Crafty ideas to do with your child this Valentine’s Day

| February 4, 2016

COSHOCTON – For Valentine’s Day this year, instead of buying cards for all of your loved ones, get the kids involved and have them hand-make their very own Valentine’s Day card for friends and family. Robin Hire, art teacher at Ridgewood Elementary, suggests taking a sterilized Styrofoam meat tray and have your child draw a design in the Styrofoam with a pen or pencil, pressing down so that it makes an indentation in the tray. Add paint to the indentation and then place a folded piece of paper in the paint and rub the design onto the paper. Repeat as often as necessary to create the perfect Valentine’s Day cards.

“It’s like a miracle,” said Hire. “It’s something magical to them. It is so beautiful and so special. They made it and it’s something they take pride in.”

If the Styrofoam activity is too advanced for your child’s age level, fold a piece of paper in half and let your child draw his or her own creation on the outside of the card with a special message printed on the inside.

“Let them put glitter on their card,” said Hire. “Touches of glitter puts a special magic into their artwork.”

She also suggests adding a personal touch to Valentine’s Day activities by stamping your child’s hand or finger print onto cards or homemade decorations. You can even involve infants in the festivities by stamping their footprint onto a card or decoration.

“Something that represents that child at that moment in their lives is really special,” said Hire.

Make arts and crafts time educational by teaching your child about different shapes and patterns. Angie Mitchell, art teacher at Keene Elementary and Conesville Elementary, suggests cutting a heart into different patterns and shapes and letting the child reassemble the shapes into a heart. She also said that doing arts and crafts with you child gives you the opportunity to teach them about colors.

“It helps with their imagination and allows them to explore possibilities,” said Mitchell. “It encourages creativity and imagination.”

For older kids, you can let them experiment with polymer clay by letting them sculpt their own unique piece of art. Put it on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for a lasting art piece designed by your child.

“They’re tapping into a creative part of their mind and brain I don’t think they get with technology,” said Hire. “You’re tapping into a part of the brain that’s only exercised by creating. I know for me, the creative process develops my confidence and helps me to communicate with others.”

If your child loves to draw, Mitchell suggests teaching them how to draw simple roses. She said there are online tutorials for kids on how to draw roses.

“It’s so much fun because they think they can’t do it, but they can,” said Mitchell.

Painting is always fun for older kids. Hire suggests adding a pinch of salt to watercolor paints to create a starburst effect.

For older kids, Mitchell suggests creating a heart-shaped dream catcher using wire and yarn or letting your child play with paper mache. Of course, Valentine’s Day boxes are always popular.

“These things become keepsakes,” said Hire. “It’s something that parents still display every year. If it’s something a child has made with his own ability, that’s what’s valuable. When mom or dad or grandma or grandpa receive this item that the child has made, that’s what makes it precious.”

Not only is Valentine’s Day a good chance to introduce various arts and crafts to your kids, but Kristie Henderson, marketing manager at Local Bounty, suggests getting them involved in the kitchen as well.

“Let them be hands-on,” she said. “Once you get the child involved, it’s going to keep their interest just like anything else.”

One fun way you can invite your child to participate in the kitchen is to let your child dip fruits into dark chocolate.

“This is the perfect time to bring in something healthy and introduce dark chocolate to your kids,” said Henderson. “Recently, I taught a class where the kids in the beginning didn’t like any fruit and the only chocolate they liked was milk chocolate.”

Whether you incorporate arts and crafts or cooking in the kitchen this Valentine’s Day, the important thing is to spend quality time with your children doing something you both love to do.

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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