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Father’s Day Gift: DIY Collar Stays

Sweet Pea is 4 years old.

From: I was inspired by a PostSecret that said something like, “Even though I’m a millionaire, I make my own collar stays out of empty cereal boxes.”



  • Print and cut out my collar stay template.
  • Cut off the sides of a Kleenex box so you have 2 pieces of cardboard.
  • Put the collar stay template on 1 piece of card board and trace around it with the pen.
  • Cut the collar stay shape out of the cardboard and then test it in the shirt collar.

  • Trim the cut card board piece if necessary to make it fit the shirt.
  • Use your tested cardboard template to drawn several more outlines on the second piece of cardboard.

  • Let your tot color in the outlines.
  • Laminate the cardboard.
  • Cut out all of the color stays.

  • For a nice gift, neatly stack the collar stays and tie them up with a pretty ribbon.

Observations: It took Sweet Pea about 45 seconds to finish coloring in all of the collar stay outlines.  I couldn’t get her to do anything other than color them in with a solid color either.  She just wasn’t very interested in this, but I think an older child could probably make a really nice design on them.

Despite Sweet Pea’s indifference, I was really happy with this activity.  It is very quick and easy father’s day craft.

Notes from the Trenches: Originally I tried just using cardstock, but it wasn’t heavy enough.  Also, even with the cardboard, I recommend laminating these.  The cardboard by itself wasn’t quite stiff enough to make a good collar stay.

Take these out of your shirt collars before you launder them.  I don’t think they would melt or anything, but I would hate to be responsible for a ruined shirt.

Rating: 2 Stars * ( Easy, Frugal)


Animal Counting Cards for Milk Cap Numbers

Sweet Pea is 33 months old.

From: These are cards I developed to be used with milk cap numbers.  (I promise this is the last one of these number cap activities for a while!)



  • Print out the worksheets and cut each of them into quarters to make 4 cards.
  • Optionally color and laminate the cards.
  • Divide the cards by animal type into 7 piles (or in any other arrangement so that each pile contains a cards with 1, 2, 3 and 4 animals).
  • Lay out each of the cards from the first pile in front of your tot.  Place the 1,2,3 and 4 milk cap numbers next to the cards.

  • Point to a card and have your tot help you count the animals on the card.
  • Have your tot help you select the correct milk cap number and place it in the circle in the middle of the appropriate card.
  • Point to another card and have your tot help you count the animals on that card and select the matching milk cap number.
  • Continue until you have used all of the milk cap numbers, gradually letting your tot take over the work.
  • Repeat for the remaining piles.

Observations: Sweet Pea insisted on having “Monk Monk” (a toy monkey that was  given to our dog by Santa last Christmas, but which was quickly appropriated by Sweet Pea) do this entire activity.

MonkMonk was able to count each of the animals.

MonkMonk then placed each of the numbers on the correct card.

It was a very succesful activity for MonkMonk and I would recommend it for all other re-purposed dog toys.

Notes from the Trenches: I think it might be a good idea to write the correct number on the back of the cards so that your child can check his or her work.

Also, you have to watch out or your stuffed monkey will carelessly knock everything off of the table.

Rating: 3 Stars * (Fun, Independent, Frugal if you just cut the milk cap numbers out of paper and forgo the Mod Podge.)



Related Posts:
The tiny little elves that live inside my computer think you also might be interested in the following:

Milk Cap Numbers & Animal Counting Worksheets
Milk Cap Numbers & Animal Counting Worksheets
Snowflake Counting with Milk Cap Numbers
Snowflake Counting with Milk Cap Numbers
Counting and Banding Spindles
Counting and Banding Spindles


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