Decorating postcards is one of my favorite arts & crafts activities for toddlers. It’s simple, fun for a wide range of ages, and you can easily share the finished result with long-distance family and friends.
I personally have family all over the country, from George to Alabama to Tennessee to Michigan. I love being able to send these postcards from my kids – it’s such a fun way to stay in touch.
Get out your crayons, tempera paint sticks, colored pencils, stamps, and stickers for a fun, DIY postcard activity!
Free Printable Postcard Template for Kids
First, you’ll need postcards. I bought a pack of them on Amazon, but you can also print them at home if you have thick paper or card stock.
If you want to print your own postcards, I whipped up a few free postcard printables for you:
- Colorful postcard printable
- Plain postcard printable (best if you don’t want to use color ink)
- Dinosaur postcard printable (best if your kid loves dinosaurs and you want them to get extra excited for this project; the back side of this one has dino outlines your child can color in)
P.S.: If your kiddo loves dinos, check out this dinosaur matching printable.
Tips for Successful Front-and-Back Postcard Printing at Home
I tried every print setting under the sun, and I could not get the postcards to perfectly align on front and back. It’s pretty dang close if you set the scale to 100%, select Flip on long edge, and ensure the Orientation is on Auto, but it’s still not exact.
I have two ideas to successfully print your postcards at home:
- Glue the front and back together: don’t print on both sides of the paper – print the front and back of the postcard on separate sheets. Then, cut out the postcards and glue the front and back together with a strong glue stick.
- Don’t print the backside: only print the front. I think it’s OK to have a blank back, because that’s where your little one will decorate and draw!
Of course, you can skip this and just order some postcards on Amazon.
DIY Printable Postcard Supplies
Making your own postcards and decorating them with your kids is super simple! You probably have almost everything you need already on hand.
Here’s a quick list of supplies:
- Postcard template for printing
- Thick paper or card stock
- Strong, wrinkle-free glue stick if you plan to glue the front and back of the postcard together
- Paper cutter (you could also use scissors)
- Decorating supplies, such as crayons, tempera paint sticks, colored pencils, stickers, stamps, glue, and glitter
- Postal stamp
If you don’t want to print postcards at home and would rather buy them, these are the ones I’ve ordered from Amazon in the past. They’re great!
Decorating Postcards For Ages 1-2
Decorating postcards is the perfect arts & crafts project for a 2-year-old. In fact, the old version of the Lovevery play kit for Months 22, 23, and 24 included these little “scribble cards” that we decorated and mailed to long-distance family members. (These aren’t in the updated version of this kit.)
Around 24 months, a child will learn how to grasp a crayon with their thumb and fingers, which makes decorating postcards the perfect challenge. Before that, they use their fist to hold a crayon or marker.
Also around 24 months, a child can start to draw circular shapes. Practice on these postcards! It’s a great way to help your child learn, and your family can also witness that progress.
Other fun things to bring out for ages 1-2 include tempera paint sticks and stickers. The tempera paint sticks are nice and wide, making it easier for little hands to grasp and use. In fact, around 12-18 months, a child can start to scribble spontaneously. The wider the writing utensil, the easier it is for them. And stickers are perfect for practicing the pincer grasp.
Let them scribble and enjoy the open-ended play!
By the way, if you have any special postcard design requests, leave them in the comment section below! I’d love to offer more templates.
Decorating Postcards For Ages 3-4
Around age 3, a child can draw straight lines and circles. You may notice they also try to draw simple pictures, such as a face or a sun. This is such a fun age for decorating postcards because it’s always a mystery! What will your child start drawing next? (My daughter is currently in a stage where she draws monster faces, almost exclusively 😉
And around age 4, a child can start practicing the formation of letters. Starting with their name is a good first step. Show family the progress on your DIY postcards – so fun!
Other fun things to bring out include crayons, colored pencils, stickers, and stamps. Consider asking your child to make a scene, like an ocean scene or a farm. They can use stickers and stamps to decorate, and you can help outline the background!
Decorating Postcards For Ages 5-6
Around age 5, children should have their hand dominance established, and by age 6, they’ve gotten a lot better at writing words, especially their name.
Encourage your 5-6-year-old to either write their name in the corner of the postcard or write a simple phrase, like “I love you.”
And of course, get creative with the crayons, stickers, stamps, and perhaps glue and glitter. You can make patterns with glue and sprinkle glitter on top. Let it dry, and you have a fun decoration!
Mailing or Saving the Decorated Postcards
When you’re done decorating, it’s nice to go through the motions of addressing the postcard and adding the stamp. Explain the process of preparing mail so your child learns some practical life skills.
My 3-year-old loves putting on the stamp when we’re done!
With Artkive, you put all your kid’s art and drawings into a box, mail it to them, and they take professional pictures of it all. Then, you can order keepsakes featuring those professional images (like a photo album or framed mosaic).
If you check it out, be sure to take advantage of this discount: Save $10 off the ARTKIVE box right now
Simple activities that are fun and educational are my favorite. Decorating postcards is a lot of fun, and as you can see, there are all kinds of ways to sneak in some activities that support healthy development.
If you decorate some postcards, PLEASE (!!) tag me on Facebook @twomamabears or Instagram @thetwomamabears! I would love to see what you do. You can also leave a comment below and upload a photo.