Make Your Own Valentine's Day Gifts
A guide for parents-to-be, new moms and dads, kids, and more
A Special Handprint
Conversation Hearts, those little heart-shaped candies with messages on them, were first made by NECCO in 1902. The messages on the candies may have changed over the years, but kids still love them. Make a “special handprint” project using these candy hearts. Type or have your preschooler print the poem (below) on a sheet of paper. On a heavy sheet of construction paper or poster board, either trace with a crayon or press your child’s hand with paint. Write your child’s name and date next to her handprint. Now, invite your child to glue on heart candies as fingernails. Proceed to attach the written poem to the cardboard print with glue (trim it to size if necessary). This makes a memorable gift to give to family and friends.
This isn’t just any handprint, as you can plainly see
For it is a special handprint, made with love by me.
Along with the handprint I send hugs and kisses your way,
And wish you a very “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
Paper “Love Bugs”
You know those pesky “love bugs” that fly in the air? Here is a paper love bug that your kids will adore! Paint or cover an empty toilet tube with pink paper to make the body of the bug. Cut two hearts from construction paper. Attach these with tape or glue on either side of the body. Encourage your child to draw a face on the top of the tube. Pipe cleaners make great antennae. Write a cute message on the wings such as “Valentine, you make my heart flutter.”
Everybody Loves A T-Shirt!
How about one with meaning? You can use this technique on canvas bags, baseball caps, and hand towels too. Use your imagination and have fun! With a fabric-paint marker write, “Behind every hand is a heart that loves Dad” (or Grandma, or whomever the shirt is for). Gently paint the hands of your child with fabric paint and press them on any area of the shirt. Use a variety of colors and allow the shirt to dry. Make sure to wash your child’s hands thoroughly. For an added touch, date the shirt with a laundry marker or fabric paint marker.
Making Tie-Dyed Valentines
A tie-dyed print doesn’t have to be involved and messy. Here is a way to get this same effect using simple art materials. Flatten a white coffee filter and place it onto a sheet of cardboard or anything that will protect your table. Invite your child to draw valentine designs (or scribbles will do) onto the filter with washable color markers covering a vast surface. Fold the filter into quarters and dip it into cold water for just a second. Your child will be amazed as she sees the colors blend. Open the filter and lay it flat to dry. When completely dry, show your child how to cut hearts from this unique paper.
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