Dads of Pre-teens: Eight Great Gift Projects for Dads and Kids

Making Gifts Together is a Way to Bond

Get your child to take pride in the gifts he makes –unique creations that will be cherished. The Dads for Life Resource Team unearths eight great gift projects that will get you bonding –with each other, and pieces of paper, perhaps. In the process, store up a decent stash of presents for friends and family.

Art_of_giving_santa_60201. Original Origami Gifts. One of the practical gift projects to take on with your tween is to create useful objects out of origami.

Find out how to make a Sunflower Photo Frame with Origami Club’s Useful Origami. For a personal touch, help your child add a photo of himself and the recipient of the gift.

Also, check out the website’s plethora of designs for the holidays. If you manage to make a few pieces and add a string to each, put them into a box and give them away as a set of decorations.

Make a dozen coasters for an aunt (photo, right). She will be delighted to serve drinks with them.

In keeping with the theme of holidays, help your child make out a friend’s name with Alphabets. They can be strung together to form a banner for a party.

2. Paper, Printer, Colour! Wondering what to give your nieces and nephews? Help your child print out colouring sheets, and place them into folders. Add a set of crayons or paint, if you wish. Get your child to distribute the packages to his cousins.

For more delightful printables, dig into these Dinosaur Colouring Pages. Or, go to Colouring Book InfoEducational Colouring Pages and Coloring Book Fun, which have a wide selection of colouring sheets.

3. Paper, Printer, Dinner! Staying with the idea of downloading delectable printables, create Pirate Placemats for use at parties or everyday dinners. Download, print, laminate and pack them into a crumpled, tea-stained brown envelope with a treasure map on it.

Your child’s friend, or at least his or her parents who have to entertain a dozen or so kids, will be grateful for such a gift. Free Kids Crafts is filled with many other fun gift projects.

4. Make a Microbook. These pocket-sized books are easy to make, and small enough to keep in one’s pocket or bag. Get your child to help fold them.

Kids’ Book Network’s is a great place for you to download Microbooks, with instructions on how to construct them.

Giving a Microbook could be An Eggcellent Idea.

Besides, Dad Can Do has a cache of impressive Microbooks. Essential In-car Entertainment or The Seven Wonders of the World are great titles. . contains resources for all dads, with a special emphasis on helping single and non-resident fathers. As such, the projects found there are tried and tested by dads who deeply appreciate the various tools to help them bond with their kids as they spend precious time together.

5. LEGO Christmas Tree. Now that he is a pre-teen, your child might just be willing to part with some of his colourful bricks. Help him build a Christmas Tree to be placed in Grandpa and Grandma’s house. Go to wikiHow’s How to Build a LEGO Christmas Tree for step-by-step instructions.

6. Paint a Tee. Putting on a customised tee-shirt makes one feel special. Go to to watch a video on how to get started. They even include instructions for you to download. Voila! Your child now has a piece of “wearable art” to give to a friend, uncle or teacher.

7. “Tape” a Rose. Back to the topic on how to get some family bonding. Make a bouquet of roses for your wife using duct tape. if it turns out looking odd, go to the florist, buy some real roses, and get yourself out of that ‘sticky’ situation.

If you think making flowers with the kids is too tough a project, but still want to to put together something for your wife, here is a nearly fail-proof project: Pack a Basket of Goodies.

“If Mum works, she can bring this special basket of healthy goodies to keep away hunger pangs during those late mornings or afternoons at the office,” says Shirley Wong, Head of Department, Design and Aesthetics, Beatty Secondary School.

Start by decorating a basket with your kids. You can use ribbons and trimmings to dress up the basket, or make patterns using markers.

Next take the kids shopping, and fill up the basket with goodies.

“Don’t go too crazy with the chocolates and chips. Encourage them to go for yummy but healthful snack options for Mum such as cereal bars or a variety of dried fruit and nuts,” says Shirley.

“The best part of this gift project is that you get to sneak in a treat for yourself and the kids. Don’t tell Mum!” she adds.

8. Build a Kite. Flying a kite is fun, even when it takes hard work. Maybe that is why there is just something special about the experience. Making a kite with your child, can be fun too.

Tim Parish, a dad in Adelaide and Webmaster of My Best Kite shows how to construct kites of differing degrees of difficulty with step-to-step instructions.

Make as many kites as you can, give them to friends, and form a kite-flying club for dads and kids. Have even more fun!

About the Author: The Dads for Life Resource Team comprises local content writers and experts, including psychologists, counsellors, educators and social service professionals, dedicated to developing useful resources for dads.

First published on 16-01-2012.

Categories: 4 Dads of Pre-teens, Ages and Stages

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: