Recently, it was my birthday, and I had a very fun and relaxing weekend with my family! On the morning of my birthday, my art-loving daughter wanted to make a cupcake cards with me! She surprised me with a cute 3-D birthday card that she made with our nanny. I adapted from that idea and integrated some reading practice into our cupcake cards! My daughter loves making cards for other people, so I follow her interest and try to integrate Chinese reading and writing practice with arts and crafts! Since Chinese words are sight words, frequent exposure with matching games is a fun way to help with remembering them. Here are easy-to-DIY instructions for the 3-D cupcake birthday cards and sight word matching activity.
Please note that you can substitute Chinese characters for letters or numbers depending your child’s language and learning level! Homemade cards are also simply the best thing to get from a child! We rarely buy cards from the store because it’s so fun to make them with my daughter!
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- 纸杯蛋糕 / 紙杯蛋糕 (Zhǐbēi dàngāo / Cupcake)
- 蜡烛 / 蠟燭 (Làzhú / Candle)
- 点火 / 點火 (Diǎnhuǒ / Light fire)
- 火柴 (Huǒchái / Matches)
- 生日 (Shēngrì / Birthday)
- 生日快乐 / 生日快樂 (Shēngrì kuàilè / Happy Birthday)
- 祝你生日快乐 / 祝你生日快樂 (Zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè / I wish you a happy birthday)
What you need for birthday cupcake cards:
- Cardboard or cardstock – I prefer cardboard because it is thick, study, and a great way to upcycle
- Cotton balls
- Cupcake liners – We used these rainbow cupcake liners (same as shown in this flower activity)
- Ruler – We love the Twist-It flexible rulers!
- Construction paper
- Double-sided tape
How to make birthday cupcake cards:
- Measure desired size of cards. Mark with pen and ruler; cut along line.
- Fold cupcake liners in half and tuck in so the edge forms a C-shape
- Squeeze glue on cardboard
- Pull apart cotton balls and affix to cardboard
- Squeeze glue on inside of cupcake liner. Place over cotton balls.
- Insert toothpick. This is the candlestick!
- Write words above toothpick candlestick
- Cut out candle flames from yellow paper
- Write matching words on candle flames
- Affix double-sided tape on back of candle flames
- Match words on candle flame to card
- Mix up the order of the cards and have your child arrange them in the correct order
- Sing 祝你生日快乐!
Here’s a close-up of where I applied glue to the cupcake liners. Putting some on the sides as well as the bottom will help it stick to the cotton. The cotton and the cupcake liner gives a fun 3-dimensional pop to the card!
Here’s how I folded the yellow paper so that the flame cut-outs are the same size. I drew the flame too small the first few times, but third time was the charm! I recommend making the flame large so that the writing is large and easy-to-read!
Here are the cards all mixed up! My daughter’s favorite character is the beautiful 樂 character in traditional Chinese because of all of the strokes! I thought of this activity intending to teach her the traditional Chinese version of the simplified characters that she already knows, but I did not realize that 樂 was the only character that is different. Also, she already knew 樂 from her Qiaohu workbooks. Regardless, it was still a fun activity! Next time, I will be more mindful of writing new Chinese words!
I forgot to mention that my daughter wanted to add these cute mini angel stickers!
Here’s the final line up! 祝你生日快乐! My daughter set the cards up on a ledge as shown below so that she could pretend this was a cupcake store! I love how the rainbow colors contrast again the recycled cardboard background!
If you make 3-D Birthday Cupcake Cards, please let us know! Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag @CHALKAcademy on Instagram and Facebook! We love to see how other families do educational activities!
Recommended educational activities
Here is a flower activity with the same cupcake liners!
Also check out this fun, recycled cardboard birthday cake puzzle as well!
For more activities with recycled materials, please click here!
To see all educational, hands-on activities organized by topic, bookmark this link!
Happy learning, friends!