Tic Tac Toe Father's Day Gift Plus a Free Card Printable

It's always fun to give our preschool dads a present that will be appreciated.
Our goal is usually to create something that WON'T get stuffed in a drawer right after it's opened never to be seen or used again!  (Not always an easy task!)

So this year we decided to make a tic tac toe game for our Father's Day gift!

We thought it would be something useful and something that would encourage quality time between kids and dads!

The gift required a few different classes to complete, but I think the time was well spent!

For the tic tac toe markers, I collected a bunch of rocks and gave them a quick rinse to remove any dirt.  
Beach rocks or rocks from a stream are best as they tend to have a flat, smooth surface.

The kids came to the art table and they used acrylic craft paint to cover 5 rocks in red paint and 5 rocks in yellow.  

We gave them each a plastic plate to use while painting to help contain all the drips!  :)  

We didn't worry about keeping each child's rocks separate once they were painted.  We just created one communal pile on a plastic tray and then let them dry overnight.  

The next day, we turned the red rocks into ladybugs.   The teachers drew some lines on the lady bugs to give a sense of where the face and wings would be.
(Without the wing lines, the rocks were not looking much like ladybugs, so we decided to step in a teeny bit!)

The children added the eyes, mouth and spots to 5 rocks each using a black Sharpie pen.

Then they drew lines and faces on 5 yellow rocks to create the bees.

The next day the class decorated bags to hold the rocks.
The kids added details to simple paper bug shapes and then glued them onto their bag!

I always love it when the gift card ties in with the theme, so we decided to make a card that featured ladybugs on the front.

To make the card, the kids dipped a finger in some red paint and made fingerprints on the cover.  

We learned to recommend making no more than 10 fingerprints.  The child in this picture had to turn a lot of spots into ladybugs later!

We glued the words "I'm so lucky..." on the front of the card (ladybugs are supposed to be lucky, after all! :)) and the words below to the inside of the card.

Once their fingerprints on the cover were dry, everyone turned the red spots into ladybugs using a black marker.  

The teachers attached the cards to the front of the game bags with a paperclip.

The game boards were made from thick green paper plates. Our preschoolers wouldn't have been able to make the grid themselves, so the teachers added the grid for them using a black Sharpie.

If you have enough money in your budget and want something long-lasting, I'd recommend using a round corkboard.   (That's what I used when I created a class tic tac toe game.)  

We attached the game board to the back of the bag since it was too big to fit inside.

Adding flower and leaf stickers to the border of your game board would be a nice touch, too!  Especially if your group is older and has the time for an additional step!

(And if you want fewer steps when making this gift, you could, of course, skip making the game bags.)  

We gave the gifts to our preschool dads at our Father's Day picnic event and they seemed delighted. 
And the kids, of course, could hardly wait to play the game with them!

I have included a link to the text that I created for the cards that we gave with the gift.  You are welcome to download the printables below HERE!   :)

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