While there are many challenges posed by being stuck at home right now, one that hits especially hard is missing celebrations with family and friends. I have been using several greeting card apps to email and snail-mail my loved ones for birthdays, graduations, and baby showers. Card making is a great writing activity for any child and can be modified to include the use of alternative pencils. Below you will find a list of my favorite greeting card apps and some ideas for how to use a variety of alternative pencils.

  1. Felt
    • Application (available through Google Play and the App Store)
    • Requires users to log-in
    • Allow for uploaded pictures
    • Can choose a template or create your own
    • Can write handwritten notes or include doodles and change font size, color, and pen type
    • Can type notes and change the font type, size, and color
    • Sends in a stamped envelope via snail-mail for $2+
  2. Postable
    • Website
    • Requires users to log-in
    • Allows for picture uploads
    • Can choose a template or create your own
    • Can type notes and change the font type
    • Sends in a stamped envelope or as a postcard via snail-mail.
    • Flat cards are $3.99 and postcards are $2.49
  3. American Greetings: Creatacard Card Maker
    • Application for tablets only (available through Google Play and the App Store)
    • Requires users to log-in
    • Allows for uploaded pictures
    • Can choose a template or create your own
    • Can write handwritten notes or include doodles and change font size, color, and pen type
    • Includes a variety of fun frames, fonts, and stickers
    • Looks more like a traditional bifold card
    • Sends in a stamped envelope via snail-mail for $3.49 
  4. 123 Greetings
    • Website
    • No log-in required
    • Can choose a video, picture, or GIF from the library for your card
    • Can type notes, change font type, color, and size as well as add emojis
    • Sends for free via email
  5. Open Me
    • Website
    • Requires users to log-in
    • Allows for uploaded pictures
    • Can type notes and change font type
    • Sends for free via email

Before I go into more detail about ways to incorporate the use of alternative pencils, here is a great resource to learn more about them: http://literacyforallinstruction.ca/alternative-pencils-2/

Now for some ideas for using the features on these apps and websites with alternative pencils.

  • Using a low/no-tech pencil, such as magnets or stamps? Consider taking a picture of the message and uploading it into a card.
  • Using a Bluetooth keyboard? Consider using the typing feature available in all of these card options.
  • Using the keyboard on your AAC app or dedicated device? Take a screenshot and upload it to a card.
  • Using a flip-chart or other system with partner-assisted scanning? Consider using fun fonts the user selects when scribing their message.
  • Using an alternative keyboard such as Intellikeys or Abilipad? Consider copying and pasting the text or uploading a screenshot.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should give you some ideas to get started. Start writing and have fun!

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