Children can learn many skills during the Christmas holiday by writing and sending Christmas cards. They can practice art, writing, and safety skills, all at once during this holiday season.
Anyone can sign their name to a pre-purchased Christmas card. Children are more creative than that. Let them design their own Christmas cards out of paper. Use colored pencils, crayons, and markers to draw pictures. Make it a little messier with some paint. Inspire collages with stickers, pre-printed pictures, and fabrics. Get fancy and creative by making quilling (curled paper) designs. A handmade card means so much more than one that is simply signed.
Children can practice writing skills as they create their own Christmas cards. Young children start with simply writing their names. They can then start tracing or copying more words and phrases. Encourage children to use phonetic spelling, or to look up words in a picture dictionary to practice spelling skills.
For some children, it will be better to take dictation of their messages. Write the message in yellow or orange marker, and have the child trace it. For those who can copy words, write out their message on another piece of paper for them to transcribe onto the card.
Use Christmas cards as an excuse to practice simple poetry with children. They can have fun using rhyming words, or writing free verse poetry. Even young readers and writers can brainstorm words that begin with specific letters, for making acrostic poems.
Some families choose to send a holiday letter either with, or in lieu of, the holiday cards. Let children participate. They could contribute by writing their own paragraph to the family letter. Or, have them practice letter writing skills, by crafting a letter in proper format.
Following the crafting of a letter or card, children can also practice addressing an envelope. Teach them where to write addresses and how to affix a stamp.
Some people prefer to be more “green” during the holidays, and send out holiday emails and e-cards. Children can also practice spelling and writing skills as they practice typing out their messages to friends and family.
Another advantage of having children address envelopes is they are repeatedly writing their own address in the return address area. Children should always know their own home address, in the event they ever get lost. They can also practice these safety skills by typing their address onto printable address labels on the computer.
Children will be less aware that they are learning important art, writing, and safety skills as they work on their Christmas cards. They will think that they are simply having creative fun.