With Valentine’s Day fast approaching and schoolmate valentines to be delivered, it is time to pull out the craft bags and boxes for yet another project with the children. Nowadays most people take their children to the local store to buy those cutesie little children’s prepackaged valentines to pass out and sign for each and every classmate. To me this is a time to show people you care and even though it may take a little more effort it is more rewarding to your children and yourself to make this a yearly project and spend time with them coming up with a new creation every year. It does not have to be something complicated or expensive but it should be fun and creative for everyone involved in making them. The point is to spend time with your children and maybe even to teach them the meaning behind the special day. We usually make enough of whatever project we have chosen for each year to present one to special people in our lives like grandparents friends outside of school. We always make one for the teacher too.
There are a number of valentines we have created in the past. Maybe these will inspire you to come up with something for your own children to do with you. Just make sure you leave some time before the big day so it is fun together and you are not in a stressful rush to get it done in time.
1. Cut simple strips of heavy craft paper into 1 ” to 2″ strips that are long enough to be a bookmark. Use anything you have to decorate them from rubber stamps to stickers or simple abstract drawings on each one. No two will be exactly alike and this is something they can actually put to some use other than the recycling bin. If you want to get more complicated, you can cover strips of thicker poster board with fabric.
2. Cut simple hearts out of red , pink or white construction paper. Take a potato, cut it in half , draw a simple design on the white part of the potato and cut out the excess potato around the design to create your own temporary stamp , then dip on an ink pad or use a child’s fat paintbrush and inexpensive finger paints to paint the surface of the raised picture and print it on your cut out paper heart.
3. Find a simple sugar cookie recipe and a heart shaped cookie cutter. Make and bake the cookies then decorate with red, pink and white cake/cookie decorations such as coloured sugars or even put red dye in the dough when you are mixing them to give them a pink tint when they are cooked. Make a big enough batch so all of you can enjoy sampling your own handiwork.
4. Help you child compose a simple poem if they can’t do one themselves. Make enough copies to go around , then roll and tie it to the stick of a lollipop with ribbon for a nice but simple presentation.
5. Buy a bag of those little yarn puff balls, some googlie eyes and stiff felt. And a roll of cutable magnet strips. Cut little feet to glue on the bottom of the ball and glue two googlie eyes to the front. Then glue or stick the piece of magnet to the back for a cute refridgerator magnet.
These are just a few we have made and the possibilities are endless. Make sure you include the children in the choice of the project. The point is to make it fun and something you can do together with a purpose in mind. ENJOY!