The holidays create the perfect opportunity to really get involved with your kids and make the most of them. In our house, we read books, create yummy treats, and spend our afternoons making fun crafts for each holiday. Not only does this give us an opportunity to spend one-on-one time, but it gives me the chance to go into a little more detail about each of the holidays with my kids. On Valentine's Day, we talk about being loving and caring to one another, and it opens a discussion about how we show others that we care about them.
Sometimes the crafts just seem to go perfectly with a book we are reading, or a particular interest my kids have. At other times we get ideas online or my kids just get creative and make up their own crafts. However you come up with your ideas, the real idea behind crafts is quality time, but a nice bonus is the instruction that can go with them, and the wonderful fine motor skills that they teach.
When we do crafts, my kids learn how to cut more proficiently with scissors, how to use different types of glue, and how much glue to use to accomplish their goals. They also learn about different materials, like felt, construction paper, and wrapping paper, and how different media—like markers, crayons, pencils, and paint—work on them, Sometimes we even get more creative and make robots and houses using empty containers. But for this holiday, our purpose was to show love and create beautiful Valentine's gifts for others.
I hope you enjoy some of these ideas and get to put them together with your kids. Let me show you how we created each of them.
1. Stamped Hearts
This precious craft is two crafts in one: the stamped heart frame and the stamped heart itself. All you need is a few supplies and some creativity and you've got two beautiful valentines for the special Lifeline in your life.
- White paper
- Cotton balls
- Cut a large heart shape out of one piece of paper.
- Tape it down to another piece with some tape on the back.
- Tap paint all over your heart and bottom piece of paper with cotton balls, taking special care to keep your heart flat on the bottom sheet of paper.
- Allow to dry and then gently pull the heart off, removing the tape from the back.
2. Hidden Hearts
My oldest son (age four) really enjoyed this activity because not only did it include two different mediums, but he got to uncover the hidden picture. This is a fun one for a variety of occasions. After I drew the first picture and showed him how to uncover it, he wanted to do his own over and over for the rest of the afternoon.
- White paper
- A white crayon
- A paint brush
- Draw your hearts into the white paper.
- Then allow your children to uncover them by painting with watercolors over the top.
3. Heart Tree
This was another fun activity because my kids got to paint their own tree trunks, and then use scissors and glue. They were both so excited when I showed them how to make hearts out of small slips of paper. Let's just say that we ended up with way more hearts than we needed. The hard part was trying to get the hearts to stay on the paper with only the edges to keep them on. I think they really turned out nice.
- Piece of paper to decorate
- Piece of pink paper
- Brown paint (or marker)
- Glue stick
- Start by tracing your child's hand and arm into your base piece of paper.
- Have your kids paint (or color) the tree trunk on their paper.
- While it's drying, cut small 4 inch by 1/2 inch pieces of paper out of your pink piece.
- Fold each pink piece in half.
- Then fold each of the ends of your pink pieces in and glue them together to make hearts.
- Allow everything to dry, and then arrange your hearts into your tree trunk the way you want them to look.
- Use your glue stick to glue the edges on one side of each heart and press them onto your tree.
4. Bouquet of Hearts
Who can resist a sweet bouquet of decorated hearts from a small child? The receiver of this precious valentine is going to be overjoyed by the hard work and creativity that went into this one. I just folded over a few different colored pieces of paper and traced heart shapes down the side of each one. My four year old then cut each of them out himself and decorated them. He was so proud of his creation by the end because he did all the work himself. I helped him glue each heart on and then we drew the stems together.
- 3 or 4 sheets of colored paper
- Glue stick
- Keep one piece of paper for your bouquet and fold all of the others in half.
- Draw one half of your heart shape down the fold of each piece, making sure that the middle of your hearts fall on the fold.
- Cut them all out and draw designs on them as you like.
- Glue them all down starting with the ones on top and layering down to form a bouquet shape.
- With a green marker, draw lines from the bottoms of the hearts you can reach to look like stems.
- Draw a bow "tying" the stems together at the bottom.
