Commercialism is a bit too much to stomach sometimes. When it comes time for those Hallmark holiday's, I like to get creative with the kiddos and make something at home. Over the years there have been plenty of quick little projects conjured up in the Klein Household to celebrate Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day and more. I've included a small list of my favorites below. Feel free to snatch a few for your own family!
Number 1 on my list is the Photograph Puzzle, similar to the picture on the right. I went to my local craft store and purchased 1-inch unfinished wood blocks (12 of them). This project was for Father's Day, so I printed out 4 of David's favorite photographs of him with the children. I used a rubber band to hold the wood blocks neatly together in a rectangle shape, then spread glue all over one side. I placed one photo on top of the glued blocks and waited for it to dry. I trimmed any photo overhang, then used an exacto-knife to carefully slice the photo between each block. I repeated this process for all four photos. For the remaining two sides of the puzzle I gave the kids each a turn to create their own artwork puzzle. They drew on their respective side with markers - other ideas include paint or paper collage. I put the entire puzzle into a tin can - also purchased at the craft store - and the kids couldn't wait to give it to daddy! It was fun to watch them work on the puzzle together first thing in the morning on Father's Day. Now we keep it in our camping gear for those surprise rainy moments.
Number 2 on my list is the I Love You banner made completely from scrap materials. I kept this banner hanging across the window in our living room for a good couple of years because we love it so much. I cut open a couple of paper grocery bags (removed the bottom) and gave the kids some finger paint and let them paint their hearts desire. After it dried, I cut the paper into enough rectangles to spell out I Love You with one piece in between each word. I pulled out all types of materials to glue onto the papers to spell out each word. I used broken Mardi Gras beads, ribbon, dry cereal, thread, and my favorite - those mini pictures you get on the index sheet after you've printed all your photographs. Because my children were too young to write the letters in glue (in a legible fashion), I did that part for them. Older children could easily handle this task. After I placed the glue, I let the kids cover the glue with one material at a time for each letter. After all was dry, I attached each piece to a long strip of twine with painters tape on the back.
Number 3 on my list is the Foot Photo and Survey. I took the kids outside for good light and made them sit with their feet together in front of them so I could see the soles. I snapped a picture and used my camera settings to change it to black and white. I printed it out, dated the bottom, and placed it in a frame. I printed out a following in your footsteps poem to go along with the photo. Then I surveyed the children with questions about their dad. I asked them things like "What's your favorite thing to do with daddy? and If you could buy anything for your dad, what would it be?" I wrote their answers down with the questions, on individual strips of paper. I gave the kids some card stock, stickers, and other art supplies. I explained to them that they would decorate the card stock to cover some glass jars. When they were finished, I helped them attach the decorations to the jars, then placed the questions and answers inside the jar. Dad had a lot of fun reading all those answers! The photograph and jar survey was one gift together on Father's Day.
I'm always interested in hearing new ideas for kid projects. Please feel free to share your handmade projects in the comments section of my blog!