Semi Handmade Valentines

I love making handmade Valentines for people and my son and I didn’t see eye to eye about this at first. He wanted to hand out Toy Story Valentines he saw at Target and I wanted him to make them himself for his classmates. Well… this was our compromise which will likely become a tradition. It satisfies his need for characters but still serves the purpose of making custom Valentines for each of his friends. Each was made with the friend in mind which was time consuming but thrilling to see him put that much thought into it. Honestly I don’t know if the stars just aligned , but he loved this craft. We even left the kitchen table as our ” Valentine” factory so we can make more today.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, some store bought valentines ( whatever your little on begged you for), heart stickers, scissors, paint,  glitter ( Come on it’s Valentine’s day let them have glitter !! ), colored pencils and anything else to make them fun and sparkly. 
  2. Start by cutting the construction paper into hearts. Ours are not the most perfect but as you will see they still end up beautiful.
  3. Time to customize!  We started with paint.
  4. Used colored pencils.
  5. Glitter
  6. The works! No two were the same. Yes we made a mess but it was so fun. 
  7. Choose which character valentine each recipient will like the best.
  8. We originally made them like this with the store bought valentine on the back but most ended up with it on the front and my son used the whole back to write his name. If you follow me you know how I have been trying to encourage his writing and I didn’t even ask him to do it, he grabbed the pencil and started all on his own.
  9. Oh and for those of you who ask how I manage crafts while my little one is awake …
  10. This picture isn’t really a “step” in the tutorial but it captures how much fun we had, which is really the whole point of this blog!

Don’t miss this. CBS Los Angeles featured our Heart Shaped Pizza on their site . We are making those again for our Valentine’s Day meal. Do you make something special for your kids’ dinner on Valentine’s Day?

Puffy Heart Wreath

I love wreaths almost as much as I love garlands! This Valentine’s Day craft is fun ,  easy to make and easy on your wallet. The foam hearts are super light and I was able to tape the wreath to a door in our house using only blue painters tape . Also if you want you can turn it into a patterning lesson as well or just randomly glue the hearts on.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, glue, foam heart picks ( got mine 9 for a dollar at the dollar store), red markers and scissors. 
  2. Start by coloring the paper plate with markers. We used red but use whatever color your child wants to.
  3. Start by having your child pull the tops off the heart picks. I twisted them so they were easier to pop off. This step was really fun.
  4. While they do that cut the middle out.
  5. Add a lot of glue. If you don’t normally let your child do the glue because they use too much, let them with this one. You need a lot of glue so let them at it!
  6. Add your hearts.  Randomly or in a pattern. I just let him do it however he wanted and he quickly settled on a pattern and sang it out as he added it. You can also sneak counting in here if you want.
  7. Let dry.

Letter of the Week – L Love

For the past few weeks the most popular searches bringing traffic to my site have been “Letter of the Week” and ” Valentine’s Craft” so today I thought I would try to satisfy both and make a Valentine’s Day Letter of the Week. This L is super easy to make and fast too. You can make it easier with paint , or more complex by having your child draw pictures of the people they love instead of using photos.  The goal is to have fun with the letter so tailor it to your child and their favorite materials.

  1. Before gathering your materials, sit down with your child and ask them who they love. Find photos or have your child draw pictures of these people.
  2. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard, tissue paper, tape, family photos, heart punch , red paper, glue and scissors.
  3. Start by cutting the cardboard into a L .
  4. I used gift wrap tissue paper to cover the L  but this was only per my son’s specific request. You can paint, color with crayons, glitter… whatever your child is into . Keeping crafts fun means keeping your kids learning and playing with letters!
  5. If you are using tissue paper tape it on – another big treat for my son, using the tape!
  6. While my son taped I trimmed the family photos.
  7. Next add glue for the photos.
  8. Pop them on.  Let dry.

Books We Love

Valentine’s Day by Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell is a lovely book with a a cute twist. The story follows a class making special valentines for each other , some are very touching others goofy. The story doesn’t reveal who the Valentine’s are for. There are pictures of the same girl with the various students though so after a while you are clued into that they are for her we still don’t know why. I was so worried she was sick in the hospital, as it turns out the class goes to the post office to send it away to a classmate that is far far away! I like the idea of a class all writing to a friend far away, focusing on friendship and not candy! I also love any book that causes my son to say ” Let’s go see a map of where she lives mama!”

If You’ll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant is a great book for preschoolers because it doesn’t just focus on romantic love or love of a parent and child but rather love of all the things this little boy is grateful for. He writes little valentines to his family members, teddy bear, even the bird and tree outside. It’s very sweet and cute without making you cringe one bit!  My son loved this one , it was perfect for a 3 year old.

I Lost My Kisses by Trudie Trewin is cute story about a little cow who has lost her kisses! She looks everywhere for them, gives wonderful descriptions of what kisses are, sound and feel like but she just can’t find them. The thing is , is that she is picking her daddy up at the airport and has to give him a kiss when he arrives! Luckily her heart find them when she sees her daddy.  My son loved this book, he is an affectionate kid and loves to tease us that he is “all out of kisses” so this book was right up his alley! Very cute and I love the mostly black and white illustrations by Nick Bland.

Valentine’s Day Craft and Math Lesson

Patterns, ordering, shapes , sorting and counting are all used in this simple Valentine’s Day  craft made with playing cards . That’s not even all the wonderful skills used, lacing the cards on uses fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.  What I love is that I can make a Valentine’s day craft that is educational, low mess ( no glitter, glue or paint) and cost me less than $3!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a deck of playing cards with a red design on the back, a heart paper punch, hole punch, some ribbon or yarn , scissors and some clear tape.
  2. Start by sorting the cards into suits . This is a long craft so I only put two suits on our place mat. 
  3. Next place the cards in numerical order. 
  4. Next hand your child the heart punch and have them punch hearts in cards of other suits . We used the clovers that we sorted in the 2nd step.
  5. While they do that punch holes in the cards that they put in numerical order.
  6. Punch holes in the hearts .
  7. Start threading. This is not easy. Be prepared to help, or if you have a child like mine be prepared to be told you aren’t allowed to help and wait until they ask for it. To make lacing easier wrap tape around the ends of the ribbon/ yarn. My 4 year old laced 3 cards and 4 hearts alone, then handed me the right numbers as I did the lacing. A nice thing about using playing cards is that they are sturdy and hard to tear.
  8. Hang it up!

Valentine’s Day Kids’ Crafts

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away and  I am trying my hardest to resist the candy that is already all over the place. What I can’t resist is sharing some of our favorite Valentine’s Day crafts from years past. If you don’t see what you are looking for here check out all our Valentine’s Crafts , I am sure you will find something just right !

Paper Hug

Valentine Candy Bouquet

Heart Wand

Cinnamon Heart Bark

Valentine’s Photo Wreath

Valentine’s Day Dump Truck