Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids of All Ages

Another month brings another holiday, and Valentine’s day can be particularly tricky with kids. If your kids are in school, they might be expected to bring in valentines for their classmates; older kids might be venturing into their first real experience of Valentine’s Day romance; and, let’s face it, anything that can keep a toddler busy for a few minutes is worthwhile. If it happens to be thematically appropriate, so much the better!

Here are some ideas for crafts for kids of all ages to help get everyone into the Valentine’s Day spirit!

  • Babies and toddlers – painted hearts: keeping it simple for the littles, all you need for this craft is paper and nontoxic paint. Let your little one paint to his or her heart’s content, or until the mess exceeds your pain threshold. Once the painting has dried, cut out heart shapes (or have your bigger kids help with cutting), and address them to your child’s favorite grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Your child’s personal touch makes this an extra sweet project.

  • Preschoolers – love necklaces/bracelets: For the 3- and 4-year-old crowd, strengthen hands and improve manual dexterity (which will help when we get to the elementary school craft!) while teaching a lesson about love. You’ll need pipe cleaners or shoelaces, alphabet beads (make sure you get the kind with big holes), a piece of paper, and a pen. Ask your child, “who is someone you love, and what do you love about them?” Write the person’s name on the paper, and let your child use that as a guide to put the correct letters onto the shoelace or pipe cleaner. Then write the reason your child gave for picking that person, and give both the bracelet (if using pipe cleaners) or necklace (if using shoelaces) and the paper to the object of your child’s affection.

  • Kindergarten – fishbowl valentines: I love these homemade valentines for the kindergarten set; not only can kids do 90% of this craft on their own, but its also more friendly and less romance-y; some of the pre-made ones are just a little too adult for my tastes. You’ll need card stock or oaktag, blue paint, sandwich bags, tape, fish-shaped crackers, kid scissors, and a marker. Draw the shape of a fishbowl on the card stock, and ask your child to paint it blue for the water – watercolor paints work great for this. Then have your child cut out the fishbowl shape. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Put some fish crackers in a bag, and have your kid tape the bag to the bowl shape. Then, write your preferred pun-filled message (I like, “I’m glad you’re in my school”).

  • Elementary school – name poems: Okay, this might not exactly constitute a “craft,” but it’s a great way to encourage kids to practice writing! You’ll need lined paper and your child’s preferred writing implement. Ask your child who their best friend is, and have them write that friend’s name vertically down the side of the page. Then, explain that they can come up with a word or phrase that describes their friend starting with each letter at the beginning of the line. Want to craft it up? Have your child draw a portrait of their friend to go along with their poem!

  • Middle school – friendship bracelets: I’m revealing myself as a child of the 80′s here, but I really loved making friendship bracelets when I was a kid. All you need is embroidery thread or twine, and once your child knows the basic knots, there is no end to the number of variations that can be made. Plus you have an excuse to make one yourself! If bracelets aren’t your kid’s thing, you can slap a key ring or a clip onto it to make a keychain or lanyard instead.

  • High school – bring back the mix tape: I know, I know – first you thought, “come on, high school kids don’t craft,” then you thought, “seriously? No one even owns a cassette player.” Then you thought, “anyway, a mix tape isn’t a craft!” So modernize it. Get your kid a thumb drive (something small so they really have to think about what they include) and a blank card. Or, if you’re feeling extra fancy, check out Your kid picks the MP3s, writes the playlist, and creates the art, then gives their creation to the lucky recipient of their choice. If you play your cards right, it might even be you!

Do you have an idea for a crafty Valentine? How about a craft gone dreadfully wrong? Any better ideas for crafty teens? Share your story in the comments!

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