Kids' Activity: Make Creative Cards

by Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Sndyer

Occasions are a wonderful excuse for a unique, home-made card -- birthdays, holidays, thank-you's, get-well wishes or just because. Everyone loves a child's creative, one-of-a-kind endeavors! Harness that commodity with these tips.

Material List

While your craft box most likely has everything you'll need to start on a card-making project, here is a brief list of item you may need. You won't need all the items for a card.

• Card stock or white construction paper
• Construction paper
• White paper
• Orgami paper
• Tissue paper
• Crayons
• Markers/colored pencils
• Scissors
• Glue
• Glitter
• Yarn
• Fun stamps
• Cookie cutters for templates
• Aluminum foil
• Cotton balls
• Braid trim, rick-rack

Collage cards

To collage a simple card front with a toddler, fold a 5 1/2" x 8" sheet of white construction paper in half and draw a simple shape on the front. A tree, balloon, heart, apple, teddy bear or turtle are good choices. Tear or cut many small squares of various colors of construction paper. You may wish to prepare these pieces in advance. Put a little glue on a paper plate and show her how to dip a colored piece in glue and paste it within the shape. Encourage her to fill the entire area. Let dry. Accents like apple stem or turtle legs can be added with a marker.

Print cards

This is another easy card for younger children to create. Sponge shapes or hand prints dipped in a variety of colors of paint make a nice background for a printing. After the stamped design is dry, use a marker to write "Happy Birthday," "I Love You" or a greeting of your child's choice.

Cards with cutouts

Have your child chose a background color. Offer scissors, glue, yarn, cookie cutters, pencils, marker...whatever it takes to turn his thought into an image. Embellish animals with felt ears, cotton ball tails, feathers. If you need to, help with a message.

Cards with pop-ups

These are my children's favorites:
• Cut two half sheets of card stock or lightweight poster board
• Fold each in half
• Cut 2 parallel lines about 2" deep into the fold of the inside sheet
• Paste sheet together around the edges
• Write greeting or draw picture on front
• Make scene in center of card
• Cut out scene to pop out and paste to square pop-out formed by parallel slits
• Embellish and add personal note
Some ideas of pop-out items are animals, stars, trees, bird nests and balloons

Cards with origami insert

Cut a pocket the width of the front of the card and about 1/4 its height. The pocket can be shaped like a hill and made into scenery. Help you child to fold an origami shape to match her background or theme. Tuck it into pocket. The inside can be for text only or can contain more artwork.

Picture cards

Older people (grandparents, favored aunts or neighbors) always love pictures of the child so make a picture frame card. Take card stock and turn to a landscape position -- fold into three parts. Next, place photo you want to use on the front of the first section and trace around the outside. Leave the picture slightly larger than the hole you cut.

Cut out the hole and lay the picture along the inside; tape in place. Fold the card over so that the second section encloses the picture and add a few drops of glue along the sides to hold in place. The third part is where you will write your message.

Add some braiding or take glue and sprinkle glitter around the border of the picture frame (Hint: We cover our picture during this phase with a small piece of tissue paper).