Turn pictures of the kids into greeting card puzzles!
- Supermodel:Your kid. Look out, Tyra!
- Large Poster Board:Don't have any? Just cut up some cereal boxes. Each piece should be about 10" x 13".
- Card Envelope:Big enough to fit 4x6 photos.
- Glitter, Markers, Stickers:To decorate the envelope.
- Photos:A.k.a., the finished product.
- Hair and Makeup Assistant (optional):A sibling, a friend … or anyone aspiring to work at the MAC counter!
- Invite your child to select a phrase for her photo message. Keep it around three or four words long. (You don't want to pay postage for a stack of 20 pictures!) Need ideas? Try: "Joy to the World," "Let it Snow," "Holly Jolly Christmas," "Happy Hanukkah, Grandpa."
- Help your child cut up the poster board or cereal boxes into 10" x 13" pieces. You'll need one piece per word.
- Help your child write one word of the phrase on each sheet of poster board. Make sure the letters are large and legible. (If your kid isn't quite writing age yet, you'll have to take on this task yourself.)
- Have your child get into her modeling wardrobe. Do her hair and makeup. (A little Chap Stick, perhaps?)
- Grab the signs and head over to your photo shoot location. Natural light is the easiest to work with, so if you can, head outside. The best time to take a photo outdoors is in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun isn't blaring overhead. The soft light makes for nicer pictures.
- Have your child hold up one sign at a time as you take photos of her. Babies can take part, but you might have to prop the sign beside them—and be prepared to get a little drool on them, too!
- Work it baby! Own it! Shoot away! Take a bunch of pics so you'll be sure to get a good one. We do suggest you quit, however, before your little model has a meltdown.
- Get the pics developed. Or print them out at home, if you have a digital camera and a printer.
- If she's old enough, encourage your child to decorate the envelope with markers, stickers and glitter. She can save some glitter to tuck inside the envelope as well. (A little advice: Warn the recipient to open the card outside!)
- Tuck the photos into the envelope in a random order so that the recipient can unscramble the secret holiday message.
- Send 'em off! (If you're mailing the envelope, make sure you check the weight for the appropriate postage.) The recipient will love looking at the pictures and will have a little fun word-play to boot!
- Have more than one kid? Give each of them a sign to hold and photograph them separately.
- You might consider giving a set of photo frames or a frame that holds multiple photos along with the photos so your recipient can display them.
- Your family can make a tradition out of this activity by giving Grandma a different mystery photo message every year. Give her a photo album to keep each year's pictures in.
- Don't limit yourself to the winter holidays, as this is a great gift idea for any occasion: Mother's Day, birthdays, Easter, graduation, a new baby, New Year's, anniversaries, you name it.