5. Heart Peacock
This one was kind of my project. My son wanted a peacock, but wanted me to do it. I really enjoyed it. This one worked the same as the bouquet of hearts above, but then I got to glue a body to the front and attach eyes. I thought it turned out just beautiful.
- Several different jewel colored papers.
- Glue stick
- Fold all of your pages in half and draw half heart shapes down the folds, making sure that the middle of your hearts fall on the fold.
- Cut them all out and glue them down starting on the top and layering down to look like a peacock spreading it's feathers.
- On one side of one of your papers, cut a bowling pin shape out and glue it to the middle for the peacock's body.
- Add eyes and a small heart shaped beak.
6. Love With Your Hands
I think we all did one of these. I sure love doing crafts that involve my kids' handprints. Not only is it sweet, but it gives me a great memory for when they are older of just how small my little ones were at one time. And this one is as easy as just tracing one hand print and cutting it out.
- 1 piece of paper
- White paint (or a marker)
- Fold a piece of paper in half width wise like a wide hamburger rather than a long skinny hot dog. Lay your kid's hand down so that their thumb and first finger are both touching the fold.
- Trace and cut it out through both layers of paper.
- Label with an I and a U to say "I ❤ You."
7. Heart Wreath
These can be hung on the many doors of your home, or given as sweet gifts from your kids. To make them even more special, you can label each heart on the ones you keep with something you love about your child, or for gifts, have your children label them with reasons they love (or like) the person being gifted. They were so easy to put together that we made a bunch of them.
- White paper
- Glue stick
- Instead of using colored paper we painted our own with watercolors and then let it dry.
- Then we traced heart shapes (from one of the previous we cut) and cut them all out.
- We then glued them into a round shape for our wreaths, and attached a piece of ribbon to hang them.
8. Handprint Roses
I loved this craft because it used my sweet 1 year old's handprints. I painted his tiny hand, which he loved, and printed as many handprints as I could on a white sheet of paper. That way I could just cut them out and use them in any project I needed them for. He loved it and then got to sit on the side of the sink and wash his hand off. He then insisted I do it again several times.
- White paper
- Paint (we used red, green and purple)
- Glue stick
- As I was working with a much younger child, I painted his hand and pressed it on a blank piece of white paper to get as many good handprints as I could. An older child wouldn't need quite as much help, or you could at least stamp his or her handprints right on the final paper.
- I then cut out the good handprints and glued them in place like the heads of roses on our final sheet of paper.
- Then I painted green stems and a purple bow.
9. Heart Bee
As we have been talking lately about getting bees ourselves to raise, my little one has been obsessed. So he simply had to have a bee made of hearts for Valentine's Day. I highly encourage going with your child's desires and interests for these beautiful crafts. They will be so much more fun for the both of you, and will be that much more meaningful. I will always remember this time in our children's lives now.
- Pipe cleaners
- Several different colors of paper
- Glue stick
- Start by cutting out 2 hearts in three different colors of paper.
- Line two colors up alternately for the bees body and head, and two behind the bee for his wings.
- Glue them in place.
- Cut two more small hearts out and glue them to the two ends of a pipe cleaner cut in half.
- Glue the two pieces of pipe cleaner in place like antennae.
- Cut out and glue two hearts for the bees cheeks (yes, bees have cheeks).
- And finally draw two eyes on his face.
10. Heart Hippo
So not only is my oldest obsessed with bees right now, but all animals. What you are not seeing is all of the crafts we completed in between these that were animals, but had no direct connection to Valentine's Day and therefore were saved for another post. This is our hippo. We both did one. Just about all of his pieces were made out of hearts. Maybe you could do one even better and figure out how to make all of the pieces hearts.
- Paper in three different colors
- Glue Stick
- Pencil or marker
- Cut out one huge heart for his head.
- Cut out an oval snout and ears from the same color.
- Next cut out four hearts for his inner ears and nostrils.
- Finally cut out his two white teeth and eyes.
- Now let's assemble him. Glue on the inner ears and nostrils.
- Glue on the teeth and then the whole snout.
- Finally, glue on his ears and eyes.
- Color in his pupils with your pencil or marker. Isn't he cute?
