Sunday, June 7, 2009

Make Stuff Online for the Dad(s) in Your Life for Father's Day

I can't take credit for this idea, teacher Amina Bradford told me about it right after Mother's Day this year, and one of her colleagues thought of it: Use Wordle to create (or have your kids create) a "Beautiful Word Cloud". . . this time, about Dad. (Example for my Dad.) Put the word "Dad" in twice to make it the biggest. Download the image, then send it in to a photo printing service to have it professionally printed, pop it in a frame, and there you go! Unforgettable father's day present! Amina's friend did this for Mother's day and her students came up with words like "loud, squishy, and hungry." How awesome is that?

Use a tool like Glogster or Scrapblog to make a photo collage/book of you and your Dad. Fun! When you finish, download the image, or if you can't get it like you want it, blow it up so that you can see the whole thing on your computer screen, then hit the print screen (prt sc, maybe fn>prt sc on a laptop), then open your photo editing program (I like PhotoFiltre--free and amazing), and hit Edit Paste. Size/edit your image for sending off for professional printing or print on your color printer.

If you're REALLY getting into this idea, you could make a cartoon of your Dad using ToonDoo. How about showing an important event you remember or creating a little cartoon you with your little cartoon Dad and let your character say all those gushy things you might not say in person?

If you're doing this project with kids who can't write yet, try SumoPaint to let even the littlest ones draw Dad, or if you have a bonafide artist in the house, see what they can do with the amazing advanced tools SumoPaint offers. If you want to keep it simple, photograph your kids' drawings with your digital camera, then add them to your Dad Book or get them framed. You can use PhotoFiltre (again, it's free) to crop and intensify the color saturation to make them really pop.

You can make a whole book for your dad yourself or use a service like (start today) to have your book professionally printed.

Of course, Dad would love some text thrown in there too. Find some great quotes about amazing Dads. Add some of the lyrics of his favorite song in that Scrapblog or Glogster, or if you're going to turn all this great stuff into a video using Animoto, put that song in the background. And here's the English teacher coming out: Have your kids (or yourself) write a formula poem. They are surprisingly moving. Just make up a rule, then follow it, for example, every line starts with

Dad, Did you know that . . . ? and the poem will be called "Dad, Did you know?" Trust me, people will cry, probably including you when you write it or read it.

If you feel the need to give your Dad something more traditionally "Dad like" for father's day, how about making "The World's Smallest Toolbox" for him? I don't really know if a Dad would like this, but I WANT ONE!

1 comment:

Tech Diva said...

Great ideas! Let me add one...About 13 years ago, my sister and I bought a basic red Craftsman toolbox and had each of our children paint their hand prints on it and add a personal message. We also used those magnetic picture frames to add pictures.

Recently, my dad came to visit and when he opened his trunk, there was his toolbox, worn and battered with time but clearly bearing the tiny hand prints of his grandchildren, the oldest of whom graduated high school this year.