Valentine’s Day always conjures up images of romantic couples enjoying candlelit dinners and receiving delicious gifts of candy and heart-shaped chocolate. It’s a special day for lovebirds to express their deep feelings of appreciation for one another.
But adults aren’t the only ones who can enjoy this day dedicated to love. Our little ones adore this mushy holiday and look forward to exchanging Valentine’s Day cards and sweet treats with their friends and family.
But before you go out and buy a standard pack of Valentine’s Day cards and a package of lollipops at the store, why not try these nine homemade crafts/activities you and your children can work on together. After all, as tasty as it is, Valentine’s Day can be more exciting than just handing out some store-bought sweets to your children’s classmates.
For younger children struggling with fine motor skills, what better way is there to get some extra practise in than by sitting down and putting their creativity to work? Cutting out shapes, drawing hearts, and colouring in the lines will all help strengthen their fine motor skills in a fun way.
And for that budding culinary genius, some of the easy and fun treats we’ve compiled will give your child a great introduction to the kitchen.
Above all, your kids will be sure to enjoy the extra time with you. And the expressions on their family and friends’ faces when they share their special creations will be the best part of all. One thing is for sure -- they’ll be guaranteed to have the coolest Valentines in the class.
9 Anything-Goes Homemade Party Invitations
What better way is there to celebrate the L-word than by throwing a Valentine’s Day party? Get your little ones involved by helping you create homemade party invitations. This works well for very young children. After filling in the necessary party information on coloured construction paper, you can arm your little one with glitter, flowers, candied hearts, and heart stickers. Allow him/her to decorate each card freely. Let the creativity flow.
Don’t Stop There
Let your children help decorate the envelopes for the invitations as well. After you have added stamps and the essential address information, they can have fun adding their own unique finishing touches. Just make sure their art does not cover up important details on both the card and the envelope. Even though love is crazy, let’s not get carried away.
8 Valentine’s Day Snow Globes
These unique creations will be appreciated by everyone on your child’s Valentine’s Day list. What a wonderful way to blend the beauty of love and snow in wintertime.
- An empty clear jar (olives, baby food jar, etc.)
- Red pipe cleaners
- Craft glue
- Floral foam in thin brick size
- Glitter (any colour)
- 1.Glue the floral foam to the jar’s lid and set aside.
- 2.Create heart-shaped designs out of pipe cleaners. Once you are finished, stick into the foam strip.
- 3.Fill the jar almost to the top with water
- 4.Add glitter
- 5.Put the lid on the jar and shake it all up
Here are some examples and even more DIY love-expressing projects.
7 Macaroni Hearts
Who said pasta was just for eating (us, probably, when our little spitfires were tossing and smashing the noodles we prepared)? Uncooked pasta can make a great arts and crafts project. And whatever pasta is left over can be used to cook up a tasty meal afterwards.
- Red or pink construction paper
- Craft glue
- Uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1.With crayons, draw a large heart on a piece of construction paper.
- 2.Spread glue along the edges and the inside of the heart.
- 3.Press elbow macaroni down firmly in heart, until it is completely filled.
- 4.Complete the project by helping your child write “Happy Valentine’s Day” at the top or bottom of the heart.
Use buttons in assorted sizes and colours for a fun alternative to macaroni. Or, use assorted pasta for an extra unique look.
6 Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
If you have a child who loves to explore in the kitchen, this is a great two-ingredient treat for them to try their hand at. Remember to always supervise a child when in the kitchen.
- 4 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 pound of strawberries
- Wax paper
- 1.Coarsely chop the chocolate and wash and dry the strawberries.
- 2.Melt the chocolate by placing it in a glass bowl and microwaving in 30-second intervals, until melted and smooth.
- 3.Hold each strawberry by the stem end and dip into the chocolate mixture. Let the excess chocolate run off.
- 4.Transfer the berries onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
- 5.Chill the strawberries in the refrigerator until the chocolate has hardened.
If you’re not a fan of strawberries, you can try experimenting with other fruit. Bananas are a good alternative. You will have to peel them and increase the amount of chocolate you use by 3 to 4 oz.
5 Blooming Cupcake Liners
We won’t lie, this craft takes a bit more effort, but the end result is well worth it. Older kids may be able to manage this better on their own, but the little ones will need more guidance. This is a nice alternative to sweet treats – a traditional hallmark of Valentine’s Day.
