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Simple Creative Father's Day Gifts for Children to Make

Frugal Parenting (featured column)
by Rachel Keller

Father’s Day is right around the corner. Do you know what to give your father? As a child I had a hard time finding the perfect gift for my father and grandfather, whether for Father’s Day or birthdays. They seemingly had everything and what they did want was beyond my ability and finances to purchase.

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Maybe you have no problems finding the perfect gift, but often children don’t know what to give their fathers or grandfathers. Here are some suggestions, especially for young people who might not have abundant resources.

* First, it helps to know your father. If your father enjoys watching televised sports, pamper him with a ready chair, bedroom slippers, beverage, and snack. On the other hand, my husband who doesn’t watch television would get more excited about a bike ride or a new pair of cycling gloves.

* Mothers aren’t the only ones who enjoy being pampered. Most men enjoy a good back rub or foot massage.

* If your father loves coffee or even hot tea, consider getting or making a personalized mug. You can purchase inexpensive plastic mugs with liners and decorate the inside with stickers. The hard plastic outer shell protects the decorations inside. (You will spend more on personalized mugs if you order glass mugs and do none of the work yourself.)

* You can also decorate a plate with a photo or artwork. Even gluing tissue paper to a clear glass plate and covering with shellac makes a unique gift. (Depending on what you use to decorate the plate, you may not be able to eat from the plate.)

* Mugs and plates aren’t the only items you can personalize. T-shirts are very inexpensive and are easy to decorate. You can iron on designs, decorate with special markers or fabric paint, or tie-dye. If you want to spend just a little more money, you can have a special photograph or design printed on your shirt. If your father has plenty of shirts, try decorating a sweat shirt or jacket.

* Decorate a plain baseball cap. Consider making matching caps for you and your father.

* Use an aluminum pie tin and some Plaster of Paris to make hand or foot prints that fathers can treasure in years to come. A simpler method is to use finger paint and decorate paper with hand prints. (Check out this link for a great and easy way to make hand prints with modeling clay.)

* What parent doesn’t like a special work of art? Try drawing, coloring, or painting your own special artwork or card. Here are a couple Web sites with great ideas for making personalized gifts and cards (including pop-up cards), Father’s Day printables, and even a Daddy Bingo game. http://www.kidsdomain.com/holiday/dad/ http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/fathersday/

* If you have a digital camera, have fun taking pictures and framing them. Have your mom or another adult take pictures of you and your siblings to frame for your father or grandfather.

* Buy a plastic key ring holder and insert a picture of yourself or you and your dad.

* Make a special tape of you singing, talking, or whatever you choose. This would make a great audio card for grandparents who live far away.

* If you enjoy being in the kitchen, make a special dessert for Dad (maybe a Happy Father’s Day cake) or even a special Daddy’s Day Dinner. Make the day even more fun by putting up signs in the yard or in the house telling Dad how special he is.

* Cut out small pictures from magazines and glue to magnet strips for Dad to use on his filing cabinet or wherever he might need a magnet.

* Create your own special Father’s Day poem or composition praising your father or grandfather.

* Do some chores for Dad, such as mowing the lawn, washing the car, pulling weeds, etc. (If you typically get paid for this, offer to do the jobs without pay.) You could even use the coupon book for these ideas.

No matter what you choose to give your father or grandfather, remember to spend time with him. The best gifts are not always the most expensive. Most fathers appreciate the love, care, and respect you attach to the gift more than the price or quality of the item purchased.

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Copyright © 2006 by Rachel Keller. All rights reserved.
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