simple solutions thursday

It's the time of the year where the gifts for children are plentiful.  Even while instilling the idea of meaningful purchasing with our friends and family (more on this tomorrow) when it comes to our girls, the amount of gifts received is overwhelming.  Add two birthdays, one a few days prior to Christmas, and one a few weeks after, and you have gift overload. It also seems in the day and age we live in, we have lost touch with how meaningful a hand written letter or card can be.  Especially when it comes from a child.  I have always been a lover of pen and paper, still to this day I send a written and mailed 'thank you' to anyone/everyone who has done something kind for myself or a member of my family.  It saddens me to think that this act of kindness has begun to disappear.  And so, in keeping the act alive, I have instilled in my children from a young age to show their thankfulness in writing, whether it be a drawing or a written note.  Just as someone has taken their time to do something thoughtful for you, it's only appropriate to reciprocate. For children, making the activity of writing fun will of course encourage them to always want to show their appreciation.

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I started thinking, what would be better than to put together a kit full of all necessary (and fun!) kid friendly materials to motivate my girls to write their thank-yous without even being asked.  And I had the answer, if it's craft related, my girls are all in!

Based on this, I put together a card making kit, decked out with almost everything imaginable that a child would love to use in a card.  Markers, pens, glitter, sequins, stamps and colorful ink pads, stickers, thank you cards, fun blank notecards with envelopes.  You could even add embroidery floss and kid safe needles for stiching designs.  Add some tape, scissors, and glue and the possibilities are endless!

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Materials for the box were super simple and can be customized for what items you are including.  I used a 12x12 photo box from my local craft store and some sturdy foam board for the dividers.  Once I established which items I was including and where it would go, I measured and cut the foam board to size. Add a few dabs of hot glue to make sure it holds up to be handled by children, and ta-da, it's complete!

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To take it one step further, on the inside of the lid I added a few pouches for stamps, return address labels, and a thank you card tracker (taped to the side with double sided tape), so that my girls can keep track of to whom they have written, in hopes that no one will go overlooked.  With it all secured to the lid, the chances of these important items getting misplaced is drastically reduced. A quick chat about not using the postage stamps as freely as we do stickers, and my girls were eagerly searching for someone to send a card to.  Mission accomplished!

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How do you have your children show their gratitude and appreciate for gifts received at the holidays and birthdays?  Share your photos on Instagram using #inspirecreateorganize. I would love to see your creativity!