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Upcycling Christmas Cards!

Receiving cards from family and friends is one of the joys of the season. Before you assign them to the recycling bin, take a look at these low budget educational, yet fun activities!

Make Next Year's Gift Tags!

This activity encourages the development of expressive art & design, making choices and fine motor skills.

You will need:

  • Used Christmas Cards

  • String/Ribbon/Wool

  • Hole Punch

  • Scissors

  1. Select a Christmas Card. Cut down the edge and use the front of the card.

  2. Encourage the individual to look for different options for tags within the picture.

  3. Using the scissors, carefully cut around your chosen picture

  4. Punch a hole in the top corner

  5. Thread string or ribbon through the hole


This activity will develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, shape recognition as well as problem solving, patience and a feeling of achievement once the puzzle is completed.

You will need:

  • Used Christmas Cards

  • Scissors

  • Ruler (optional)

  1. Select a Christmas Card. Cut down the edge and use the front of the card.

  2. Cut the card into shapes (base the shape and the number of jigsaw pieces on the current ability of the individual)

  3. Experiment with different shapes, rectangles, squares, triangles etc.

Speech Bubbles

This activity will engage the imagination, develop communication and language skills, encourage social interaction by means of a two-way conversation and build on storytelling skills.

You will need:

  • The front of a Christmas Card

  • A pen

  1. Select a suitable card.

  2. Draw a speech or thought bubble.

  3. Write in the speech - it could be a question, observation, comment or a joke.

  4. There is an option to extend the learning by using a 'Thought Bubble'

Story Cards

This activity is a fun and motivating way to develop communication and language skills and storytelling.

1. Take a look at this Christmas card.

Point to characters in the card and ask open ended questions e.g. 'What gifts do you think the girl is carrying?'

'Why do you think the man is pulling the presents on a sleigh'?

Which house to you think the lady with the dogs lives in?'

'Why are the people wearing hats?

2. Build a story around the card

e.g. 'The people who live in this village are preparing for a Christmas party.

The boy at the bottom of the card is practicing singing Christmas Carols. The lady at the top of the picture has baked mince pies for the villagers.The people have decorated the tree ready for the big light switch on later this evening.'

Spark conversation by asking 'who?', what?', 'when?' 'where?' and 'why?'

Can the story explorer develop the plot? What happens next?

​Can the story explorer relate events in the picture to their own lives?

Word Play

This activity builds word recognition and comprehension skills.

  1. Cut out the verse from the Christmas card. Read this out loud with the learner.

  2. Copy the verse onto the top of a piece of paper.

  3. Cut out the individual words, scramble them for the learner to place into the correct order.

  4. Can the learner use the words to compose their own verse.

Poetry Page

The rhythm and rhyme of Poetry helps individuals to learn new words. It encourages speech and language

You will need:

  • Christmas Card Verse Page

  • Glue/Gluestick or sellotape

  • Piece of card or paper

  1. Carefully cut out the verses from the Christmas Cards.

  2. Glue the verses to the piece of card or paper

  3. Read the poem aloud to the learner

  4. Identify any words they do not know

  5. Can the learner read the poem aloud?

  6. Summarise and discuss the poem's meaning.

  7. Can the learner create their own verse?

and finally....The Sensory Card!

I love this flip-up sequined card!

Vision is stimulated as the shiny silver reversible sequins change into a colourful star as I sweep my fingers over the surface.

This beautiful card will be promptly popped into my sensory box!

Health & Safety

Ensure all activities are supervised by a responsible adult at all times.

Practice scissor safety and be aware of any potential choking hazards.

For more ideas and sensory inspiration

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