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Valentine’s Day Crafts – After School Art Programs For Home

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By Rachel Wells

A handmade gift is one that will be treasured for a long time. Kids love to create, but you may find yourself wondering how after school art programs and arts and crafts projects at home benefit your child’s development.

Arts and crafts actually help your child’s development in many ways. Some of these benefits include improving fine motor skills, increasing dexterity, improving hand-eye coordination, encouraging self-expression, boosting self-esteem, enhancing decision making skills, and improving memory, all while encouraging innovation and creativity.

Personally, that list of developmental benefits is enough to encourage me find time daily for my kids to craft and create. When Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, it’s a perfect time to move some of the after school art programs home and create homemade treasures and gifts. Whether your child is looking to create special Valentines this year for friends or family, or just make some fun crafts, these simple Valentines craft ideas are sure to be a hit.

Contact Paper Hearts

You will need:

  1. Construction paper
  2. Contact paper
  3. Tape

Cut a piece of construction paper into the shape of a heart. Cut out the inside of the heart to make it like a picture frame. Attach a piece of contact paper to the heart (so that the entire inside of the heart is sticky). Tape the heart to a window with the sticky side facing in towards you. Have your child stick cut up pieces of tissue paper to the contact paper. After the heart it filled, seal it closed by sticking another piece of contact paper to the front of the heart.

Valentine’s Day Crafts for After-school Art Programs or Home

Recycled Heart Painting

For this one, all you need is:

  1. Paper towel tube
  2. Paper
  3. Paint

Bend the end of the paper towel tube to that it is the shape of a heart. On the back end of the tube you can add a paperclip to the top inner point of the heart to help the tube keep its shape (although this is not necessary). Dip the heart shaped end of the tube into paint and use that end to stamp heart shapes onto your paper.

Valentine’s Day Crafts for After-school Art Programs or Home

Valentines Snow Globe

You will need:

  1. Beads or fake snow
  2. Empty glass jar
  3. Pipe cleaners
  4. Hot glue
  5. Glitter

Pour glitter, beads, or fake snow, into an empty glass jar. Fill the jar with water. Twist pipe cleaners into a heart shape and use hot glue to attach the heart to the inside of the jars lid. Screw the lid onto the jar and turn it upside down (so the heart is now right side up) to create a Valentine’s Day snow globe.

Valentine’s Day Crafts for After-school Art Programs or Home

Yarn Heart

You will need:

  1. Pipe cleaner
  2. Yarn

Bend a pipe cleaner into a heart shape. Tie a long piece of yarn to the pipe cleaner (it doesn’t matter where). Wrap the heart from one side to the other with the yarn making sure to go in random directions until you have the heart sufficiently covered. When you are finished wrapping the heart, tie the yarn again to the pipe cleaner so it does not come unwrapped.

Valentine’s Day Crafts for After-school Art Programs or Home

Crystals

You will need:

  1. Craft sticks or wooden skewer
  2. Fishing lines or dental floss
  3. 3+ tablespoons of Borax
  4. 3+ cups of boiling water
  5. Pipe Cleaners
  6. Food coloring

Bend a pipe cleaner into a heart shape. Use a piece of fishing line (or dental floss) to tie and hang the pipe cleaner to a craft stick or wooden skewer. While your child is bending the pipe cleaner, boil water. You will need at least 3 cups of water to make one shape crystal. Once the water is boiling, pour the water into a glass jar. Immediately mix 3 tablespoons of Borax into the water for every cup of hot water (so 9 tablespoons of borax for 3 cups of water).

Mix the borax until it is completely dissolved. Add a few drops of food coloring to the jar. Carefully lower the suspended pipe cleaner into the water, making sure that none of the pipe cleaner is touching the sides or bottom of the jar. Let it sit overnight, and then remove to uncover a crystallized heart.

Valentine’s Day Crafts for After-school Art Programs or Home

Bird Feeder

You will need:

  1. Boiling water
  2. Plain gelatin
  3. Bird seed
  4. Strings

Mix 1 pack of plain gelatin with ¼ cup boiling water until the gelatin powder is completely dissolved. Pour in ¾ cup of bird seed, and mix well, so that all of the gelatin is mixed with seed. Fill seed mixture into molds or cookie cutters – pack the seed very full. Leave them for a few hours to harden. Put a string through the seed with a needle, so it can be hung outside.

Cereal Bird Feeder

String cheerios or other round cereal onto a pipe cleaner. Bend the pipe cleaner into a heart shape. Tie a string to the heart and then attach the heart to a tree branch. You can loop multiple hearts together for an even bigger bird feeder.

Making Your Own After School Art Programs

I hope you find time to try some of these Valentine’s Day crafts at home together after school pick up! Remember that after school art programs as well as arts and crafts time at home, provide many benefits to your child beyond the actual craft(s) created. When working on crafts together, take time to observe your child and see if you can see the ways in which they grow, learn, and explore throughout the process of creating. Remember to have fun and enjoy the special time together!


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