- variety of greeting cards
- drawing paper
- art materials: pencils, markers, crayons, watercolor, tempera paint, rubber alphabet stamps, and stickers
- old magazines and catalogs for cutting
- child safety scissors
- glue or glue sticks
- access to a photocopy machine
Objective: Children will learn how different types of greeting cards are used to communicate feelings, information, and events. They will create their own class greeting cards.
In Advance: Send a note home to families requesting donations of used or old greeting cards.
1. Place a variety of greeting cards out for children to view during group time. Invite children to share what they know about greeting cards. Discuss how the cards are similar and how they differ. Look at the layout of a greeting card. "What is on the first page of the card? What is usually found on the inside of the card? On the back of the card?" Read the different card messages to children. Engage older children in a discussion about how cards are written and ask them to describe how the messages made them feel. "Why are words important on the different cards?"
2. Explain to children that they will create different types of greeting cards for the class to use. Assist them in selecting a few greeting card themes, such as birthday cards, get well cards, and new baby cards. Explore one theme at a time or divide children into groups where each group will be responsible for creating a specific type of card.
3. Provide children with art materials. Some children may enjoy using photographs from magazines or catalogs to create their cards. Other children may enjoy drawing or painting their cards.
4. Assist children in writing their greetings or special messages. Children can also refer to the collected cards to copy the spelling of specific greeting words. Have children write their names on the back of each card they design. Make several double-sided photocopies of each card. Organize the cards by themes and place in a folder or file box.
Fine Motor: Sewing Cards. Use the variety of collected greeting cards to make sewing cards for the children. Detach the cover of all of the cards. Use a hole-punch and make holes around the entire shape of the card. Measure a large strand of yarn, long enough to go around each card. Attach the yarn to one of the holes on the card. Wrap the ends of the yarn with a piece of clear tape to make them firm. Provide children with the sewing cards. Assist the younger children to weave the yarn in and out of the holes. Older children can create small quilts by sewing the ends or sides of cards together.
Clifford's Birthday Party by Norman Bridwell (Scholastic Inc.)
The Josefina Story Quilt by Eleanor Coerr (Scholastic Inc.)
Valentine Friends by Ann Schweninger (Scholastic Inc.)
This activity originally appeared in the February, 2001 issue of Early Childhood Today.