Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine Gifts From the Heart

For someone special for Valentine’s Day, involve your child in a craft to make the holiday extra-special! The little ones always make a hit with hand-print art – if you position two hand prints on a page so the heel of the hands are on top of each other and the fingers of each hand are together but pointed  up and out (in the direction of 2:00 and 10:00 on a clock!), you will have a heart shape! Use washable paint on paper and let dry before “signing” and cutting paper to define the heart even better.
If you want something more permanent, do the same formation but use a plain white 4” square tile (hardware stores usually sell these stock items by the case or singly) and craft paint. Practice on paper first, so you fine-tune the amount of paint, etc.  When dry, “sign” or decorate with a permanent marker, and seal with a coat or two of Mod-Podge (craft store) – it will initially look glazed but will dry clear. I like to glue a square or some strips of felt on the bottom, to avoid scratching any surfaces. (Don’t use washable paint – the mod-podge will smear it when applied – just wash up right away and no paint will stick.)

If your child is a little older, you can choose a craft that will sharpen those small motor skills, as well as reinforce math skills.  You will need chenille sticks (pipe cleaners) and some plastic pony beads – you can use Valentine colors or whatever you choose – and a bit of ribbon (all available at craft stores or in the craft aisle of a bigger discount store). Have your child string beads, in a pattern or in groups of colors or whatever you choose, and leave room at each end for twisting together to close. Shape into a heart and bend the twisted ends into the center of the heart. Finish with another bead or two, secure and tie a loop of ribbon on for hanging on a doorknob, cabinet pull or wherever you choose. Use your leftover supplies to make a bead kit, for use in sorting, counting, sequencing and patterning exercises. You can use them over and over – have fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment