Valentine’s Day Fun for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Heart-Felt Homemade Crafts
Trace a large heart onto a sheet of construction paper. Have your child cut out the heart with safety scissors. While she’s working, take a Polaroid picture of your child, print one from your digital camera, or use a photo you have stored. Take a paper lace doily and invite your child to glue her picture to the doily with the lace around the photo, then glue the doily to the construction-paper heart. Write a cute verse on the heart (older children may want to write it alone, while a younger child can simply sign her name).
Here are a couple examples—or you can make up your own:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I hope you like this picture
of me to you!
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I made this special Valentine
just for you!
Give your child a short, thick candle (look for pink, white, or red). Pour out a bag of candy conversation hearts on the table. Encourage your child to place thick tacky glue on the backs of the candy pieces and press these onto the bottom half of the candle. (Remind recipients to always place the candle on a safe, stable surface, like a metal dish, and to never leave a burning candle unattended.) Make sure the messages are visible. Continue putting on the hearts, all the way around the lower half of the candle in three or four rows, leaving the top half exposed. This makes a great Valentine’s Day gift. Don’t forget about a clean bowl of candy for munching!
You will need:
- various shades of tissue paper (preferably reds, pinks, and purples)
- white paper
- vinegar or cold water (vinegar will set a deeper color)
Have you child begin by cutting or tearing the tissue paper into small squares. Invite her to paint vinegar or cold water over the entire sheet of white paper. While the paper is still wet, place the different colored squares onto the white paper. Allow this to dry. When the paper is dry, the tissue paper will fall off, showing your little one how the tissue paper bled onto the white paper. Turn this into a holiday project by cutting the dyed paper into a heart or use this paper to make a Valentine’s Day card.
Valentine’s Day Paper Dolls
Do you have a lot of used computer paper or discarded office paper at your house and a bored child? Put them together to have some folding “paper-doll” Valentines.
Show your child how to cut paper into an eight-inch square. Have her fold the paper back and forth into four sections. Draw the outline of a person with hands and feet outstretched to the right and left of the folds. Using safety scissors cut out and pull open the chain of human figures. Have her decorate the paper people, coloring them or adding glitter, cotton, or doilies to make them look like Valentines.
As she works, talk about the different Valentines she is creating. Together make up a story about each Valentine person in the chain and even give each one a name. Talk with your child about this project. Good questions with which to start are: “If one of these dolls was you, who would be on either side of you?” “Who would the other dolls be?”
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