It’s December! Time for your annual reach out to friends and family. As the weather gets colder, you and the kids may be spending more time indoors. If you’re looking for an activity that’s fun for all, try making holiday cards.
When making homemade holiday cards with the kids, remember that safety should come first. Always supervise the use of scissors, glue and other adhesives, and make sure that they wear something over their clothes if they’re working with paints or permanent markers. Encourage your kids to cover mistakes with new pictures rather than trashing an entire card, and make sure that they help you to clean up afterward.
You will need some supplies such as card stock or construction paper. You could also use paper plates! Add glue, glitter, stickers, markers, glitter pens, cotton balls, and rubber stamps/ink to your supply list. Pull out your ribbons and bows for texture. Take some snapshots of the family and pets and print them out on your color printer. You can buy greeting card sized envelopes at your local office supply store.
There are hundreds of ways in which your kids can make homemade holiday cards for relatives. Encourage your kids to be creative with all of the supplies, and to make each card unique. If they are old enough, they can write messages inside the cards, or you can do that for them while they work. If you know how, you can even write in calligraphy or another old style of writing to make the holiday cards more festive. You can use colored construction paper to fold in half and make snowmen, Christmas trees, and hearts. Or make cut-outs of holly or berries to paste onto the card.
You can also make “pop-up” cards by pasting pictures or drawings to the inside of the card that will stand up when the card is opened. One of the best ways to do this is by using construction paper on the inside of card stock.
You can use coffee machine filters to make different shaped snowflakes. Show your kids how you can fold the filters and cut into them in different places to make unique snowflakes each time.
Try a hand-print Santa card: Cut Santa-hat shapes (minus the pom-poms and white trim) from the craft paper, then glue one onto each card. Draw eyes or glue on some googly eyes about a fingertip width below the hat. Turn the card upside down so the hat is on the bottom.
Pour white tempera paint onto a paper plate, and a dollop each of red, black, and pink (mix some red and white) onto another. Put a hand in the paint, and then stamp the hand-print above the hat and eyes. Turn the card back around, then use fingertips to stamp the trim on the hats, and a nose, mouth, and cheeks on each face.
If you wind up with more cards than recipients, please consider sending a card to service members who are on active duty away from their families. You can send a card to the Red Cross’ Holiday Mail for Heroes program, or reach out to your local charity for more information.