I always thought of card-making as an expensive hobby, since there is such a vast range of materials and if you choose to buy fifty unusual stampers for £1 each, it quickly mounts up to a hefty total. My mum used to be incredibly generous with her supplies, trusting us with her hot glue guns and showing us how to emboss, but we were probably well past the age of considering craft materials edible (which my younger child isn’t; she particularly enjoys the taste of play doh, crayons and paper.)
I really love seeing my kids doing something creative instead of staring at a screen, but without the creativity creating stress for me. This is one of those activities where you provide the materials but aren’t required to supervise their every move.
Here are a few tips to make card-making kid-friendly:
- Buy materials in the poundshop. They have an amazing range of craft materials and it doesn’t matter if your kids tear them to shreds. We bought cards, envelopes, decorative paper, lots of stickers, ribbons and glue dots for just over £5.
- Get lots of stickers. I don’t know why, but with my kids stickers become the central focus of any craft activity.
- Make coffee, because with their hands happily occupied yours will finally be free to enjoy a cup.
- Let it be an activity for them to experiment instead of having a fixed outcome in mind. I find that my kids hate directed crafting; they just want to do their own thing without someone bossing or over-instructing.
- Use glue dots or a glue stick instead of liquid glue if you want a quick clean-up afterwards. Wipeable tablecloths are a good idea too.
- Give them people to make cards for (this makes the activity last longer.) For example, my kids made thank you cards and birthday cards for friends. They enjoyed adding personalised pictures that they associate with each person. You could also do a fictional version of this activity using their favourite characters.
- If they go off on a tangent and end up not doing anything remotely related to card-making, let them. The point is to let them come up with their own ideas, not drive yourself crazy.