Sunday, 30 December 2012

Hearts for Valentine's Day - Crafts, activities and resources

Most crafts and activities for Valentine's Day involve hearts, preferably nice big red ones, on cards and gifts to send to your sweetheart. On Valentine's Day it is traditional for lovers to express their love by sending cards, flowers or chocolates. These days Valentine's Day cards and gifts are not limited to just a sweetheart, and are also sent between friends and family members. Valentine's Day is a day to express your affection for others, and there are lots of simple crafts and activities that children can do, both to enjoy the day itself and to make lasting keepsakes.

Heart crafts

A simple craft to do with toddlers which makes a lovely gift is a tissue paper collage photo frame. Just use a simple frame cut from cardboard and give your toddler lots of scraps of paper to decorate.

You can buy blank wooden hearts very cheaply, and we used some with magnets on the back to make decorated wooden heart magnets. Really easy for toddlers, and older children will enjoy coming up with more complex designs and patterns.

You can make some really simple heart collage bunting - just cut out some large hearts from red and pink paper and put out a selection of collage materials in suitable colours. Aim for a range of sizes and textures, then let your toddler loose with glue to decorate them before stringing them up.

These heart sun catchers are made using clear sticky backed plastic and scraps of tissue paper. Really easy for even the youngest toddlers to make and they look lovely on the window as a Valentine's Day decoration.

Even young toddlers can make some collage hearts to send as Valentine's Day cards - just cut a heart shape from red paper and give them lots of things to stick on - scraps of coloured paper, stickers, bits of ribbon or lace, buttons, sequins...

I also love these crayon hearts, made from old crayons. A really unusual gift! They'd make great gifts for classmates or as party favours.

Heart activities

Make a simple heart Tic Tac Toe game - perfect to play on Valentine's Day!

Use hearts to help your child think about the things in their life that they love and appreciate. Cut out lots of heart shapes from coloured paper and help them come up with things to write in each heart. You could hang these up somewhere in your home to help you remember the things that are important to you.

I'm a big fan of Twinkl teaching resources and they have some lovely Valentine's Day crafts and activities to print, many of them free. For example these lovely Patterned Hearts Colouring Sheets or these Valentine's Day Colouring Pages. You could use the finished creations to make Valentine's Day cards or messages for friends and family, or use them to decorate the house.

Do some baking - use heart shaped cookie cutters to make biscuits and decorate them, perhaps with some heart sprinkles.

Use heart cutters to cut out hearts from play dough and decorate them. If you want to make your own play dough, I love this Valentine's Play Dough recipe with sparkles.

Heart books

Hearts and Stars - Babies and young children can recognise contrast from a very early age - my baby loved this book when he was just a few months old!

The Shape of My Heart - Lots of shapes for children to spot, a great book to share together with your child.

The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart - A heartwarming story for older toddlers.

The Queen of Hearts - A traditional story, told in a way that makes it perfect for young children.

Heart toys

Happy Hearts Wooden Beads - Older toddlers love making strings and necklaces and these durable wooden beads are beautifully decorated.

Decorate-Your-Own Heart Chest - This little heart shaped box would make an ideal home for treasures or a gift for a special person, even a younger child would enjoy making this.

Heart Buttons - For all sorts of heart and Valentine related crafting.

Big Hug Heart Cushion - Who could resist a hug from this comfy cushion!

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