Confession Time: I laughed a bit when I saw this topic assigned to me. I am not the crafty type. Give me a hammer and some 2×4’s, and I can whip you up a beautiful bed frame. But ask me to do something a little more on the artistic side, and I feel a little lost. Thankfully, my wife is the complete opposite – she feels at home with yarn, a sewing machine, scraps of fabric, and more buttons than one person can ever truly need. Even better, she applies this gift to most holidays, including Valentine’s Day, and she’s made me many a craft over the years Today, you can benefit from her knowledge and my way with words to learn about crafts for your family this Valentine’s Day.
1) Homemade Crayons
Last year, we were invited to a Valentine’s Day party for children. Our two-year old was expected to bring a gift for all the other toddlers. We subscribe to the belief that our toddler is quite excitable enough without the addition of candy and chocolate, so we wanted a gift that fit with that sensibility. Suddenly, there were all kinds of silicone-shaped Valentine’s Day molds in our kitchen – hearts, flowers, kisses – and crayons of the rainbow took over the kitchen table.
Turns out you can make homemade crayons yourself! Just break crayons into the molds, re-melt them (200F for about 10-15 minutes), and create new crayons in festive shapes. We put multiple colors in each mold to create multi-colored heart-shaped crayons. Children can easily help break the crayons and choose the colors for each crayon. These were quite the hit at the party and our son still plays with the leftovers a year later.
2) Family Thumbprints
I am rather fond of puns and wordplay, so I love the idea by www.simplykierste.com to make a “Thumbody Loves You” Card using family thumbprints. This is a simple idea you can easily add your own spin to – and with increasing difficulty, depending upon how old your children are. These would be a fabulous gift for grandparents on the 14th, a time to pay them back a little for all the spoiling they do the other 364 days of the year.
3) Homemade Valentines
Staying on the wordplay theme, www.733blog.com has a great “Bee Mine” Valentine using a lollipop and some cardstock to create your own love buzz. These can be decorated any way you please, so let the kids bring out the glue, ribbon, crayons, and even the glitter if you dare. You can create a whole insect army with relative ease.
4) Homemade Play Dough
If you want a craft that keeps the kids entertained long after it is made, how about some Chocolate Play Dough? At www.heidisrecipes.com, you’ll find a great recipe for a dough that smells good enough to eat! After all, you cannot really have Valentine’s Day without chocolate. This recipe would be wonderful for big kids to help with, and it will keep the smaller ones entertained for hours afterwards (though I still have a weakness for play dough in my mid-30’s).
Hopefully, I have inspired you to get a little creative this Valentine’s Day. Even more, you don’t have to go it alone, as there are plenty ways the kids can help with these projects too. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go finger-paint my next masterpiece!