Category Archives: Father's Day

Conversation Card

The outside of the card might not seem like much, but it’s the inside that counts the most! For Father’s Day this year, I’m starting a new tradition.  I asked J a few questions about his dad and wrote down his responses.  When he made  his Father’s Day card (this year was just construction paper, stickers and markers), I made sure he left space for me to include his responses.  The plan is to do this every year.  Hopefully posting this here will help me remember to keep it up!

We also did this for his Grandpa’s card. 

My questions were basically geared towards getting a 3 year old to share his thoughts on dad/grandpa. Here’s how one of our conversations went…

What’s your favorite thing about ___?
     “His toys.”
What do you like to do with ____?
     “I like to play with him.”
How would you describe ____?
     “He has a head. He has some eyes. He has a nose and a mouth.”
What do you want to say to ____?
     “I love you!” and then he says to me, “Thank you!” And then I say to him, “You’re welcome!” And then he says to me, “I love you.” and I say to him, “Thank you!” And then he say to me, “You’re welcome.”

I personally would love to get a card with my son’s thoughts about me, however simple.  I’m hoping dad and grandpa love it too.

Handprint and Footprint Valentines Cards

I saw this idea on Children’s Learning Activities last year and thought the message was so cute.  I’ve had it stored away in my mind since. 

For J, this activity was a ton of finger painting fun.  I taped some butcher paper on our kitchen floor and gave him a plate of finger paint.  He ended up filling 4 or 5 long sheets of paper.   While he was enjoying all the painting, I was sure to get some hand and footprints out of the fun.  We ended up having more than enough prints for grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, and some for mom to keep too. 

We cut out the prints, glued them down and the wrote the message, “I love you from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes.”

They’re ready for the mailbox!

Age attempted: 33 months

Ziploc Photo Books

My grandparents are always telling me that really all they want for birthdays or Mother’s day are lots of pictures to show off.  So this year, J made a photo-filled birthday card for his great-grandma.  This would be a great art project for toddlers to give at Christmas time.

All you really need is a stack of ziploc bags, photos and a stapler and/or duct tape.  To make this activity last longer, I added construction paper and various art supplies to the materials.  I set out the materials and J chose how to decorate each page (stamps, stickers, dot markers, crayons, rolling stamps, …  hmmm that’s all I remember).  He then chose which picture he wanted to place with each page and placed both his art piece and his photo into the ziploc bag.  I stapled all the opened end of the bags together and covered it with fun green duct tape. 

Older kids could write their own story, draw their own pictures and give their first published piece to grandpa or grandma. 

Age attempted:  29 months

Practicing Letters with Father’s Day Cards

This idea came to me as I was getting out construction paper for J to make his Great Grandpa a card to send in the mail.  I got the materials ready in a matter of minutes while J waited patiently :)  It’s certainly not a flashy card, but it offered great reinforcement with his letters and J enjoyed creating it.

PREP: I wrote out a message on the construction paper, leaving out the first letter of each word.  I placed in its stead (is that how you use that word??) an empty box so that J knew where the glue (and letter) should go.  Then, with another color of paper, I wrote the missing letters and cut them out. 

With J:  I set out all the missing letters along with some glue and the actual card in front of him.  We started with the first word of the message (_appy); I pointed out that this was a word but it was missing the first letter.  I said the word, emphasizing the H sound and then told him he needed to added the letter H to finish the word.  He would search out the correct letter and glue it in place.  **One of the tv shows he gets to watch a few times each week is Word World where they build words to create the different characters and props for the show.  J has been pushing letters together ever since, claiming he created a word like on the show.  This activity really just put into practice what he saw on tv.**   

He finished all the words in the message, added the hearts, stickers and a drawing on the card.  It’s really a simple card, but it was a great way to emphasize the letter sounds and reinforce the letter names.  In fact, I discovered that he knows the letter Y, something I personally haven’t taught him. 

As I was picking up, I realized that I could’ve used letter stickers instead of having to write and cut out the letters. That would’ve made for even less prep for the activity. 

Age: 26 months

Future Use: I think next time I will use this as a way to test his knowledge of the letter sounds.  Instead of giving him the name of the letter along with the sound, I will just ask him to find the letter that makes the sound “sss”…

This would also be a good plane activity, but I would definitely use stickers rather than glue on the plane. :)

Craft for Grandparents

My mom came to visit us a few weeks after Mother’s day, so I was saving J’s present for her as well as our present for her until then.  This was J’s gift to Ne’eNe’e (Grandma).  I printed the form as well as some colorful letter A’s and a picture of J and Ne’eNe’e together.  To be sure he placed the A’s in the correct spots, I drew a yellow dot where each A should be placed.  He glued those and the picture in place, colored the report card, and added some stickers at the end (I forgot to take a picture of his final product). 

I decided on the report card theme because my mom recently had to quit school and is disappointed that she wouldn’t have that 4.0 graduation she had been dreaming of.  A little reminder that she’s a straight A “student” in our books!

Age attempted: 25 months

Homemade Toy: Family Board Books

I made these board books for J when he was probably 12 or 13 months old.  It was SO easy to accomplish and well worth it.  J has always loved them.  I think these would be great from infancy on (just keep your little one’s slobber away since the ink will bleed… or seal the pages beforehand).

I bought a board book kit from Amazon; I’m pretty sure this is the link. I still have a three blank books to make.  The kit included the books, blank labels for each page and a computer template to download.  Of course you don’t have to use the labels.  You can draw on the books or even have your toddler create their own book.

The family book I made is really simple.  I include parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  We don’t live anywhere near ANY family, but I really wanted J to learn who all his relatives were.  This way when we are able to see them, he is already familiar with their pictures at least.  Each page in the book has just one labeled picture so it’s very clear who is who.  I used to read this book a lot to him before we took a trip to visit family.  After each trip we’ve taken to visit family, J tends to return to the book a lot on his own too.   I do think if I were to do it again, I would try and include photos that were a little more fun… like Grandpa playing with a ball or Aunt Jenn riding a bike (whereas I just have a front photo of each one smiling). 

“My Dad Loves Me” was actually a Father’s day gift (from J to daddy).  This is his favorite of the two board books, probably because Daddy is J’s favorite person in the world!  I included lots of pictures of J and dad from birth until the present (or when I created the book obviously).  I added a rhyming story to go along with the photos.  J loves that he sees them playing the guitar or playing with a ball in the pictures.  When we’ve taken a few trips without dad, I brought J’s daddy book along with us to read which he really likes.

Here’s the text of J’s daddy’s book:

Right from the start, Dad was my biggest fan. 

We share kisses and cuddles and lots of big grins.

My Daddy is teaching me to play the guitar.

I’m teaching him to take care of the car.
We work out together.
We act silly together.
We walk and we ride and we explore together.
We splash around in the pool.
We eat ice cream ’till we drool.
Whether we’re playing ball or just hanging out,
My Daddy loves me. You can’t get better than that!
Another side benefit of the books is that when J has experienced a little separation anxiety and hesitant to play alone, I have kept the books within his reach so he has pictures of those he loves close by.  I got this idea from an online group I’m in.  I’m honestly not sure how much this helped since any bout of separation anxiety was very short lived.  It certainly didn’t hurt though!
FYI…. I also bought this blank board book kit and it really only included the blank book and some ideas/instructions on how to create your book.  I haven’t used this one yet; it’s currently stuffed in my craft cabinet.