10 Ways to Recycle Christmas Cards into Preschool Crafts and Learning Activities

Looking for an eco-friendly way to recycle Christmas cards now that the holiday season is over? Don’t just throw them out or even into the recycling bin, make fun and easy preschool crafts and learning activities with your kids.

Used holiday cards (and even birthday cards) make easy handmade toys, learning games , collages, and more. Here are 10 fun kid ideas to keep your preschooler busy and to help him learn (and to also recycle greeting cards):

1. Cutting activities
Learning how to cut is an important skill for preschoolers. Recycle Christmas cards by letting your child use safety scissors to cut out pictures and shapes. Use these pictures and shapes in many of the activities and crafts listed here.

2. Thank you cards
Teach your child proper manners and recycle at the same time. Cut out shapes and pictures from Christmas cards and use a glue stick to attach to blank cards or pieces of folded paper. Depending on your child’s age, you can write, have him write, or have him put letter stickers to spell out “Thank You”. Using your old cards is an easy way for your preschooler to create a unique “Thank You” that grandparents will love!

3. Christmas cards & tags for next year
While you’re busy taking down decorations, let your preschooler make some recycled cards and tags to pack away too. Cut out pictures and greetings, glue to card or tag sized paper, and embellish with crayons and/or stamps.

4. Alphabet activities
For a fun and free learning activity, use pictures of objects from holiday cards to teach letters and letter sounds. An easy alphabet activity is to pick one letter (“S” works well with holiday cards) and to have your child create two piles- one with words that begin with “S” (snowman, snowflake, Santa, stocking) and one with all the other words (wreath, angel, house). Your preschooler will be so busy having fun that she won’t even realize she’s learning.

5. Lacing card
Used greeting cards are easy (and free) lacing cards for your preschooler. Simply use a hole punch to punch several holes along each side of the card. Show your preschooler how to “lace” a shoelace or piece of yarn through each hole. While your child uses the lacing card, he is working on fine motor skills needed for writing and is practicing concepts like “in”, “out”, and “around”.

6. Ornament
If you keep Christmas cards from year to year, an easy Christmas craft for preschoolers and toddlers is to make an ornament. There are many variations of this craft so feel free to get (and let your child get) creative. Punch a hole in the top of your child’s creation and hang with ribbon.

7. Photo collage
Did you receive as many photo cards as I did? Keep family and friends close by creating a photo collage using the photo cards you received. Cut (or have your preschooler cut) out the pictures from each card. Glue or tape them to a piece of paper or poster board. Place the collage in an album or hang where your preschooler can see everyone all year long!

8. Picture frame
Now that you have a few empty photo cards…make a frame. Cut off the front of the card, tape a piece of cardboard to the back (for a stand), and insert your favorite Christmas photo or drawing. An easy way to recycle Christmas cards into gifts.

10. Make a puzzle
An easy kid activity is to use one of your winter theme holiday cards to create a preschool puzzle. All you need is scissors and a used greeting card. Cut the card into 9 – 12 pieces. Be sure to make obvious shapes for your preschooler to connect. Feel free to laminate, but it isn’t necessary for most greeting card puzzles.

10. Play post office
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, recycle Christmas cards into toy mail for a game of “mailman”. Have your preschooler create a mailbox for each of you (shoe boxes work!), take turns stuffing the “mail” into old envelopes and delivering it to each other.

More Winter Activities for Preschoolers
More Preschool Crafts
More Preschool Learning Activities

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