- Cupcake liners in assorted colours
- Green pipe cleaners
- Craft glue
- Craft knife
- 1.Pile 6 cupcake liners on top of one another.
- 2.Poke a hole through the center of the stack.
- 3.Take one pipe cleaner and dab hot glue to one end. Secure one liner to this glue. Set aside.
- 4.Scrunch the liner closed to resemble a flower bud.
- 5.Repeat Step 2 with additional liners, sliding onto the same pipe cleaner, securing with glue, and scrunching together.
- 6.Wrap the pipe cleaner around the base of the bloom. Bend the pipe cleaner to create the shape of a leaf.
4 Valentine’s Cup Stickers
Your kids will love making these easily personalized cups for their friends to enjoy their favourite drink in. Or, if you’re throwing a Valentine’s Day party, your little ones will love helping you play hostess.
- Plastic cups
- Designed labels (they can be downloaded online)
- 1.Print off downloaded labels.
- 2.Peel off and decorate plastic cups.
3 Valentine’s Day Caramel Apples
Move over chocolate! Caramel apples are definitely not just for Halloween. These tasty delights will be a hit at any Valentine’s Day party, or as a sweet treat for your children’s classrooms. Remember to always supervise a child when in the kitchen.
- 5 to 6 large apples (any variety will do)
- 1 package of caramels (340 g)
- 3 tbsp. water
- Wooden pop sticks
- 1.Wash and dry each apple.
- 2.Insert a wooden pop stick into the stem of each apple.
- 3.Cook the caramels and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat, until caramels are thoroughly melted. Stir frequently to prevent lumps.
- 4.Dip each apple in the caramel mixture. Spoon extra caramel over the apples so they are well coated.
- 5.Place the apples on a prepared plate and refrigerate for one hour.
- As a tasty alternative, substitute apples for pears.
- Any variety of apple will suffice, but the tartness of Granny Smith apples pairs well with the sweetness of the caramel.
- Add a bit of melted chocolate to the caramel mixture for some extra colour and flavour.
2 Hand-Print Hearts
This easy and fun craft is a real hit among grandparents. For extra measure, put your finished creation in a Manila envelope and send it to your child’s favourite Valentine. You might even get lucky and turn out to be that love-struck recipient!
- White construction paper
- Permanent black marker
- Red watercolour paint
- 2 or 3 chocolate kisses
- Craft glue
- 1.Using a black marker, draw a large heart on white construction paper.
- 2.Pour some red paint into a small bowl and have your children place their hands in the paint.
- 3.Place each child’s wet hand firmly on the construction paper, within the shape of the heart. Make three or four handprints inside the heart.
- 4.Decorate the corner of the paper with chocolate kisses, using glue to secure them.
- 5.Don’t forget to indicate who the Valentine is for at the top of the page.
Instead of chocolate kisses, try gluing clusters of cinnamon candied hearts in each corner of the page.
1 Valentine’s Day Tissue Paper Wreath
This craft is arguably the most involved, requiring parents to do some heavy lifting to make the wreath possible. It is also one of the most rewarding – resulting in the creation of a beautiful wreath and/or quality gift.
- Sturdy cardboard (a pizza delivery box is a good one to use)
- Scissors or box cutter (adult contribution)
- Tissue paper (pink, white and red)
- 1.Cut out a wreath shape from cardboard (this is a task for moms and dads).
- 2.Design “flowers” out of tissue paper by cutting out 8” circles out of red, white, and pink tissue paper.
- 3.Bunch the tissue paper circles up in the middle and twist a little.
- 4.Help your child to safely staple each “flower” to the wreath, until it is covered evenly.
Valentine’s Day can be a fun time for kids. Whether it’s enjoying a Valentine’s Day dance at school, receiving a fluffy stuffed toy, or savouring melt-in-your-mouth chocolates, kids count down the days to this special holiday.
And while it’s just as easy (easier, yes, we know it’s easier) for moms and dads to head to the store and pick out generic Valentine’s Day cards, these fun crafts will help you bond with your children while fostering their creativity and enhancing their fine motor skills. And, let’s face it, doing some after-school crafts means less time in front of the TV and more time with you. Nobody can argue with the benefits of that on today’s youth.