Saturday, January 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Crafts Fit for the Kids

It hardly seems possible that Valentine's Day is right around the corner, but it's true. As the world prepares to explode in reds, pinks, and hearts, you can have fun with your kids and save money by making homemade crafts for the holiday. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Heart-shaped soaps

Soap making is a fun and easy project that you can do at home in just a couple hours. Visit your local craft store for supplies, including soap cubes, molds, and essential oil (optional) to give soap a boost of aromatherapy. Consider including charms (such as small toys) that will come free as soap gets used. You can also add a drop or two of food coloring to make solid-color bars of soap or swirly designs. A toothpick (and patience) is especially helpful for the latter. Melt soap cubes in the microwave, pour into molds, and add fragrance, color and/or toys, and let set. Ease the soaps free once they've cooled and wrap in colorful tissue paper and ribbon for the sweethearts in your life.

Love bug

No, not Herbie! Love bugs are another easy craft. You'll need items you probably already have around the house:

·         Empty toilet paper rolls
·         Glue or Scotch tape (double-sided especially comes in handy)
·         Scissors
·         Markers (crayons, colored pencils, Sharpies, paints, etc.)
·         Construction/colored paper/scrapbook paper

Wrap the roll in the paper of your choice. Experiment with colors. You can try seasonally-appropriate pinks and reds, but consider making love bugs in lime green, blue, or white paper that you decorate before gluing to the roll. Cut out hearts that are around the size of a 3" x 5" card. (You just want them to be a bit bigger than the toilet paper roll.) Turned sideways and glued together, the hearts will form wings. Decorate however you'd like, whether your love bug sports a little glitter, a hand-drawn face, or something else meaningful to you. Finish by making antennae from pipe cleaners. Glue on and you have a simple and adorable craft that kids will enjoy making.

Valentine's Day cards

This standard craft can be made interesting and new if you get creative with your designs. In addition to gluing construction paper hearts on cardstock, try your hand at 3-D designs. You can shape hearts and borders from pipe cleaners and affix them to the front of the card. The same goes with candy hearts (just be careful that little kids understand the hearts shouldn't be eaten after glue is applied), small charms, or photos of yourselves with loved ones. Try cutting shapes from aluminum foil to make cards shiny and reflective without busting your crafting budget. Whatever you create, have fun!

Making Valentine's Day crafts with kids is a lot of fun and a great excuse to get messy for a couple hours. Get out the art supplies and enjoy some heart-shaped cookies while you spend the afternoon creating.

Holly is a wife and stay-at-home mother who blogs on behalf of Sears and other brands she uses and trusts. Her kids love using microwaves to overinflate Peeps and crafts that would otherwise explode if she wasn't standing nearby.

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