands. Assemble and you have a photo clock for just a few dollars.
Got any favorite Father’s Day ideas of your own? Send them in and I’ll share them here.