I am a pretty crafty mama and will admit that I can go a little overboard with every last detail because I enjoy it so much. If you only knew the time spent on my children’s birthday parties! However, when it is time for my children to create things for other people, I feel whole heartedly that the items should come from them. My daughter has been making her own Valentines since she was old enough to glue. Homemade Valentines just feel right. The kind that belong in an Arthur & D.W. book with drippy glue and doily hearts and misspelled words. Valentines from a simpler time.
Valentine’s Day is a perfect occasion to bust out the scrapbook paper or whatever crafting supplies you have in your cabinet and provide some creative time for your kiddos. In the weeks leading up to V-Day, we do just that. For these simple Valentines, you don’t need much. Whatever you have on hand will be fine. Or a couple of little embellishments from the dollar store or Oriental Trading Company will help make some one of a kind Valentines for those dear to your little ones’ hearts.
Supplies: Cookie cutters or stencils for tracing, scrapbook paper, heart doily (dollar store – 30 for $1), embellishments (dollar store), scissors, glue, and cardstock pre-cut(Hobby Lobby/Walmart have the best price)
Step 1: Have your child trace the outside of the cookie-cutter shape on the back of scrapbook paper. I used 12 by 12 paper and directed her to do a row of three to give her space to cut.
Step 2: Your child can then cut out the shapes with a little assistance if preschool age. For children under 4, I would do steps 1 and 2 for them or even skip them altogether and just use the other supplies.
Step 3: Layout the materials in an assembly line – cut out shape, doily, card. Embellishments can be placed on little plates accessible to little hands.
Step 4: Put it all together. Your child should first glue the doily to the front of the card (gluestick works fine) and then arrange the shape and embellishments to his/her liking. Glue stick should work for most paperlike materials, but I also provide double-sided scrapbook squares or Elmer’s glue for thicker embellishments.
Step 5: Choose the recipient. Now your little one can pick who the Valentine is for and write a sweet message for the person on the other side of the card. Plenty of room to show off their new writing skills if preschooler or older and/or coloring skills if younger. When my daughter was three, I photocopied a written copy of her name and let her glue it inside so she didn’t get tired writing it over and over.
Typically, we spread out these steps over the weeks leading up to Valentine’s day keeping everything in a basket so my daughter can work on it as she pleases. She’s happy because she gets to be creative. I am happy because not only does it entertain her, but it is great for building fine motor skills and spelling practice. This year baby B even joined in on the action. Family fun time with simple materials.
Happy Valentine’s Day!