Leftover Christmas cards got you down? Try this card recycling project with your child and rid the family of that pile of old cards once and for all! Paper greetings can be transformed into brand new ornaments for your family's holiday tree. As your child gets crafty, he will receive a bonus mathematics lesson in basic geometry and shapes.
Get together any old Christmas cards that you are ready to part with; have your child tear them down the seam. Gather all the picture fronts into one pile.
Help your child go through the picture fronts, and pick out any cards with large, interesting pictures or those loaded with color. Avoid using cards that are mostly white because they make for less interesting ornaments.
You are going to need to cut circles out of the front of each card. Show your child how to use a compass; set it so it is open two inches with the picture side of the card down. With the point of the compass held securely in the middle of the card, move the pencil around in a circle. This should create a perfect circle with a four-inch diameter.
Have your child repeat this process on the backs of eight more cards.
Using a ruler, take one of the circles and draw an equilateral triangle on the back so that each point of the triangle is touching the edge of the circle. Each triangle will need to be exactly the same size, so this first one will actually be the pattern that you will use for the rest. Cut this triangle out of the circle.
Have your child use the model to trace a triangle onto the backs of the remaining eight circles.
Instruct your child to bend the edges of the circle on the lines of the triangle so that the picture side of the circle comes forward. When he is done, each circle should have three flaps sticking up. These flaps are going to be glued together to create a three-dimensional bulb.
Have your child apply glue to one flap and stick it to a flap on another circle. Slide a paper clip over both flaps to hold them together until the glue has a chance to dry.
Continue the process by gluing the remaining two flaps of the first circle to two more flaps on two different circles.
Have your child glue the side flaps on the three attached circles to each other. When he is done, there should be four circles glued together in a bowl shape.
Help your child take the other four circles and glue their flaps together in the same manner as the first four circles.
Take the two bowl shapes and attach them together so they create a bulb shape. Make sure to glue them carefully; it will probably take both your and your child's set of hands to effectively create this ornament. Slide a paper clip over each glued flap to secure the attached flaps together.
Once you are sure all the glue is dry, ask your child to remove the paper clips.
Use a hole punch to punch a hole in one of the flaps. String a piece of yarn through the hole and knot. Invite your child to display his hard work on a highly visible part of the tree!