August 26, 2012

She's Crafty...Kid Fun: The Christmas Card Flip Book



My most recent foray into the world of crafting for my kids was an incredibly simple project that went over surprisingly well with the kiddos...especially my 3 1/2 year old. Here's how it came about...

A few weeks back I spent a little time working toward my long-standing goal of cleaning out and reorganizing our office/library. Every so often I get inspired and make a little headway...only to get distracted a short time later. Which is why this has been on my to-do list for somewhere around a year...or at least since January. Anyway, I was cleaning out some piles and drawers when I came across a pile of Christmas cards from last year. Obviously, during the annual January putting away of Christmas decorations I had simply piled up all the cards and stuck them in a corner...where they sat until July, when I randomly pulled them out. As usual, I had meddling kids at my feet while attempting this library clean-out, and they got interested when they saw this stack of cards...many with photos of family and friends.

Well, for the next week or two, that stack of cards sat on the floor of the library, and every day both kids spent some time looking at and playing with them (and they inevitably ended up strewn all over the floor, and Mommy had to collect and neatly re-stack them every night). I was willing to do this each day because I loved that Portia brought me cards from the stack and either named the friends/family pictured on each card, or asked me who the people pictured were, if she didn't recognize them. Soon, she was identifying, on her own, second cousins she's never met. Pretty cool.

Eventually, I put this activity together with some ideas I'd seen on Pinterest and decided to create a Christmas card flip book. Yes, I know it's summer, but in some ways it's Christmas all year round at our house!

All I had to do was get some metal rings from Hobby Lobby, track down my hole-puncher and get to work. Pretty simple...I just sat in front of the TV one evening and punched holes, then laced the cards onto the rings, and viola!









Now there's no clean-up after the kids look at the cards, and Portia can take the book with her and play with it in the car. The kids get a kick out of it and all the wonderful Christmas cards people sent us get a second life! A win-win! I will definitely being doing this again this Christmas...I think I'll start it as soon as cards start arriving, and just add new cards as they come, so everyone can enjoy them. I think it's a great idea for the kids' birthday cards, as well. Portia loves to re-look at her cards again and again, and, until now, they have continued to live on well passed her birthday in random locations throughout the house. This year, I'll make her a birthday card flip book for them. So fun!

And, really, I think this is a great idea even if you don't have small children. It's a great way to keep cards together and make it easy to enjoy them again and again. The idea brings my grandfather to mind...he loves to sit in his chair and re-look through pictures of his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. I think he'd love having one if these made out of all the Christmas cards he receives. I hope to have the opportunity to do that for him this year.

So there's your simple craft for the day. I mean, really, I'm not sure it gets much simpler than that. Now, go get your crafty on!

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