Just the other day I psyched myself up for the painful task of weeding through the huge pile of school work, crafts and artwork my daughters had made that were stored in containers under my bed. And while their social studies projects were impressive, it was the cards with little squiggles to represent handwriting and the haphazardly glued foam shapes on crookedly-cut construction paper that made it to the “keep” pile.
It’s funny how just holding something your child made many years ago can take you right back to the day you sat at the kitchen table crafting with them. Valentines projects were always my favourite because they represented the love we had for each other. It was fun to go to the dollar store and fill our baskets with red and pink craft supplies, too. Here are some projects we made that I still cherish today.
There’s so much you can do with an inexpensive wooden frame. Place all your craft supplies in the middle of the table and let your kids go crazy with creativity. You can paint the frame and later add glitter, heart-shaped sequins, cut out foam shapes, small fabric roses or even conversation heart candies (make sure to tell your kids not to pull them off later and eat them!). You can put some favourite family photos inside the frames or even goofy selfies. If your kids are feeling especially creative, they can draw a special picture for whoever the frame is intended for.
Simple sheets of construction paper or thicker card stock in Valentine colours will serve as the card. For the inside, I traced various sized hearts onto construction paper and encouraged my kids to cut them out themselves.
They could decorate the hearts or write short Valentine poems or rhymes on them. I then cut strips of cardstock and had the kids fold them accordion style and glue them to the inside of the card. They then glued the heart on top. When the intended receiver opened the card, the heart popped out!
Hand Print Gifts
Some of my favourite Valentine crafts made by my girls featured their little handprints. It was proof they were indeed once that small.
Kids love to get paint all over their hands, so why not create a lasting memory? Have them place their hands in red washable paint and make handprints on a sheet of white paper.
Let the prints dry, either leave them on the sheet and add a poem or note or cut around them with regular or patterned scissors leaving a good amount of space and set aside. Have the hands represent flowers and glue 3 to a page in a cloverleaf fashion. Cut green strips of construction paper for the stems and have them all meet together at the bottom.
Make a bow out of red ribbon and glue it to where the stems meet. Write your child’s name, age and the year the card was made so the receiver will easily remember.
A simple poem like this one added to a handprint card will be sure to melt grandma and grandpa’s heart:
“Here is my hand
And with it my heart
For I have loved you
Right from the start”
Of course, when it comes to creativity, there’s no right or wrong way for kids to express themselves. With a good selection of craft supplies, there’s no end to what little hands can make!