Written for Melissa & Doug by special Guest Blogger Julie Kieras from HappyStrongHome.
It’s Happy Heart Day again (aka Valentine’s), and more than letting this day be simply a greeting card holiday, it can also be a time to teach children about showing love and kindness to others. Creating a treat or gift to drop off to a friend or family member is truly a labor of love, and one children will enjoy as they get full creative control from start to finish! Here are four simple arts and crafts your kids can make for loved ones this Valentine’s Day!
1. A beaded bookmark is easy for children of all ages to create. Younger children develop fine motor skills lacing wooden beads, and older kids can practice sequencing and patterning techniques. Here’s how to create a handmade beaded bookmark:
- String about 5-7 beads of various sizes on one end of a string or ribbon.
- Cut the string about twice as long as a paperback book.
- Tie a knot at the end of the string and then another just above the last bead.
- On the other end, repeat the process but with 3-4 smaller beads, so your bookmark clearly has a top and a bottom. The two beaded ends keep the string from pulling through the book pages.
- Tie a knot on either side of these beads and you’re done!
2. Create your own gift wrap using heart shaped stamps to decorate tissue paper! Various stamps and ink colors will dress up plain paper, and kids can decide to decorate it however they’d like! This way, even if you’ve purchased a Valentine’s Day gift, the child can still have their personal “stamp” on it. (Tip: It helps to fold the tissue paper into a smaller piece and decorate each panel one at a time to avoid tearing and wrinkling the paper.)
3. Paint a personal picture with lots of hearts! Use a toilet paper roll bent into a heart shape to create a large heart stamp! Use this technique to create a border for a special photo, or a page full of floating hearts to hang up!
4. Design a card with reverse masking! No gift would be complete without a card that says, “I love you!” Proving that love can be messy, finger painting over a taped off word or design will allow kids to have great hands-on textural experiences as they swirl paint around. Once the paint dries, remove the tape to reveal the message!
Valentine gifts aren’t just for romantics! Any child can show love and compassion creating easy handmade (and heart-felt) gifts to give! What ideas would you add to our list? Share with us in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook!
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