Valentine’s Day is often labeled a grossly commercial holiday—though I’ve always argued that it’s no worse than Christmas in that sense—but it’s actually a great time for teaching and craft-making with those you love. Here are a few very simple yet fun crafts to make with your favorite preschooler this Valentine’s Day.
Lace Hearts 1: These are literally hearts with lace on them. You can buy heart-shaped paper doilies for this purpose, or some real glittery lace at the craft store. Help your preschooler cut out hearts from red or pink construction paper—show him or her the “secret” way of folding a piece of paper in half to cut out a heart, or if that’s too difficult, simply draw a few for him or her to cut out. Then either glue the paper doily on the front of the heart so the color shows through, or line the edges with the ribbon or lace. Ta da—instant Valentines!
Make a Valentine Advent calendar.
Lace Hearts 2: After cutting out a few hearts, provide your young one with a single punch hole puncher and show him or her how to punch holes throughout the heart. Once the heart has plenty of holes, give him or her a piece of yarn to lace through them for a Valentine fine motor activity.
Potato Prints: Cut a potato in half, shaping one end into a heart. Dip it in red paint or ink and make heart prints all over cards, gift wrap, or decorations.
Pencil Hearts: Instead of purchasing some cardboard Valentines for your child’s class, buy some pencils. Then have your child make some hearts, decorate them with each child in his or her class’s name with glitter or markers, and punch the pencils through the hearts for a thoughtful, personalized gift.
Valentine Tree: Either use a real tree you have inside or make one out of paper. Next, make plenty of small hearts to fill with writing that will hang on the tree. In each heart, have your child dictate what to write about what love is. For example, he might say, “Love is feeding my cat.” Hang them all on the tree for a festive, meaningful decoration.
Valentine Mailboxes: Make a mailbox for each family member out of a manila envelope, small box, or other container and encourage everyone to make Valentines for one another—the more personal the better!—until Valentine’s Day.