02 February 2008

Valentine hack: Free-form painted hearts

Kittenpie demonstrates that a) toddlers aren't too young to make Valentines, and b) "handmade" doesn't have to equal "fussy."

Last year, I cut up large-ish squares of thick paper, put them two at a time on the easel, and gave my daughter red and purple paint. She splotched them up good (she was 2), had a great time, and then I stamped a rose and a simple to and from message on the back. Handmade, valentines-y, and very simple. But people loved them because they were obviously painted by her!

An even simpler hack would be to take some of the kid art lying around the house (perhaps the stuff destined for the recycling bin) and use THAT as the basis for heart-shaped cards. Same handmade warm fuzzies, less clutter and work!

More: Best of Parent Hacks: Valentine's Day

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I used existing art made by my two girls (ages 3 and 1) to make our valentines. I traced around their hands onto cardstock and used the cardstock handprints as templates to cut out handprints from their own works of art. Then I used a handprint from each girl and laced the fingers to make a heart (like this: http://www.thebestkidsbooksite.com/craftdetails3.cfm?CraftID=1445 ). Then we glued the handprint hearts onto cards for their grandparents and cousins, etc. Cute, plus it incorporates their art and their handprints at this age, which is always a hit with this crowd.

We do the same-ish thing for thank-you cards - I cut small rectangles out of nice typing paper, fold 'em in half, and stick them on my daughter's easel. When she's put enough color on them that they look good to me, I take them off, write a little, mail them, and hope the extreme cuteness makes up for the extreme lateness.

Secret Agent Josephine has a breathtakingly beautiful example of kid art Valentines: http://secret-agent-josephine.com/blog/2008/01/29/little-notes/

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