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Don't Forget to Say Thank You!

Don't Forget to Say Thank You!

When your kids make their own thank you cards, they never forget their manners.

By Barbara Albright

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Summer is a time for visiting old friends, grandparents, and others you and your kids may not see during the rest of the year. Your kids may be fussed over during these visits, even getting gifts from doting grandmas and aunties. It's always a good idea to encourage the kids to send notes thanking others for presents and good times.

Turn the task of writing thank you notes into a craft project. It's a good way to insure the notes get written -- and it's fun for everyone.

When children are encouraged to thank relatives and friends for gifts or hospitality, they learn good manners -- and seeds are planted for a life-long habit that will always be in style.

Homemade thank you cards let children personalize their messages verbally and non-verbally. The recipient treasures the home-crafted work of art more than a standard card, phone call, or e-mail message.

Getting Started
Cover a work surface with newspaper or other paper to protect it. Assemble the materials, which might include construction paper, glue sticks, scissors, colored markers, stickers, yarn, glitter, and glitter pens.

Make a list of everyone who needs thank you notes. Make sure you have enough supplies for all the cards.

Making the Cards
Depending on the age of the children, they will need more or less guidance. Toss out a few ideas or make sample cards. The kids will quickly warm up to the project.

Introduce them to some techniques they have not already tried, such as folding the paper into interesting shapes or looping yarn through punched holes for textured designs.

Use rubber stamps or stencils to make designs. Make peek-a-boo cut-outs in the cards. Let the children write or copy a poem and illustrate it.

Paste photos on the cards. If you can, print out pictures of the child during the visit or wearing or holding the gift and integrate it into the card.

Enclose some confetti in the cards for an extra-fun surprise when they are opened. Kids love this idea!

Writing and Mailing
Discuss with the children how they will word their messages. Suggest they mention what they particularly liked about the vacation or the gift and then add a few words about what is happening in their lives. Make sure they open and close the message with appropriate salutations.

If the 8 ½-by-11-inch card stock card is suitably decorated, the child can fold it into thirds for a self-contained mailer, sealed with tape, stickers, or sealing wax. Otherwise, buy appropriately sized mailing envelopes -- you don't want the cards crushed into small envelopes.

Make Extras
Don't discard extra, blank cards. Keep them for future use. These homemade creations can serve as birthday, get well, or anniversary cards. Your children might be inspired to make their own party invitations, too.

A hand-made cards softens our high tech world and lets us slow down just a little, for just a moment.

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Tagged With: summer, visits, gifts, thank you notes, kids, families

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