Hallmark’s favorite holiday fast approaches, and moms with little ones at home can celebrate all things Cupid by making crafty gifts for friends and relatives with their kids. The best part? You don’t need a degree in fine art or a ton of fancy supplies to create memorable Valentine’s Day cards and trinkets.
Prepare for your Valentine’s creations by saving everyday items like empty take-out boxes and toilet paper rolls. A trip to your local dollar store allows you to gather additional art supplies for just a buck apiece. Here are 10 ideas that are sure to spread the love this February 14th.
1. Hugs Across the Miles
If your family members span the nation or even the globe, create a hug you can send them in the mail! All you need is glue or tape, some colored paper and string.
Have your child trace outlines of both hands like they were making Thanksgiving hand turkeys. Carefully cut out the hands and attach them with a foot or two of string, so the recipient can imagine your child wrapping their hands around them and hugging them!
2. Kiss Container
Let your kids give someone special a bundle of kisses in a creative recycled container! Use anything from mason jars to leftover take-out boxes as a base. Cut a piece of colored paper large enough to cover the container and have your kiddos go wild with markers, crayons, colored pencils or glitter — if you’re brave and don’t mind brushing it off your clothing for months — to decorate it. Fasten your child’s artwork the hand-decorated package with tape or glue and fill it with Hershey’s kisses.
3. Floral Pencils
Make school time fun by creating beautiful floral pencils with the kiddos. One easy method involves simply cutting a floral shape out of colored paper, coloring it and cutting a small slit where the pencil “stem” goes through. Older children may enjoy learning how to create an origami rose to top their favorite writing instrument.
4. Painted Rocks
Many communities have made painting rocks and leaving them throughout the neighborhood for people to find into a fun internet game. Get in on the action by buying or simply gathering some smooth, river rock-like stones and painting colorful designs on them with acrylic paints available at most dollar stores. Take your kids on an excursion to hide their creations and then simply wait for your child’s unique stone to appear on your Kindness Rocks community Facebook or Instagram page.
5. Heart Necklaces and Garlands
Decorate for V-Day on the cheap by helping the kids create heart garlands. Simply cut colored construction paper into strips, fold the strips several times, then cut a heart shape out of the folded paper, leaving the folded edge uncut. When you unfold the paper, you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day garland!
Alternately, cut the heart shape all the way around the folded paper creating hearts of the same shape and size. Use a hole puncher to poke a hole in each heart, and string them on a length of ribbon or twine, using beads and knots to separate the hearts for an easy and festive necklace.
6. Catch the Sun
Show Mother Earth some love this Valentine’s by recycling plastic cups leftover from holiday gatherings into colorful sun-catchers. Cut the bottom of the cleaned cups off, punch a hole near one edge of the bottom with a hole punch and then place the bottoms on a cookie sheet in a 350-degree oven for about two minutes. When they cool, thread the string through the hole and hang in a sunny window.
7. Little Love Bugs
Another green Cupid-inspired craft involves recycling empty toilet paper rolls into love bugs! You’ll need empty TP rolls, glue, construction paper and some pipe cleaners. Cut the construction paper so that it fits around the empty roll, and decorate it with ladybug spots or rainbow butterfly stripes. If you’re making a butterfly, cut the wings out of construction paper and decorate those, as well.
Then, simply glue the paper and wings to the empty roll and let it set. Once the glue dries, use pipe cleaners to create legs and antennas for your cuddly little critter!
8. Simple Stamps
Have your uneaten potatoes started to sprout? Instead of tossing them, cut off the growing potato eyes and slice the potato into inch-wide portions. Use a cookie cutter or a stencil to draw a floral or heart shape on the base of each potato piece, and use a small knife to carve around your drawing. Then simply let kids dip their potato stamps into some acrylic paint to decorate homemade Valentine’s Day greeting cards with stamped hearts and flowers.
9. The Thumb Tree of Love
Nothing’s more unique than your child’s fingerprint, so make a truly personalized Valentine’s Day card with some thumbprint art. Simply draw a heart with a tree trunk extending to about the mid-line, forming a Valentine-shaped hardwood. Then, let the little ones dip their thumbs into easily washable tempera paint and stamp “leaves” onto the tree with their thumbs.
10. Puppy Love
What could be more “aw”-inspiring than giant puppy dog eyes? Simply cut two large hearts out of different colored pieces of construction paper. Turn one heart upside down to serve as the doggie’s face, and cut the other heart in half to serve as either perky or droopy ears. Cut smaller hearts to serve as the nose, tongue and eyes. Then, glue them all together as a heartwarming gift for the canine-lover on your Valentine’s list.
Whether or not you personally consider Valentine’s Day a special day or just another commercialized way to market greeting cards, most children adore the holiday as a chance to exercise creativity — and an excuse to eat chocolate. Put these creative ideas to the test with your kiddos – daughters and sons alike – this year to celebrate the love you and your family share!