Tired of store-bought Valentine’s Day cards? Looking for a simple and creative project that you can do together? Want your child to give out the most talked about Valentine’s gifts in the class? We’ve got you covered with cards and treats!
HEARTS OF EVERY SHAPE AND SIZE
First, the good news: Even the creatively-challenged can make great Valentine's cards. We promise! Your kids can draw, paint, cut and paste, make stamps, or combine any of these to create custom-made cards. And remember, hearts can come in any color, so let your kids choose their favorite colors of paper, crayons, markers, or paint - there's no need to limit their creativity to just red or pink.
Construction paper is the go-to when it comes to cutting out hearts. For a creative twist, use paper with various patterns/designs or have your child design their own with markers or watercolors on plain white paper. Make sure to cut various sizes and use the larger ones as the card. If the card is a dark color or has a busy design, select a lightly colored heart to glue into the writing space. On the rest of the card, give your child the creative freedom to glue small hearts or draw wherever they'd like.
MAKE YOUR OWN STAMPS
DIY heart stamps are a fun addition to homemade cards, and you can make them with empty toilet paper rolls, clean sponges, or wine corks. You can make a variety of hearts (one for each color of paint) by shaping toilet paper rolls into hearts. Depending on your child's age and ability, they may be able to help make hearts out of sponges - remember to draw a heart on the sponge before cutting to avoid mistakes. For wine corks, this is an adult task as it involves an X-ACTO knife. First, draw the heart on the top (clean) side of the cork and then carve out the excess cork around the heart, removing a thin layer so the heart sticks out. To use your stamps, pour small amounts of paint into bowls, lightly dip your stamp in the paint, and press it firmly on the paper.
FOR KIDS WHO DON’T WANT TO MAKE HEARTS
If your child isn't into hearts, especially when it comes to making cards for the opposite gender, tracing their hand onto construction or patterned paper is a great alternative. Fold fingers into a peace sign or the "I love you" sign and let their creativity flow as they create messages that correspond with the sign. You can make stamps with stars, X's and O's, or other shapes out of toilet paper rolls, sponges, and wine corks, using the instructions offered above.
ADD A CHOCOLATE-DIPPED TREAT
For a sweet treat to pair with the cards, have a little fun dipping snacks in chocolate! We recommend using melting chocolate in your favorite flavor(s) as regular chocolate is more difficult to melt.
- Before you begin melting, add a very small amount of vegetable oil (approximately one teaspoon per one cup of chocolate) to prevent the melted chocolate from hardening before you’ve finished dipping.
- Then, melt the chocolate in either a double boiler or the microwave set at 50 percent, stirring frequently. (If using a microwave, check at least every 30 seconds to make sure you do not overcook the chocolate.)
- Once your chocolate has fully melted, dip your food into the chocolate, sprinkle on your topping, and set it on wax paper to cool and harden.
Anything goes when it comes to snacks for dipping and toppings for decoration. Chocolate-covered strawberries are always a crowd favorite, and kids will also enjoy chocolate-covered marshmallows on a stick. If your child loves the combination of sweet and salty, dip pretzels or popcorn into chocolate. Baked or store-bought cookies (especially those that are heart-shaped) are also delicious when dipped in chocolate. When it comes to toppings, try crushed candy canes, any sort of sprinkles, or simply drizzle another color of melted chocolate on top.
P.S. - Don't worry about perfection. Homemade cards and treats are always extra special.