Dads need to be reminded of how much they're loved, just as kids do. As Father's Day approaches, now is the perfect time to encourage your little one to create a gift that shows Dad how special he is. When your child makes a leather cover for his cell phone or personal organizer with a message of love tucked inside, he strengthens his bond with his dad and gains an array of skills. Creating the cover involves cutting, stitching, and decorating a piece of thin scrap leather with simple tools you're likely to have around the house.
Producing this practical-yet-sweet gift will boost your child's abilities in many ways, says Sharon Strubbe, program director of the Association for the Advancement of Arts Education in Cincinnati. "Kids will develop math skills when they use a ruler to measure the cover, fine-motor skills when they use scissors, and hand-eye coordination when they stitch the sides together," she says.
To make the sewing easier, you can help your child by measuring the placement of the holes and punching them through the leather with a sturdy paper punch or a leather punch. Using thick embroidery thread and a blunt embroidery needle will make stitching more child-friendly too. If you can't find leather in your local craft store, you can buy it online at www.wanderingbull.com.
Once the cover is complete, your child can personalize it with a handwritten note on a piece of ribbon inside. As an alternative, he could paint or emboss designs on the outside. "Buy a little extra leather and encourage your child to practice his designs," says Strubbe. "An old bottle cap or small cookie cutters could be used to make impressions in the leather."Materials