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Christmas Crafts: Greeting Cards From Little Hearts

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Looking to instill the spirit of giving in your little one this season? Whether your family celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa (or more than one), helping your child craft greeting cards for friends and relatives is an ideal way to reinforce the meaning of the holidays. As children experiment with different materials and designs, you can teach the stories, songs, and traditions your family holds dear.

And there's no extra shopping required: All your child needs are a few inexpensive materials you may already have at home. The best part, however, may be the pride and delight your child feels when he creates cards his loved ones are sure to treasure.

What You Need
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  • Red, green, and cream paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Silver wrapping paper
  • Glue stick and white glue

  • Silver wrapping paper adhesive-backed decorative strips, flat beads, appliqués, and sequins (available at craft stores)
  • Crayons or markers

1. Cut a rectangle out of red or cream paper and fold in half to form a card.

2. Have your child draw a tree shape on green paper, and help him cut it out. Next, ask him to draw and cut out a tree trunk.

3. Rub the back of the tree shape with the glue stick and lay it on the center of the card, pressing it down firmly all around; apply glue to the trunk and press it in place. Glue on a silver star shape or sequin to decorate the top of the tree.

4. If you wish to add a garland, ask your child to cut an adhesive-backed silver strip long enough to cross the upper portion of the tree. Peel off the backing and press it on the tree at an angle. Continue the process in a zigzag pattern down the tree.

5. To add ornaments, help your child dab white glue onto the backs of various beads, sequins, or small appliqu?s (available at craft stores) and then apply them to the tree. Once the card is dry, have him inscribe a holiday greeting inside.

What You Need
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  • Pale blue paper
  • Pencil
  • White paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

  • White glue
  • Silver glitter
  • Crayons or markers

1. Cut a rectangle out of blue paper and fold in half to form a card.

2. Encourage your child to draw a dreidel shape on a sheet of white paper as best she can; older children can try sketching one from a 3-D angle (as shown on the previous page). Cut out the shape.

3. Cover the back of the dreidel with glue, then place it in the center of the card, pressing down the edges firmly.

4. To decorate the dreidel, help your child apply white glue around the perimeter of the shape to outline its edges. Next, use the glue to write one of the four Hebrew letters on each side of the dreidel. (Parents can draw the letters on with a pencil first if necessary.)

5. Place the card on top of a piece of scrap paper. Have your child sprinkle glitter over the glue. (Don't worry if there's excess.) Wait a minute for the glitter to sink into the glue, then lift the card and let the excess glitter fall onto the scrap paper. (Afterward, you can fold the scrap paper, allow the glitter to settle in the fold, and then pour it back into the bottle.) Once the card is dry, have your child inscribe a holiday greeting inside.

What You Need
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1. Cut a rectangle out of white paper and fold in half to form a card.

2. Help your child measure and cut three strips from red paper, three from green, and one from black to make candles. The strips should be about ?" wide and about 3" long. The black one should be slightly longer.

3. Rub the glue stick on the back of each candle. Place candles on the card from left to right in the correct order (three red strips, the black, then the three green), and align them with the base of the card.

4. Help your child squeeze a drop of white glue in the shape of a flame above each candle and write the word "Kwanzaa" in glue along the top of the card.

5. Place the card on top of a piece of scrap paper. Have your child sprinkle glitter over the glue. Wait a minute for the glitter to sink into the glue, then lift the card and let the excess glitter collect on the scrap paper. (Afterward, fold the scrap paper, let the glitter settle in the fold, and pour it back into the bottle.) Ask your child to write a Kwanzaa greeting when the card is dry.

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Copyright ? 2002. Reprinted with permission from the December/January 2003 issue of Child magazine.