There are countless valentines kids can buy but somehow making their own is special. Just use torn paper and glue for these kids easy valentine cards.
Valentine cards often include a play on words or catchy saying. A quick search on Google and Pinterest finds more than a hundred clever ones. For this project, kids can choose, “I go to pieces for you,” or, “I love you to pieces,” or even, “I love you to bits.” All of these use pieces of paper.
What could be easier than tearing paper into little pieces? Round up left-over wrapping paper, tissue paper, and pages from newspapers and magazines. Any kind of paper will do, as long as little hands can rip it. Putting the bits of paper into a small container will keep them from altogether. Little Sister is keen on cutting so tried that, but it was hard to go through all the wrinkles. Ripping still exercises small muscles.
There are many options for creating the cards. You can trace a heart on a large piece of paper and kids can glue within the outline or cut it out and glue the bits on that. The easiest way to spread glue is with a glue stick or paint brush dipped in glue. Kids then stick the pieces on the glue part wherever they want . Some kids will only do a few bits of paper while others will want to cover the whole area and more. The bits can be flat or sticking up. Once dry, adults can print the saying on the card. Leave a space for kids to print their name. Some might need adults to make the lines for them to trace.
Making valentines is a meaningful activity on more than one level. It’s obvious to grown-ups that print tells a message but it isn’t for kids. Valentine cards both say and show the message. In addition to that, giving a valentine to someone is a way to celebrate our connection to each other. Now, that’s a lot of pieces. Do you have other ideas for kids easy valentine cards?
Is making valentine cards with kids a project at your house? At this time of year, often kids have a chance to exchange valentine cards. Creating them is almost as much fun as getting some.
Do you know who thinks up these clever sayings for cards? In previous years we’ve done monsters with googly eyes, “I only have eyes for you,” and dinosaurs, “You are dino-mite.” This year, we’ve seen some ideas for making “Love Bugs.”
To make Love Bug cards, visit a dollar store and find a package of bugs. Each card can be a plain rectangle of any color, or maybe a heart shape. Depending on how many there are to make, instead of cutting them out, look for a heart-shaped pad of sticky notes. Some preschoolers may be able to copy out the letters for Love Bug or adults can print the words on as many papers as needed. Big or little hands can tape a bug to a card. Kids can add their name to the bottom, so friends know who to thank. This may have to be done a few at a time.When kids share cards, they are participating in a new world, that of written communication. What a huge step for them. Some days do you feel overwhelmed with the amount of mail, memos, emails, text messages, and other print material? I certainly do. On the other hand, think of how hard it is when we don’t have access to all this. Valentines are an entry opportunity for young children into messages that are written instead of spoken. That’s worth celebrating!
Some kids may print their name left to right on one card and then backwards on the next one. This is part of the learning process. It sometimes help if we put a green dot on the left side. Green means go and that’s where to start. All the letters may not be in a line, either. Some letters may even be missing but even 1 or 2 are a start. For those kids who go to daycare or preschool, they may be able to recognize names of other kids in the group. That’s a start for reading.
Sharing cards is part of the give-and-take of relationships. Children’s friends may be quite separate from family groups so making valentine cards with kids can be an important way to recognize children’s independence. Will this be a project at your house?
Making cards with kids is almost as much fun as getting valentines; some simple ideas and creativity turn it into a play-of-the-day. These three examples may inspire you and your kids.
This year, a friend’s really big sister used some potatoes in an experiment for a science fair. Her little sister used the left-over potato halves to make some potato print valentines. To make these, cut a notch in potato to make a heart shape. Kids hold the potato and dip it into paint, then stamp onto a card or paper. If the potato is too big for a little hand to grasp, stick a fat popsicle stick into the potato to use as a handle. This looked like so much fun, that the really little one came to check it out. When dry, kids only need add their name.
Here are two other suggestions for cute valentines. Last year, Big Sister made some monsters on cards and we glued on googly eyes. The caption was “I only have eyes for you.” Monsters can have any number of eyes, legs, and arms, and be any color. Scribbling with paint or crayons makes great monsters.
For some dynamite valentines, find some small dinosaurs at the dollar store. Adult hands print “You are dino-mite.” Kids print their name. Attach the dinos with a twist tie poked thru the card or just with tape.
Children start scribbling and making marks on paper (or walls) as early as a year and half old. At this stage though, the interest is the action of their bodies rather than the action of writing. Older toddlers and preschoolers are figuring out how these marks and print have meaning. They need lots of experiences communicating with something in print to understand what the process is about. The long valentine is by a 5 year old who knows print goes in a line and has the letters in his name.
Valentines is a tremendous way for children to be involved in writing and sending messages. Have you some other suggestions for making valentines with kids?
The weekend before Valentine’s Day many young children will be printing their name on Valentine cards to exchange with friends at daycare or preschool. Doing cards helps with kindergarten readiness skills such as practicing writing names, using writing tools, the names of letters, and more. Sometimes, kids write left to right but not always. Preschoolers … Continue reading Cute Valentine Monster Cards→
These days weekends can have more on the to-do list than workdays, but it still seems like there’s more space to relax and have fun. With Valentine’s Day coming on Monday a fun project might be making and creating valentines. It’s also a great way for some kindergarten readiness learning. For toddlers just holding and using crayons … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Making Valentines→