The most memorable Father's Day gifts are the ones made by kids with their own little hands for their dad. Every dad has enough ties and mugs, but you can never have enough keepsakes made with love. I always struggle with what to help my kids make for their dad, because I really want it to be a gift from them made by them. Over the years, I found several go-to projects that are eco-friendly, inexpensive and easy for kids to do themselves or with very little adult help.
Top Five Eco-Friendly Father's Day Projects For Kids:
1) Boxers Pizazz:
Take a clean pair of Dad's boxers in a light or solid white color (light blue works best). Your child will need permanent markers or preferably fabric paint or markers (easy to find and inexpensive at your local crafts store) and a small piece of poster board or cardboard no bigger than 8-1/2" by 11". Your child will use the poster board piece on the inside of the boxers to prevent the paint or markers from bleeding through to the opposite side. With babies or toddlers, it is great to dip their hands and feet in the paint and put their hand and foot prints on the boxers. With preschool and older children, it is great to let their imaginations be their guide. Whether the boxers end up very abstract or with sweet messages and planned illustrations, their dad will love them.
2) Dad Rocks:
Kid-decorated rock paperweights are an easy, inexpensive and classic gift. All you need are some rocks, which you can collect with your child on a walk or hike or purchase from a garden store, and some multicolored permanent markers or paint. It is fun to have your child brainstorm some fun things to write on the rock like "Dad Rocks" or their dad's nickname or favorite sports team.
3) Paper Mache Bowl:
Small paper mache bowls are great for Dad's pocket change, keys or business cards. They are also a great way to put an old magazine or newspaper to good use. It is great to have your child choose a magazine or images that their dad likes (i.e. the sports page of the newspaper, surfing images from a surf magazine, crossword puzzles). Regardless what they choose they will love ripping the pages into strips. Your child will need to lightly grease a metal or glass bowl (smaller is easier), homemade paper mache paste, and the paper strips. For a recipe for homemade paper mache, images and a step-by-step guide, check out these links.
4) Hug & Kisses Pen Holder:
This is a great gift for Dad's desk and is easy to make with materials that you have around the house. All your child needs is a cylindrical can (like a mixed nuts container, potato chips, raisins, etc.), a photo of themselves with Dad or a piece of artwork or images that they have cut out of old magazines, and clear contact paper. All your child needs to do is cover the can with their images or artwork by gluing them on (if necessary you may use a glue stick). Next you will probably need to help your child cut the contact paper to fit the can and help place it on top of their work to seal them in place.
Here is a link to another version of this project that uses cork sheets.
5) Favorite Moments Album:
This is my all time favorite Father's Day project. My children have all done it for their dad and I have done it for my dad. It is great for kids ages 5 and up. Have your child pick 10 photos that represent his/her favorite moments/memories with Dad. Next have them write or dictate to you (for younger children) why that time with their dad was so special. Older children can do to this project on their own and may want to create something on the computer. For younger children it is great to help them make this album themselves using construction paper. A great idea for the cover is to have them draw a picture of themselves with their dad.
If you do not have the time or materials for your child to do one of these sure-to-please projects, it is great to have them create the wrapping paper for Dad's store bought gift. You can have them draw and decorate tissue paper or brown craft paper and make a simple card. I hope that you and your child have a joyful Father's Day and make more special memories with Dad.