Valentine Crafting with Kids
Today, April provides fodder for weekend Valentine crafting:
Valentine's Day is a craft gold mine. You could make anything, decorate it in pink and red hearts - and maybe some paper doilies - and you've got instant love-gushing goodies. The extra bonus is that imperfection is just fine. No one cares about showing glue or crooked edges, which makes it ideal for playing with techniques that might be new to your kids.
My daughter is just 22-months-old and is just beginning to reach out beyond crayons, markers, and play dough. She doesn't truly understand glue sticks or scissors yet, and she doesn't really follow specific directions. But that doesn't stop her curiosity and love of exploring...and that's the fun part of crafts for her right now. At her age, crafts with a grown-up are more than half adult-led demonstration. She gets as much out of observation as she does from doing things, so roll up your sleeves, cover your child's hands with your own, and guide them in brushing or gluing or painting if they don't see exactly what to do. They will mimic your actions, so let them repeat something you've done. If you fold a piece of paper, give it to your child and let them "make sure" it's really folded by imitating your hands pressing the crease flat. If they get frustrated, let your kids just sit and keep you company, watching and helping by handing you things like pencils or glue.
This Valentine craft works on these important skills: cutting, folding, and putting glue just where it goes (and not everywhere else). It also makes use of some great bits and scribbles from past crafts and colorings.
For this valentine, you need:
- 8 1/2" x 11" red paper (10 sheets text weight; I got mine at Paper Source)
- Matching 4-bar (RSVP size) red envelopes (10 pack; via Paper Source)
- Glue stick (the purple kind works well for kids because they can see the glue)
- Cute heart things and little bits of scribbles and colorings from your favorite minor artist.
- Lay the paper in front of you horizontally.
- Fold the paper up 1 1/2 inches from the bottom edge. Crease well.
- Fold up again 2 inches above the folded edge. There should be 5 inches left to the top edge of the paper.
- Fold the paper in thirds, left-to-right. First fold in the right side, then fold the left side so it's on top. You have a tri-fold card with little pockets at the bottom.
- With scissors, trim the left and right edges of the pockets, both layers. Make a triangle cut starting 1/2 inch in on the folded edge, tapering down to the bottom corner on each side. This cut means the pocket edges won't stick out when the card is folded up.
- Glue a heart or trinket to the cover of your card.
- Fill the three pockets with little tokens. Some you can buy, but you can also help your child cut hearts out of some extra scribbles that are being retired from the fridge door.”