It's true. Out of 2o children, mine was the only one who gave handmade valentines. Every other card featured a licensed character.
Let me tell you how naive I was. I actually thought that handmade valentines were a given. The whole sloppy heart with paper dollie lace, some ribbons and sparkles made with love is so intergrated with v-day in my mind that I hardly entertained the notion that people actually buy those boxes of heavy paper printed with cartoon characters I see in the shops.
Apparently, my daughter is a freak because I am a freak.
But why, why, would anyone miss the opportunity for their children to engage in a little creative project? Creativity is so very good for the brain, and there are oodles of ways for the littliest ones to develop their fine motor skills. The best of all is that all an adult has to do is provide some paper, odds and ends from around the house like ribbons, bits of lace, or what have you from the craft stockpile (we all have them), and let the kids go. It's just so easy!
Tomorrow I will be sending my daughter off with this year's crop of handmade valentines.
Over the past week Smootch has been learning about stencils, how to make and trace them. She did all the cutting of scrap booking paper we received for Christmas. She poured white glue into a little container, and applied the glue with a toothpick. All sorts of valuable fine motor skill development.
Smootch also did the creative design. My idea was that she was going to make a layered heart collage, but Smootch always has her own opinion. Each card is it's own body of love, with a heart 'crown', a main heart in the middle of the body, and then added some flowers from a broken dollar store lei Smootch received at a birthday party for feet.
Smootch also made a special butterfly valentine for her teachers. While she was cutting and gluing the valentines, she also spoke about her teachers and classmates, which gave her a chance to articulate her feelings about them as individuals and also provided me with some insight about what happens to my girl when she goes to school.
Absolutely invaluable experience.
Now, here comes the tutorial. Ready?
To help your children develop and hone valuable skills including, but not exclusively:
fine motor skills
let them make valentines to give their classmates and loved ones.
1. put out paper, cut hearts, stencils, pens, crayons, and other crafts supplies
2. let children cut, glue, draw, and tie to their hearts content (stay out of the way)
3. while crafting, talk about the children's classmates, friends, and family
4. have children give valentines their their intended recipients
It's love magic!
Happy valentines day all!