Fathers' Day Crafts for Toddlers

Projects Even Little Kids Can Do

High angle view of boy (4-5) making palm print
Mike Kemp/Getty Images

On Fathers' Day do dads and granddads really want a new tie or a golf club-shaped pen? Probably not, but a special one-of-a-kind gift made by your child's own hands is sure to be treasured forever. Toddlers and 2-year-olds don't have the skills to build something too complicated and may not even be ready to use crayons independently, but with your help they can work on one of the following projects.

In addition to producing a beloved gift for dad or grandpa, you will have the opportunity to expose your little one to new materials, teach colors and shapes, and explore different textures.

Hand-and-Foot Print Poem. I always love to mark crafts with my child's little hand or foot print so in later years I will remember just how small and precious they were at this age. For this project, you can use your child's foot prints to create a flower stem and leaves and her hands to create flower petals. Pour a thin layer of paint into an old pan and dip your child's foot into it, then have her step down gently on the middle bottom of a large sheet of paper. Turn the page slightly one way for her to step down and create a leaf; turn it the opposite way to create another leaf. Using a second color, Have her dip her hands into the paint. Spreading out her fingers, she can press down at the top of the first foot print, one hand at a time, to create a ten-petal flower.

Write in a little poem like this one to accompany the picture:
This is to remind you, Dad,
When I have grown so tall,
That once I was quite little
And my hands and feet,
They were so very small.

Milk Carton Bookends. I found a grade school version of this craft online that involved paper mache and advanced painting skills.

Originally, I was going to suggest to my oldest that she work on it as a Fathers' Day project, but then I realized that with a few modifications my 18-month-old and I could make these milk carton bookends for dear old dad.

Crayon Window Art. This project lets you and your toddler turn old broken crayons into colorful window art. Use colors and an outline that dad would love for a Fathers' Day gift.

Storage Can. As a variation on the decoupage can older kids might make for dad, you can take a simple soup can and cover it with paper. Then let your toddler decorate the can with stickers and crayon or marker drawings. Tada...your child just made the best pen holder or nuts-and-bolts caddy ever (at least in daddy's eyes). My daughter made a pen holder like this when she was less than a year old. Five years later it still proudly stands on my husband's desk.

Patriotic Crafts. Sandwiched between Memorial Day and Independence Day, Fathers' Day and patriotic-inspired gifts go hand in hand. You and your toddler can plan some Fourth of July activities for dad or make a stars and stripes flag that any all-American dad is sure to love.

Personalized T-Shirt. Another idea for foot print and hand print gifts is a one-of-a-kind t-shirt for dad that you decorate with fabric paint.

Continue Reading