A couple of years ago I started "A Christmas Craft With Jill" (well, that's what the children call it anyway). Each year in late November/early December I organize a Christmas craft and invite some of the children in my neighborhood to take part.
In the first year, we completed a meaningful felt craft. Last year, I helped them sew a stocking and this year they made handmade cards.
This year's craft needed to be something that didn't require quite so much of my attention with each individual child (like the stockings did). I wanted the craft to be something that they could give to their parents, family, and friends. I wanted the craft to be structured yet still flexible enough for them to express their own creativity.
I was able to inspire them by showing them examples of cards that I had made, as shown below, and photos of other wonderful cards that I found on-line.
With Christmas music playing in the background, there were 9 children, ranging from ages 4 to 13, crowded around my dining room table making cards for their Mommy's, Daddy's, Sisters, (I heard "Don't look over here!" on more than one occasion), Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles and Santa.
Quite often the kids would complement their friends' work or proudly show off a card that they had just completed.
The kids all know me very well and know that I do not like to see things go to waste. The children did an amazing job of using the supplies in a respectful manner. There was next to no waste. Whatever paper was cut was used. Whatever ribbon was cut was used. There was a purpose behind the choices that they made. They didn't just use the supplies because they were there and because they could. I was proud of their awareness of their decisions!
The cards turned out really well.
Here is a handful of some of my favourite cards that the kids made.
I have already been asked, "What will we be doing next year?". That makes me smile.
I have no idea what I'll do next year! If you have any ideas, please share them with me by adding a comment below.