1. Let your child make a drawing of the gift.
2. Have him pose for a photo with the gift, then use the print as a thank-you postcard. You can also take a picture of him blowing out candles. If you print it in black and white on matte paper, he can color it with markers.
3. A younger kid can use colored-ink pads to make a rainbow of fingerprints across the front of the card. Then he (or you) can write a letter in each, spelling out THANK YOU.
4. Trace your child’s hands and cut them out, then send them as a thank-you “round of applause.”
5. Make a list of the “Top 10 [or 5!] Reasons Why This Gift Is Awesome.”
6. Have him write THANK YOU with chalk on a chalkboard or with magnetic letters on a baking sheet, then photograph him holding it up.
7. An older kid can turn the name of a gift into an acrostic. Write the letters down the page, one underneath the other: L (for LOVE), E (for EXCELLENT), G (for GIFT), O (for OF MY FAVORITE THING IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD); then finish each line.
8. Let her make up a brief story about the gift (“The Tale of Gerard the Sock Monkey and How He Came to Live With Us”). Transcribe as she narrates.
9. Write THANK YOU in white crayon, then have your kid paint over it using watercolors. The paint won’t adhere to the crayon, so the message will show up.
10. Cut rectangles from one of his big watercolors or finger paintings, then glue them to folded blank card stock for one-of-a-kind art cards.
11. Cut out half-hearts in different colors and patterns. Write THANK on one and YOU on the other, then let your child glue them next to each other on folded blank card stock.
12. Make hearts, stars, flowers, or snowflakes from bright origami paper, which is thin and easy to cut. Glue the shapes to folded blank card stock.
13. Record a video of your kid expressing his thanks, then upload it to vimeo.com (which offers privacy settings). E-mail the link to the recipient.
Get more thank-you note tips: 5 Tips for Writing Thank You Notes with Kids.