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Monday, August 19, 2013

Greetings cards – Creative literacy development tool for young ones

Greeting cards bring cheer to all of us. The feeling of being remembered, loved and cared for is always heartwarming. As a mom, I have found one more reason to be excited about greeting cards. Wondering what? Well, they bring the joy of learning to my toddler. Watching how he has progressed with alphabets making these greeting cards has been really special for me.

When he was a little over 2 years old, we started with simple stamps to make greeting cards like the one in the image above. This introduced him to the concept of greeting cards. The stamps with messages like ‘Miss you’, ‘Happy Birthday’ etc. helped him understand that you can convey a message with greeting cards. He loved stamping away those greetings. I used whichever stamp I found on sale. We even used other tools like punches to make these cards. The ‘miss you’ card in the image below shows how he practiced using a punch and even used the punched out heart shapes, to make a greeting card. Using the punches at that young age, by the way, helps them develop the muscles they will eventually use for writing.
 

As a next step, I got him alphabet stickers. To teach him to recognize alphabet through play, I would show him an alphabet first and ask him to look for it in the pile of the stickers. Soon, I could just tell him the alphabet and he would find it. This also introduced him to the idea of putting together individual alphabet to make a word and then a sentence. Using other materials like glue, glitter, googly eyes, etc. was also helping him with developing his fine motor skills. Not to mention reinforcement of names of colors and creative thinking.

As mentioned earlier in my dot post, he recently started writing. This has opened up a whole new arsenal to his greeting card making skills. Now he uses stickers to decorate and writes his alphabet himself.
Sometimes I help him make cards in certain shapes based on the theme of his friend’s birthday party and he can then write on it. This way he enjoys writing and it works better than having him sit and practice writing as a drill.



 

I recently came across a book called ‘Back to front and Upside down’ by Claire Alexander. This is a story of a dog who is trying to make a greeting card for his school principal but can’t write his alphabet properly. He is then encouraged by a friend to get help from his teacher to practice writing. It is a great book to show kids that everyone needs help and practice when it comes to writing. The illustrations will also give you some ideas to introduce alphabet through play.

So who will you be making greeting cards for, with your child? I would love to see what you make.