According to the Greeting Card Association, 90% of all U.S. households buy greeting cards, purchasing approximately 7 billion each year. Have you ever wondered what to do with the numerous greeting cards you receive from birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, etc.? Wonder no more; use them for saying “thank you.” Thank-you notes are a special way to tell people how much you liked their gifts or how much you appreciate their help. Receiving thank-you notes makes people feel good as well as appreciated. Unfortunately, getting kids to say thank you isn’t always easy, especially when it’s in receipt of a gift. However, there are some fun ways to encourage them to use these manners. All you need to do is get them to do what they enjoy best-using their imagination. And in the process, you can find a creative way to recycle all of those used greeting cards that have been piling up over the years. When you allow children to use their imagination, they are more likely to participate in the ‘art’ of saying thank you. They will see it as a fun project rather than a dreaded chore.
Have them cut out the characters or scenes from a variety of cards. These can be glued to the front of a folded over piece of colored construction paper. Once they have placed their design onto the paper, let them decorate the ‘new’ card using various crafting items such as glitter, sequins, stickers, and other fancy embellishments. Afterward, they can write a quick little note on the inside of the card thanking the recipient. You could also design thank-you placemats with your kids as well. Have them glue pictures from old greeting cards onto construction paper, adding personalized thank-you notes. Cover this with contact paper, which can be easily wiped clean with a damp sponge or cloth. Each time they’re used, the recipient will be reminded of the warm gesture given to them.
You can also put those ‘freebie’ magnets to good use (or purchase some inexpensive crafting ones) by allowing the kids to make some thank-you magnets. Simply cut out various scenes from old cards, gluing the magnet to the backside. Have them write ‘Thank You’ somewhere on the front of their magnet. Likewise, you can use fancy trim or borders from old cards to create a frame for your child’s picture, which can be glued to the magnet. Your children will be delighted in seeing their homemade magnets displayed on the recipient’s refrigerator each time they visit. In fact, they’ll probably be looking forward to adding new ones. Why not get even more creative by placing your greeting card scene inside a jar. Choose a nice picture or scene from your stack of old greeting cards and cut it out. Glue this to a strip of construction paper that has been cut to fit about three quarters of the inside of a small or medium-sized clear glass jar. Allow your child to write thank you onto the paper. Apply glue to the outermost edges of the construction paper (same side both design and note is one) and press firmly around the inside of the jar. Your recipient now has a useful jar for storing pens, pencils, or other items.
Many cards are surrounded with cute borders. Cut the area inside the border out and replace it with a picture of your child. Glue the framed photo to a piece of construction paper and add a note on the back. Another great way to recycle cards while saying thank you is by turning them into pretty postcards. These work especially well for those living further away. Measure and cut either 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 inch postcard from the front face of an attractive card. If there is writing on the back, you can use a piece of poster board or card stock instead to glue the picture to. Flip it over and add lines for your child’s message and address.