As a child, one of my abiding holiday memories is sitting at the dining table writing a stack of ‘creative thank you cards’ notes. With today’s instant communication, creative thank you cards notes are sadly becoming a thing of the past, but this is a shame. People truly value a hand-created note—and with a little creative inspiration, writing them doesn’t have to be a chore. Buy a pack of pre-folded cards, some colorful envelopes, and perhaps a few other items, and you’re good to go. So, why not resurrect the tradition with one of these ten inspirational ideas?
1. Make printable cards
One of the simplest ways for kids to make a thank-you card is to color a printable one. There are dozens of fabulous sites on the internet offering free printables that can be colored and folded to make bright, cheerful cards. Buy a pack of colored envelopes to match, and voilà—a fantastic creative thank you cards.
2. Create their own art
Kids love drawing and painting, so harness this and have them create their own art. Colored pencils, felt pens or paint can all be used. Cut paper to size, and let them loose. Suggest they make a picture of themselves using their present, or perhaps a drawing of the person who sent it to them—this normally produces some memorable results!
3. Make handprints or footprints
This idea is especially great for a small child or even a newborn. Spread some ready-mixed paint into a flat dish. Dip the hand or foot into the paint, making sure it’s pressed down flat to get the maximum coverage, then press firmly onto paper—you can probably get a couple of prints out of each ‘dip.’ However, make sure you have soapy water and a sponge ready for cleaning up afterward!
4. Innovative finger painting
Kids adore the tactile feel of finger painting. Although a simple design can look great, you can give it a superb lift by adding a few finishing touches. For example, add a few black dots and six legs to red fingerprints for an impromptu ladybug. Alternatively, draw ears and a cotton-puff tail to nut-brown prints for a rabbit, or pointy ears and whiskers for a cat. Once you start, your imagination will take over.
5. A personal photograph
Take a photo of your kid using their gift, and mount it on a ready-made card. You could cut a speech bubble from a plain white mailing label and have them write “thank you” inside it, or let them hold a “Thank you” placard while you take the photo.
Providing a few simple collage items will let your kid produce a masterpiece in moments. Opt for simple items, such as sequins, feathers, and small fabric scraps, and let the kids glue everything to make a picture. If you feel the college itself may not survive the mail service, photograph it and put the image on the card instead.
7. Give a gift back
Kids will think it’s fun to give a little gift back as part of their card. For example, buy some teabags that come with individual wrappers—the more decorative the better. Stick the wrapper to the front of the card, and add a few embellishments. There are plenty of accompanying poems that you could print out and stick inside.
8. Tea-bag folding
Folding decorative tea bag wrappers is a craft in its own right, but you can also download little images to create these miniature origami-style masterpieces. Most folds are very quick and simple, and there are plenty of sites with instructions and ideas for designs. Older kids will enjoy this challenge.
9. Premade card toppers
Craft stores have a wealth of premade toppers and embellishments for designing your own cards. Focus on a color palette or theme, and let your kids make their own cards. Glitter glue, adhesive stars or jewels, and gold and silver medallions can all give the cards some extra zing.
10. A video card
Lastly, while filming a short thank-you video isn’t a card, the recipient can keep it forever, and it’s lovely to replay. Have the kids hold up a personalized sign, a picture, or perhaps the gift they’ve been given, and then let them say their own “thank you.”