If you have sponges, scissors, paint, and paper hanging around your house – oh, and toddlers too – this Valentine’s Day craft may be just what your little one needs. Not only is this little craft fun and creative, it also lets your toddler work on tracing, spelling, and letter recognition.
A colorful craft that’s simple, creative, and educational? Keep reading if all of those make your motherly heart melt – or if you just need another way to keep your antsy child busy as Valentine’s Day grows closer.
- Two colors of construction paper
- Colorful, washable paint
- Scissors (for parental use only unless an older child is involved)
- Patience… as always.
STEP 1: Cut Sponges into Hearts
This will be the toughest part of the craft. Cutting sponges is not the most fun or easiest activity for a busy, exhausted parent to do. However, once it’s done, those sponges can be used for any craft from that day forward. Therefore, push yourself to cut some different sized hearts and once it’s done – it’s done! Also, don’t stress about how perfect the hearts come out. If they look heart-shaped, you’ve done your job well.
STEP 2: Create a “Hidden Message”
Write a dotted message for your toddler or child to trace. For example, the above was a simple sentence my twins traced over to practice writing their names and recognizing some sight words. For older children, you could leave spaces in some words so they can fill in the correct letter. You could even have older children create their own secret message that will be revealed at the end of the craft.
STEP 3: Tape Heart Over the “Hidden Message”
Using the other color of construction paper, cut out a heart that will fit over the message your child just worked on. Again, this heart does not have to be perfectly shaped – especially because a lot of paint will be covering the edges of it. Moms, use your effort when cutting the sponges – not the construction paper heart.
STEP 4: Painting Party with Heart-Shaped Sponges
Pour some paint onto a plate and let your little one have a painting party. Remind them to sponge paint on the edge of the big heart in the center of the picture. These prompts may have to happen often and maybe even with some hand-over-hand guidance. This will help promise a heart-shaped frame around the message beneath the construction paper.
Once the paint has dried a little bit, you can slowly peel off the heart-shaped construction paper to reveal the message. You can either tape or glue that construction-paper heart on their painting (as shown above) or save it for another craft as the season of love continues. The craft not only is a reminder of how wonderfully talented your little one is, but of how simple it can be to create an educational and fun craft without having to pay a big buck.
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, mama of twins, and a passionate freelance writer and author. She writes for Moms.com on a regular basis and has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, and In Good Health Newspaper. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings, and caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.
Facebook: Momhood Mayhem