11. Pink Valentine Elephant
We are currently obsessed with elephants around here and couldn't finish this holiday off without a pink elephant for Valentine's Day. My 1 year old has just now learned how to make the elephant sound, along with many other animal sounds. This one is his favorite, I think because we use our arms with it to make the elephant's trunk. Most awesomely, the entire elephant is made with one paper plate. The smirk wasn't even drawn on. That just came naturally in the paint. It was meant to be.
- One paper plate
- Pink paint
- Glue stick
- Crayon or marker
- Paint the whole elephant pink and let him dry overnight. (Yes, I just noticed that all of my animals were boys.)
- Next, cut a long piece off around the bottom of the plate for your elephant's trunk.
- Cut a shorter piece off around the top of the plate to give you elephant some big ears.
- With the smaller piece, cut out two bigger circles for eyes and two smaller circles for pupils.
- Glue the trunk in place and give him a smile if it doesn't just happen for you like it did for us.
- Then color and glue on the eyes.
12. Stained Glass Hearts
I almost forgot to add this one and it was my favorite. We did something like this with snowflakes for Christmas and I thought it would be beautiful with hand painted hearts. For most of these crafts, there really is no plan; just inspiration and motivation. They really turned out beautiful and may hang up in our window a little longer than I leave out the rest of our crafts.
- White paper
- Paint your white piece of paper with a variety of Valentine's Day appropriate colors and let it dry.
- Cut out a whole bunch of heart shapes from your paper, or draw them out and let your little one cut them.
- Tape them up in your window to enjoy the rest of February.
13. Heart Caterpillar
Honestly, this craft wasn't part of my original post but my sweet little one insisted that it be done and included. It had hearts and his handprints after all, it was a Valentine's Day craft. I thought it should be pink and only have two eyes, but what do I really know about Valentine's caterpillars. I think this is just what happens after you really start getting into crafts. You stop directing the learning and they start doing more of it themselves. I love it!
- Two colors of paper
- Apparently lots of eyeballs
- Glue stick
- An imagination
- Cut out four medium hearts the same size from one color.
- Trace your child's hand and cut out four handprints and two antennae from another color.
- Lay them out on the table the way you want them to look and glue them together.
- Add antennae and eyes. (The star tail was also his idea.)
14. Valentine's Monster
This beautiful creation sprung from a few of the Valentine's Day books that we were reading together. He saw a number of Valentine's Day monsters and wanted to create one all of his own. I welcomed the creativity and imagination. This is one of those crafts where there were no directions or supplies. This is just my little one filing through all of our craft supplies and picking out what he thought would work best for his monster, so for this last craft, it's going to be more of a free for all.
Check out some of the Valentine's Day books I recommend, or simply visit the library and pick some of your own for the day. Encourage them to be creative and design something all of their own. Independence, leadership, creativity, and imagination are great skills for children to learn. Have fun with it and just let them go!
I talked about how excited my little guy was to get his hand painted and then get to sit on the side of the sink and wash his hands off. So I just had to show you the adorable picture I took of him in the middle of his excitement. My kids really love doing all sorts of crafts.
Being in the house with the kids all day doesn't have to be boring, and it doesn't have to be a heart attack either. Get them involved in something they love (and keep in mind that practice with anything makes perfect and they'll stop being quite so messy) and you've got hours of fun on your hands with very little effort on your part.
My kids frequently go into a cheap dresser I purchased just to store all of their craft supplies and pull out supplies for fun ideas that they have. My kids have made some of the wildest things, with seemingly no direction at all. But they sure are proud to complete the work and get it hung on the wall. Even my 1 year old loves the accomplishment of painting successfully, or using a marker to make a picture on the paper or white board without assistance.
Your kids are yearning for time with you, creative ways to express themselves, and a way to show you how much they care. What a perfect opportunity this is, being the holiday of love, to show them what it really means to express your love for someone. And give others the opportunity to dote over their work as they pass out their hard won accomplishments as gifts to others. This will be a great experience for your whole family.
© 2019 Victoria Van Ness
Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on February 12, 2019:
Thank you! We have a lot of fun together.
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on February 11, 2019:
All creative and great fun ideas, loved them all. Thank you for sharing.