As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge proponent of turning mail into a toddler toy. So that’s why when our holiday cards first arrive, I pretend they’re mail for my daughter and I let her play with them for a bit before I display them nicely on a cabinet in our dining room.
This led me to wonder about ways I could make the cards useful after the holiday season. While I’d love to find the time to hole punch them into a DIY album, put them in a scrapbook album of some kind or turn them into placemats, the truth is they often just end up either in a “souvenir” box somewhere or in the recycling bin.
But since my daughter seems to love playing with them when she gets a chance, I did a little research into what creative holiday card game ideas others have come up with. The best idea I came across is today’s hint.
First, a quick nod to one funny idea that didn’t make the cut since it would just be a bit freaky: Cutting the people out of the holiday card photos and taping them onto popsicle sticks or straws to create friendly paper dolls of sorts.
Okay, now onto the fun idea I came across that is today’s hint: Creating holiday card puzzles.
Blogger Melissa at Chasing Cheerios has a very toddler-friendly and easy-to-implement holiday card puzzle game approach. She cut a square out of various holiday cards, and had her little one try to match the square with the correct card.
Meanwhile, parents of more advanced toddlers can take a cue from Kristina of Toddler Approved and create jigsaw-like puzzles from old holiday cards. Kristina gives easy step-by-step directions and notes that valentines, birthday cards and other greetings can similarly be transformed (and for even more crafty folks, Kristina also has another fun idea – turn the cards into a “fishing for friends” game).
Of course, if you’re like me, you may feel a bit guilty cutting up the cards. But then I remember that I would be extending their useful life. Finally, an even easier holiday card game, and probably what I’ll end up doing, is just handing over the cards to your little one as is, adding them to the toy collection. Without tampering with the cards at all, you can play “who is that” and other easy games tied around the people in the photos.
What do you do with holiday cards after holiday season is over? What are your favorite ways to repurpose and save them?