One of my favorite little boys just turned 2 and for his birthday we decided to do something a little different for his gift. So if you have a toddler birthday coming up here is an idea for a fun, easy and to quote the lovely Sandra Lee, semi-homemade.
Elmo ABC book, Animal flashcards, washable markers, paint set, colored pencils, crayons and a
tub of sidewalk chalk
We made him a craft tub filled with goodies that were all washable or erasable, aka the only type of colored writing item to have in the house. The awesome part of this all is that stores like Target have a plethora of these items beginning in mid-July and lasting through the middle of September. So stock up during this time! There are more options and they are usually less expensive during this period as well. And don't forget Target's discount section near the front of the store. I ALWAYS stop in there and add to my secret stash of fun items. Great for coloring books, containers, stickers, etc...
We found a shower caddy and added puff paint to snazz it up and make it clear just 
who these treasures belong to <wink>. 
My tools
The homemade part was my favorite, so of course I saved it for last! We have a roll of paper from Ikea that we use for all our craft times and I LOVE. I decided to use some of this durable paper and create spaces for this little one's masterpieces. To make the frames as uniform as possible I used an 8x10 picture frame's backing and traced it with a thick black marker, then decorated away. This way whenever he is done with an original piece his mommy can cut it off and hang it on the wall. I must say that by the end of this project, aka nap time coming to a close, I knew I needed to make some for Baby Love. 

Total cost for this gift was $13.75, easily $15 dollars less than if these items had been purchased elsewhere. Absolutely love being able to give a gift for less 
without compromising any of the quality! 
To our sweet Aedan, we have loved being able to love on you this last year and 
can't wait to see what this next year brings. You are a very special little boy and we are so glad to have you in our lives. Happiest of Birthdays!

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