When Dad's Day comes around, you've got a great chance for the family to celebrate…and for your child to sneak in some writing skills in the process! This year, try passing up those store displays in favor of a homemade card that sends a message of appreciation for everything that makes Dad unique and special.
One piece of royal blue construction paper or card stock
Black permanent marker
Optional: Stickers that represent Dad's interests
What You Do:
Fold the two sheets of white cover stock paper in half, horizontally, so that each one ends up 5-1/2”x 8-1/2” in size. The first one will be the outside cover of your card. Use a ruler to mark a 4”x 4” square on the top half of the cover page. (psst: parents, try to have your child do this—it's great measuring practice!) Then divide the square into four “windowpane” sections, each 2” x 2”, like this:
Have your child write “Happy Father’s Day” on the bottom of the page, and then, in each of the four windows, draw one of Dad's special interests or talents. Does Dad love fishing? Gardening? Reading books? Encourage your child to draw away. Note: if your child is quite small, or maybe reluctant to draw, you can also have a blast with stickers. Check out a local stationery store, and you can find a wealth of choices. For little fingers, the process of handling stickers is great fine motor practice, too.
Now you're ready for the “popup” inside section of your card. Pull out your second folded sheet of construction paper, and start by creating a “popup platform.” This may sound complicated, but it's actually very simple: cut two parallel lines, each about 1”, into the fold of your card, like this:
Now, open the card and pull the cut section gently toward you. Bend it to the left and right to create two more folds, each about ½”, so that you end up with a flat section of paper that sticks up when your card is open, like this:
Now you’ll cut a “blue ribbon” from the royal blue paper. You can work freehand. Have your child cut it out and then use the metallic marker to write a salute to Dad on the round medallion section: “First Prize Dad,” or “#1 Dad!”
Use the glue stick to glue the medallion to the “popup platform.”
Now it’s time to attach the front and back sections. Glue around all four edges, and place the “popup” page inside the “window” illustration page. Use enough glue to attach the insert thoroughly—but just be sure that you DON'T put any glue on the popup section, which needs to move freely.
When you're finished, you'll have a fun, fancy card for Dad. On the front, he'll see a salute to his unique interests; inside, his “blue ribbon” award will pop up when he opens his gift. This card costs only pennies to make; we suspect that Dad will feel that it's priceless.
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.