Valentine’s Day isn’t just for grownups anymore. As soon as your child gets to kindergarten or first grade, he or she will be making Valentine’s Day crafts and treats. If you have an older child, who’s been brining home Valentine’s Day “stuff” from school, your toddler or preschooler may be asking to make some crafts with you as well. Even if you don’t have an older child, making these cute crafts and treats with your little one is a lot of fun and a great way to spend quality time together on a cold afternoon.
The easiest thing to do is to make some Valentine’s Day cards together. Your child can give these to parents, grandparents and close friends. Start with some red or pink construction paper. Fold each sheet in half to make a card shape. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to let your child trace a heart shape on the card. Or trace it on a different sheet of construction paper and help your preschooler cut it out. He can then glue it on the card. Let him decorate the card with crayons, markers, stickers, glitter and any other crafting supplies you have laying around the house. Ask him what he would like you to write on the inside of the card, then let him deliver his special Valentine’s Day card, or mail it to distant relatives.
An easy treat to make for this special day is heart shaped sugar cookies. Make a batch of your favorite sugar cookie dough, or pick up some pre-made dough at the grocery store. Roll it out and let your child cut out heart shapes with a cookie cutter. Bake the cookies according to directions. Mix some powdered sugar with a little milk. Add a few drops of red food coloring to turn this icing glue pink. Give your child a spoon or pastry brush and let him brush it over the cooled sugar cookies. Then let him add sprinkles and small candies to decorate these special heart-shaped cookies.
The two of you will also have fun decorating the house for Valentine’s Day. Make a garland out of construction paper hearts and hang it over the door. You can also make a simple wreath by cutting large heart shapes out of pink and red construction paper. Cut them out and arrange them around the outer ring of a paper plate. Write “Happy Valentine’s Day” on the inside of the plate and your wreath is done.
If your child wants to make treat bags for a few special friends, here’s an idea. Cut two matching heart shapes out of thick cardboard or card stock. Use a hole punch to make holes around the bottom part of each heart. Line up the hearts and then use some red thread or ribbon to sew the two heart shapes together. Don’t add any holes to the top part of the hearts. This will be the opening of the bag. You can add a long piece of string toward the top to make a handle. Let your child add a few pieces of candy to each heart shaped bag before giving them away.