Let it go down for the record that I have never been ready for Father’s Day this early. We’ve always been a last-minute kind of family when it comes to Mother’s and Father’s Day. But in anticipation of sharing my idea with you, I’m actually ahead of the game this year.
Here’s a homemade Father’s Day gift idea — great for toddlers through early grade schoolers.
(This post was originally published in May of 2013.)
One thing I enjoy doing with my kids is having them make personalized books as gifts. So this year I made a template that each of them could complete – according to their own ability.
My Six (just finishing kindergarten) did the whole thing by herself in one sitting. She loved it!
My Four wanted to write all the words himself — and was very concerned that he was spelling the words correctly. I kept repeating, “You’re spelling it right for today. You’re spelling all the sounds you hear, and that’s just right!” I sat beside him and helped him stretch the words out. Occasionally I supplied a digraph: “th” or “sh.” The rest of the spelling is his. This is so important for young writers. If you give them all the spellings, they will need you next to them for every word – it can stifle creativity and independence. My general thought is that if supplying the spelling will not help the child for the future, then he’s too young to be given spellings.
My just-turned-Three does not write any letters on his own yet, so I filled in the lines for him. He is just starting to do a little drawing. Most of his pages are scribbling, but I shared a few below in which he attempted some drawing.
My 16-month-old was thrilled to sit on my lap, take the caps off the markers, and scribble. Since he typically bites the tips off markers, they are kept well out of his reach!
Only my oldest was able to complete the book in one sitting. We returned to it another day for each of the boys. Then I punched holes and attached ribbon to each book.
Here’s a preview of each page — highlighting different pages from each child’s book.
If you like this idea you can make your own or use ours. Just print the pages on regular paper and cut across the center – then pick and choose which pages you’d like to include.
Get your copy of the book here: Happy Father’s Day, Dad! mini-book
Does your child call Dad “Daddy?” Here’s a variation: Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! mini-book
Here’s a “Papa” variation: Happy Father’s Day, Papa! mini-book
And here’s a version with blank lines for the name: Happy Father’s Day! mini-book (blank lines for names)