Our little girl turned two! Here she is reading her personalized counting book.
We had a little open house to celebrate her second birthday.
There was no overall theme. I just incorporated things she likes - brownies with strawberry caramel icing, hot dogs (and veggie skewers), vegan spinach artichoke dip (she loves to dip chips), popcorn and maple caramel corn (recipe found in Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family ).
Also we told guests not to feel obligated to bring a gift. Instead I had a counting numbers book that I drew that everyone signed to commemorate her birthday. I thought this was a great way to incorporate learning into a keepsake... our favorite page is the pear page:
And here it is with some thoughts and signatures... (on title page and back)
I bought a 8 x 8 blank board book from Amazon, shown below. Currently they are buy 3 get 1 free! (The discount wasn't applied until I checked out).
And a little about how I did it...
I left the first page blank (except for a title) for everyone to sign and then drew numbers on the remaining pages, 1 to 10. I tied each number to something that matched her birthday or something I knew she liked for example: one birthday girl (plan on putting her picture on this page so no drawing), two birthday candles (she turned two) but then moved on to other things she liked like three bedtime books and eight matryoshka dolls. I'm usually a perfectionist when it comes to art but I've learned to let that go. I first drew in pencil and then in sharpie, coloring it a little bit with colored pencils. Drawing in pencil allowed for mistakes which I'm prone to make plenty and then sharpie adds a nice contrast to grab attention.
Another easier way to do this would be stamping, stickers or even paper and glue - this would be an easy and fun craft for an older sibling to make for the younger child. Really there are so many ways these books could be made - instead of numbers, choose colors, shapes, animals or animal sounds, verses, or even family members who aren't able to visit frequently.
The books come in several different sizes and even accordians. They are very sturdy and hold up to a toddler's attention.
This craft is so versatile. It's also pretty inexpensive for a homemade gift and keepsake.
I plan to get some contact paper to protect the cover, but here is how it looks after it was signed. Excuse Number One, we haven't chosen a picture to place there yet.