In the spirit of Thanksgiving, and counting the earth among our greatest blessings, why not teach your kids about recycling and preserving the planet to celebrate gratitude? Tailor the following ideas to your family’s preferences to help your children make some very cute, completely recycled thank you cards and place cards that your family and friends will love!

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First, check out my gratitude journal post for an awesome homemade glue recipe! This glue will come in handy while crafting your cards.


1. Scrounge up any scrap paper materials you have lying around your house. This could include newspapers, magazines, manilla envelopes, paperboard from food boxes, bits of construction paper, and packaging from items that have come in the mail.

2. A really simple way to make a thank you card (see above photos) is to let your little one decorate one side of a piece of blank paper. Then, glue the side that wasn’t drawn on to a section of manilla envelope that has been cut down to the same size. Fold in half, and you have a blank card with a priceless decoration on the front! This project is a perfect gift for grandparents!

3. Aluminum foil makes a simple, unique card exterior. Just cut some used foil and paper for the inside to the size you’d like. Allow your child to decorate the inside paper. Then write your message, glue the card together, and fold! All done!


When you’re setting your Thanksgiving table this year, add that extra charming touch by placing handmade, recycled place cards at each seat. Take this idea a step further and create personalized place cards for your guests to take home with them. Here’s how:

1. Using sharp scissors, cut cardboard or sturdy paperboard into small squares, approximately 3×3 inches. Encourage children to use their imagination to make the “person” on the place card look as much like the person does in real life. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few ideas to get you started: coffee grounds for short dark hair, sections of a drinking straw for glasses, dried beans or buttons for eyes, bean sprout hair, pencil shaving hair.

2. Let your creations dry for about 24 hours, then place them at each person’s seat. Your children will love presenting your guests with the handmade gifts they worked so hard to make, and they will have learned very important lessons about recycling and gratitude along the way!