Toddlers love to celebrate birthdays, even when it is someone else's birthday. Let toddlers participate in decorating the home, making special treats and doing special things to spoil "Daddy" on his birthday. You can make the occasion special for Daddy and the toddler by letting the child make at least one special gift.
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Add homemade paper balloons to other birthday decorations. Cut two large balloon shapes, with a tied balloon-look tail, from a paper grocery bag. Have the toddler use markers or crayons, or even glitter glue or paints to decorate both balloon shapes. Tape the two shapes together, with the decorated sides toward the outside. Leave a small opening for the child to stuff wadded paper inside the balloon to make it look like it is full of air. Tape the opening closed. Tie a ribbon around the tail piece of the balloon. Push a dowel stick through the bottom of the balloon. Make several balloons to stand in corners, stuff between couch pillows or add to the table centrepiece.
Re-Design a Calendar
For a personal gift from a child, cover the picture pages of a wall calendar with their artwork. Have the toddler do a different type of artwork on each page. For example, he could colour, sponge paint, arrange sticker dots, glue on some magazine pictures or tape on one or more pictures of him with Daddy.
Find Your Gifts, Daddy
Help your toddler wrap several small, inexpensive gifts for Daddy. She may even make the wrapping paper herself by colouring or using ink stamps on plain paper. Let her hide the gifts in different places around the house. Daddy can hunt for his gifts, then unwrap them.
Books for Daddy and Me
Let your toddler choose a book to purchase for "Daddy and me" reading times. Look for books that feature daddies and children, or one the dad will remember from his own childhood. Or, let the child choose a colouring book and new crayons for special together-time with Daddy.
E-mail an Action Card
Have your toddler sit on your lap at the computer. Go to a free e-mail card site. Hallmark
and American Greetings offer free or purchased e-mail cards online. Let the toddler choose one that appeals to him, then personalise it and e-mail it to Daddy. The card will be available for more than one viewing, so Daddy can hold the toddler and view the card again at home.
Print a meaningful "Daddy" poem onto paper, reducing or enlarging the poem to about 5 by 7 inches or smaller. Use a larger picture frame, about 12 by 18 inches, with a colourful mat to fill the extra space in the frame. Help the toddler press her handprints onto the cardboard mat area. Write the date with gel pens. The toddler may also draw or try to write her name after the paint is dry. Then, place the printed poem into the open area of the matting, and place the entire picture into a frame.
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