Tuesday, June 19, 2012

{Crafting with the Kiddos} Homemade Birthday Cards

Earlier this week, I learned someone whom my children love would be spending their birthday inside a rehab facility. It made me sad, but I knew immediately this was a great opportunity to make a difference in someone's life and expose my children to the joy of caring for others. The fact that this also turned out to be an all-morning-long craft was the icing on the cake. Summer days can be long, so I appreciate activities that can keep 3 kids ages 2 through 9 engaged for more than 20 minutes.
During our morning devotional time this week, the kids and I have been examining our thought life and perspective. 
(In toddler terms: "What you think, becomes your attitude and behavior. If you think about bad things, you'll feel sad. If you think about the good things in your life, you'll feel happy. For example, if you complain 'Ugh! Mommy gave me white milk but I wanted chocolate milk' then you'll be upset. If you say 'Thank you, Mommy, for giving my something to drink, I'm not thirsty anymore.' Then your thankful attitude will make you a happy person.") 

We've also been talking about the love of God: receiving it, accepting it, and sharing it. 

I enlisted the kids to help me create three beautiful birthday cards to send to our loved one. My 2 year old said she wanted her card to make our loved one feel better. My 4 year old said he wanted to make our loved one laugh because laughing makes you feel good. My 9 year old niece said she wanted our loved one to make better choices. 

With the purpose of the card clear in their minds, they went to town. I must say, their designs turned out even more beautiful than I imagined: 
Zia, Age 2
I gave my littlest designer some white paper to scribble on. She insisted on water colors, so I busted out the paintbrushes and let her go at it. When she completed one sheet, she would ask me to hang it up to dry and give her another sheet. Three sheets and a few tragic water holes later, she was satisfied.

Inspired by an old pin, I cut the sheets into petals to create a few flowers. Green ribbon for the stems and a free-hand cut vase out of scrapbooking paper and voila!

The message she asked me to write on the inside of her card just read "I'm sending you a hug." Fitting since her goal was to make the person feel better.

Joakim, Age 4
Joakim wanted to send presents, so I cut a few squares out of the papers he chose then let him glue them on the card. I must admit I was proud of his color choices and positioning. He picked the ribbon and I made bows for him to attach. 

The inside of his card had a joke. A joke that makes no sense. Which is his trademark. And those of us who adore him think it's pretty freaking hilarious. So, indulge me. 

Our loved one once made a joke at a restaurant that he never forgot. Today he asked me, "remember when [name] said nobody was there and then didn't say anything?" 
"Knock, Knock" 
"Who's there?"
 "Nobody who?"

He remembered sharing laughs with this person and wanted to send a few more their way. So here's what the inside of his card looked like:

I love that fun kid.

My niece designed a card with a bouquet of balloons. She picked out her favorite papers and punched 1" circles out of them for the balloons. Then, using skinny strips of paper scraps, she made the strings. The inside of her card had the verse from John 3:16 written out in her handwriting. Hopefully, that knowledge will indeed empower them to make better choices. 

Tyara, Age 9

What a fun craft to do with the kiddos! My favorite part was that it was free! I already owned every single supply we used. It was rewarding to finally put scraps of scrap booking paper from my daughter's party last summer to use. "See Honey, I do have a purpose for saving them..." LOL! 

Thanks for reading!