Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Valentine Project Ideas

I thought I'd throw out a list of ideas to get you started thinking about projects for Valentine's Day. We'd often start these projects the last week in January and continue right up to the big day. Spread the love around and enjoy!!

Homemade Cards
How can you miss with a handmade card? I would make sure we had enough paper, doilies, special stickers, ribbons, buttons, glue sticks, glitter, etc. on hand. We'd get our tub of supplies out and go to it. Writing our own personal messages and poetry. Fun to make, fun to give and a cherished memento for the recipient.

Many Hearts Wreath
We'd often make a wreath for special occasions or celebrations. A wreath base was often a paper plate with the inside area cut out or a ring cut from recycled cardboard. Cut out hearts and embellishments are added to the wreath base. Add ribbon and personal wishes to brighten any door or entry area. We also would make a special wreath for mom and dad by tracing the children's hands from pink, white and red paper. They would write a personal message or poem and decorate. These are sweet!

Paper Bouquet
A bouquet of paper flowers is a nice day brightener! Whether the flowers are simple paper cutouts attached to a pipe cleaner stem or an intricate tissue paper bloom they are sure to bring a bright spot to anyone. Gather several flowers to place in a vase or place them into a styrofoam base inside a decorated pot. This project has all kinds of possibilities and works well for many abilities. Add embellishments to bring depth and interest to the flowers.

Valentine Tic Tac Toe
If you read our homemade game article, you'll recall that making your own Tic-Tac-Toe game is easy and fun. You can use candy hearts or make special Valentine markers for your game.

Heart Suncatchers
We also did an article about making suncatchers. For valentines we used the versatile clear contact paper, heart shaped cut outs, stickers and glitter to create decorations for our windows during this season.

Valentine Card Holders
I remember each year at school creating a card holder either out of a box (great recycling project) or a medium sized bag. We started this tradition even before the children had any school experiences and because we home schooled for years I kept this one going. Each child decorated their box or bag as they saw fit, making sure we had a large opening for all sized cards and treats that might be deposited for Valentine's Day. We'd place their finished card holder on the mantle. They were always thrilled that their holder was filled with cards, messages, small treats and games or toys on Valentine's day. And they were very "sneaky" about making sure that a personal card was dropped in their sibling's card holder. Of course, I had to make one too - - - you know I love to join in the fun!

Valentine Coupon Book
A great gift for parents, grandparents or other family members, a Valentine Coupon Book was a personal creation that had coupons for all types of things that the children could do for the recipient including hugs, help with chores, volunteer with a special project, etc. They liked to use the computer to create their coupons and then assemble them with a special homemade cover.

Homemade Cookie Valentine
Using our favorite cookie recipe we'd simply make cookies in a heart shape and present them in a special Valentine bag or box - hand decorated of course. If we knew that the recipient loved a certain type of cookie we'd make that type. Also, we liked to make giant sized cookies with special decorations and message written right on the cookie with icing. If you attempt the giant cookie you'll need to adjust your baking time accordingly.

Lollipop Flower Valentine
This is a sweet treat for a friend or family member . . . and we made these for classroom valentines a few times as well. You'll need Tootsie Pops or another type of lollipop, craft weight paper - construction or card stock paper works best, scissors, markers, tape and a glue stick. Cut out a large flower shape from the paper, glue on a leaf shape to the bottom side of the flower, insert the pop through the center of the flower. We put our valentine message on the leaf with marker or use a piece of wide ribbon as the leaf. Add details to the flower with a marker. The pop becomes the center of the flower. To keep the flower attached to the pop for presentation we used a little tape to secure it.

Valentine Treasure Hunt
This is a game we play on special occasions and adjust it to match the theme. For Valentine's Day I wrote clues on hearts or colored paper. Children were off to searching for those hearts through out the house until they reached a special treasure. This was a game that included everyone and cooperation from all three siblings were needed to reach their goal. My game rule is that everyone must get to each clue together and the treasure is opened when all were present. If I said to them "we're going on a treasure hunt today" they were super excited! It was as much about the process of searching and cracking the clues as it was about the treasure itself.

Do you have some Valentine projects to share? Please post a comment so everyone can enjoy!

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