Sunday, July 24, 2011

Look What We Made Daddy for Father's Day!

One function of a beloved grandma is to be there, quietly in the background, ready to make things easier for mom and dad when things get crazy. And usually things get crazy just before a holiday. That's the perfect time to babysit for a few hours so parents can get some things done for themselves. Use the time to help your grand kids hand make (and wrap) gifts to give mom and dad on the special occasion ahead. 

Last year, the twins were not even two years old on Father's Day, so I guided their affection with plain white t-shirts decorated with iron-on "I (heart) my daddy" decals (from JoAnn Fabrics). When mommy brought breakfast in bed to daddy, his little cherubs accompanied her, attired in their new shirts....Daddy loved it!

This year the boys can do a bit more for themselves. They are starting to draw and paint and I wanted to address a problem faced by parents who have a prolific new artist in the house. (This issue is personal to me because, years ago, we paid for a service call on our refrigerator, only to have the nice man deftly pull a stray fingerpainted masterpiece from the fan and call it good!) Hmmmm......what project could give the drawings of a two year old the respect they deserve, keep them from being lost in the scatter of everyday living (and out of the innards of a fridge!), and also serve as an archive for the progress of talent?

"Artwork for Daddy" binders of course! And here's how to make them!
  1. Purchase inexpensive cardboard cover 1"  binders from an office supply store. 
  2. Press hands on stamp pads and print covers.
  3. Stamp (or print from computer) title on white paper, cut it out, glue to a background color, then trim and glue to cover. Make labels with names in the same manner and glue them to spines.
  4. Print "Father's Day 2011" alongside the hands and glue on a tiny paper heart.
  5. Cut drawing paper to 8" x 10" and punch to fit binders.
  6. Cut divider pages from heavier paper in bright colors and punch.
  7. Cut 2" circles from contrasting colors and apply stickers for age numbers. In our case, we will use the binders for artwork until the boys are 5 years old. If they fill up too fast, we'll just move into a second one for later ages.
  8. Place divider pages in the binder and position the numbered tabs so they don't overlap. Glue the tabs to divider pages.
  9. Now it's time for the kids to get busy! Hand out the punched paper whenever they want to draw, then date and snap the completed work into the binder at the correct age tab.
  10. Take a picture of each grandchild, busy at work drawing for daddy, and glue it to the first divider page. Add a current picture each year.
As the year goes on, your grandkids can give daddy pages for his book at every holiday. Drawings of pumpkins, Santa, Valentine and birthday greetings...each one a valued treasure with a safe place waiting for it - one more part of a growing collection to revisit, admire, and reflect upon, year after year!

Here's Nick, loving his blue ink!

The boys seem to like their completed projects....
but not as much as daddy did!

Yes, I know this post is far too late for Father's Day, but art folders can be made for birthdays and Christmas, too. Don't forget grandparents and aunts and uncles! Your grandchildren will enjoy the positive attention they get from relatives who admire their success in the wholesome pursuit of expressing themselves through drawing, coloring and painting.

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