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 ___?
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.
Posted in Age Range, Birthday, Childhood (5+ years), Early Preschool (3-4 years), Family, Father's Day, Holidays and Seasons, Homemade Cards, Life Skills, Mother's Day, Preschool (4-5 years), Toddler (2-3 years), Valentines Day
Tagged Homemade Gifts
J made a flower mobile for his grandma as a get well soon gift. It would be a great gift for any girl on any occasion really. I think it turned out really cute and J had a lot of fun creating it. He stuck with it until it was all finished!
What you need: Construction paper, contact paper, scissors, flower magazine, marker; you will also need a hangar, a hole punch, and string if you want to create the mobile
Prep Work: I cut out the borders for each flower, using different colored construction paper. I also cut out two equal sizes of clear contact paper, taping one to the work-table (sticky side up). The other piece of contact paper is saved to place on top after the flowers are completed.
During the activity: J placed the flower-borders onto the contact paper though he needed some help with the larger pieces since they can get tangled easily. He then searched through a flower magazine to find flowers to fill each border, matching the colors accordingly. I just had him tear the pictures out of the magazine rather than using scissors. We then worked together to tear the pictures into small pieces that he could stick inside the corresponding colored flower. After all of the flowers were filled, we added a message for grandma and J signed one of the flowers himself. I then placed the second sheet of contact paper on top. If we were creating a placemat, the activity would basically be done. Just trim the edges of the contact paper to make a more finished look. (My intention was to create a placemat, but I did not plan well. The flowers were so huge that the placemat covered half the table! So I improvised and decided this was going to become a mobile instead.)
For the mobile: I cut apart each flower and punched a hole into the top and bottom. I also cut small pieces of string to attach the flowers together. J helped thread the string through the holes and I tied the knots. We then tied it onto a hangar.
Age attempted: 3 years
Posted in Age Range, Arts and Crafts, Colors, Early Preschool (3-4 years), Early Toddler (18-24 months), Holidays and Seasons, Homemade Gifts, Mother's Day, Preschool (4-5 years), Rainy Day Activities, Spring, Toddler (2-3 years), Valentines Day
Tagged Colors, Homemade Gifts, Rainy Days
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
J made two butterfly birthday cards, one for his grandmother and one for his cousin who both love butterflies. I remembered an adorable card a college roommate made me way back when and decided we would try a toddler version of the same.
I also found these instructions from Enchanted Learning and modeled ours close to that. Basically I cut out two butterfly shapes and then trimmed one about an inch smaller than the other (saving the trimming for our 2nd butterfly). The other supplies we used were googly eyes, glue, a stamp pad, hole puch, and pipe cleaners.
J could do most of the rest really. Though this was J’s first attempt with a hole punch and it was honestly too difficult. Eventually he just pushed the puncher down over the paper and thought he was helping as I gripped the handles and did the work. He found the hole puncher very intriguing!
His favorite part was the fingerprints. I should’ve known red ink last a LONG time on fingers. It’s supposed to be washable… and I guess it technically was, but it tooks LOTS of washing.
I forgot to show the final result when we had the birthday message written on the cards too. I thought they turned out cute. They would work as Valentines, Mother’s Day, or birthday cards or even as decor for springtime. I think it would be pretty to create a few different designs and hang them all together on a mobile.
Age attempted: 33 months
I think our Slithering Snake door draft stopper turned out pretty cute. J and I made these together for his greatgrandparents. You can use them by doors or windows, or just as a cute decoration in a nursery.
When I first saw this idea, here at Family Fun, I stopped reading as soon as I saw “stitch it closed.” If an activity/craft involves sewing, I typically declare it NOT FOR ME.
After going back and forth for weeks, I decided we’d try it. We pretty much followed the instructions on the original site exactly.
What you need: Cute tights, filler (we used a full 5 lb bag of rice), 2 googly eyes, red felt, fabric glue, needle and thread.
I made a homemade funnel (water bottle) for J to use in filling the “snake” with rice. I then forced myself to break out the dust-ridden sewing box and finish it off. It wasn’t as hard as I had expected and took me about 10-15 minutes to sew it closed. Most of you would probably find the sewing pretty simple (and a 5 minutes job). I found it manageable. Trust me, if I can do this, ANYONE can!
J then glued on the googly eyes and the tongue using fabric glue (I later sewed down the tongue for extra durability).
The photo is actually of the one we made to use ourselves. I wanted to give it a test-run to be sure it didn’t break easily before making more for my grandparents. I certainly didn’t want my grandmother’s to end up vaccuming rice all year long if they were to break. I’ve found it actually holds up really well, so no worries there. We use ours actually to block out the light that streams under the door in J’s room. We have skylights right outside his door. I found the sleeps sooooo much longer in the mornings if I block that light. His room is also open to the rest of the house it can get noisy. Who knows, maybe this will also help block some of the noise!
I think these are cute choices for homemade gifts, something that takes anywhere from 10-30 minutes to complete!
Age Attempted: 32 months
Posted in Age Range, Arts and Crafts, Birthday, Christmas, Early Preschool (3-4 years), Holidays and Seasons, Homemade Gifts, Mother's Day, Preschool (4-5 years), Subject, Toddler (2-3 years)
Tagged Homemade Gifts
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
Posted in Arts and Crafts, Birthday, Christmas, Early Preschool (3-4 years), Early Toddler (18-24 months), Family, Father's Day, Holidays and Seasons, Homemade Cards, Mother's Day, Preschool (4-5 years), Subject, Toddler (2-3 years), Uncategorized
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
Posted in Age Range, Arts and Crafts, Early Preschool (3-4 years), Early Toddler (18-24 months), Father's Day, Holidays and Seasons, Homemade Cards, Mother's Day, Subject, Toddler (2-3 years), Valentines Day