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Making a ‘fun’ Christmas card

Get your children to make ‘fun’ Christmas (or Easter) cards. These are quite easy to make, and all they will need is a sheet of A4 paper, a pair of scissors and some crayons.

I will first describe the finished card, and then tell you how to lead your children in making them. Written on the front are the words Guess What? in large coloured letters. On the back are the words To _______ and From ________ , again in large coloured letters, but leaving enough space for the children to write a personal message if they wish to do so. When the card is opened, it shows the face of an animal or bird with a large mouth or beak at the centre. As you partially open and close the card, the mouth or beak will close and open in three dimensions, displaying your Christmas message in the centre of the mouth, e.g. Christmas is Christ or Happy Christmas

Note. When the card is fully closed, the mouth will be fully open. When the card is fully open, the mouth will be fully closed.

Instructions. I get my children to follow me step by step as I make a sample card. Most of the older ones manage this fairly well, though some younger children may need personal help.

Take your blank paper and fold it lengthwise. About 3 ins. from the top of the folded paper make a single straight cut about 2 ins. long (cutting from the folded edge). This will be the basis for the animal’s mouth. From this cut, fold the paper upwards, making a good crease as you do so. In a similar way, fold the paper downwards from the cut. Experience will show you how far up and down to fold the paper, as this will determine the size of the animal’s mouth. You should now have a ‘V’ shape.

Next, unfold the mouth and open up the paper back to it’s original A4 size. Fold the paper down from top to bottom and then from side to side. You will now have your basic card shape. Write Guess What on the front, and To ______ and From ______ on the back. These will eventually be coloured in, but I usually leave this part until the end when I am also colouring in the animal’s face.

Next, the ‘tricky’ part. This sounds a little complicated, but it is really quite easy to do with a little practice. Open up the card to display the animal’s mouth. Place your middle finger inside the upper mouth and hold it there. Place your thumb and first finger on each side of the upper mouth and squeeze the card, which will obviously begin to close. Just before the card is completely closed, remove your thumb and fingers and complete the closing by pressing firmly on both the front and back of the card. When you now open and close the card, the upper mouth should automatically close and open. Repeat the whole procedure for the lower mouth.

Next, partially open the mouth and mark the centre with a pencil dot. This will enable you to centre the Christmas message, which is only revealed as the mouth is opening. Fully open up your card back to the A4 size and write your message, centred around the pencil dot.

Finally complete the drawing and colouring of the animal’s or bird’s face, centred around the mouth. This is where the children can use their own imagination. I was once given a beautiful card made like this, but showing an Angel (complete with wings and halo!) instead of an animal or bird.

by Maurice Sweetsur, http://objectlessons.blogspot.com/

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