Homemade Thank You Cards
Letter writing is becoming a lost art as more and more people rely on e-mail, texting, and instant messaging. Take advantage of the holidays to teach kids how to craft a proper thank you note! Help kids develop the habit of sending thank you notes when they receive a gift or even when they attend a field trip. For younger kids, have them dictate and do the writing for them.
The basics of writing a thank you note are really simple:
- Thank the person for the specific thing they did: “Thank you for the lovely bunny suit you gave me for Christmas.”
- Tell why you appreciate it: “It is so warm and soft, and I always wanted my very own bunny suit.”
- Mention how you will use it: “When it snows this winter, I will not even need a coat.”
- Thank them again: “It was so thoughtful of you to choose the perfect gift for me.”
Project 1: Homemade Fingerprint Cards
- 8.5 x 11” card stock or heavy-weight printer paper (each sheet makes two cards)
- paper trimmer or ruler and scissors
- invitation-sized envelopes (use leftovers from your Christmas cards)
- ink pads
- fine point markers
- baby wipes are nice to have for wiping fingers
Basic notecards: Begin by folding the paper in half from top to bottom so you have two even sections. Cut apart along fold line. Then, turn the papers so the short sides are at the top and bottom, and fold in half again from top to bottom. These will be your notecards.
Open the card and lay it flat. You will be stamping only on the front section of the card, but you don’t want the ink to bleed through.
Press fingers on ink pad gently so you just cover your fingerprint, but not so hard that the ink is drippy or too wet. Stamp your fingerprints on the card in your chosen design. Wipe fingers between colors and when you are done.
Using fine-point markers, draw in details on the fingerprint design until you are happy with your results. Set aside to dry for a few minutes, and then you are ready to write your note.
Project 2: Picture Window Cards
In addition to the supplies from Project 1, you will need:
- old greeting cards, photographs, or pictures from magazines
- glue sticks
Create the basic notecards as instructed in Project 1. Lay the card out flat with the front of the card facing you. Using the size of the card front as a guide, measure and cut your picture into a rectangle at least 1” smaller all around than the card front. Now, measure and cut the picture into 4 or 9 equal pieces, depending on the number of window panes you want. Using ink pad, rub ink along all outer edges of each piece. Arrange and glue the pieces onto the card front, leaving about ¼-inch even space between them, which will give the illusion of looking through a window.
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My Favorite Letter-Writing Books:
- The Post Office Book: Mail and How It Moves
by Gail Gibbons
- I’ll Be Home for Christmas (Toot & Puddle)
by Holly Hobbie
- Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
by Doreen Cronin
- A Letter to Amy (Picture Puffins)
by Ezra Jack Keats
- The Gardener
by Sarah Stewart
- Flat Stanley: His Original Adventure!
by Jeff Brown
- Dear Mr. Henshaw (Avon Camelot Books)
by Beverly Cleary
- Letters from Rifka
by Karen Hesse
This article originally appeared in Family Magazine, 2013 Issue 4.