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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Kids Crafts: Hearts and Crossword Valentines

heart valentine hanging decoration

Inspired by the Fabric Hearts Garland, we made a few with paper. We used our home-made Marbled paper and other scrap-booking paper to cut out the hearts. Rather than sewing as in the fabric heart garland project, we stapled the papers together, especially because it can be done by the kids independently. However, sewing the paper hearts would work as well. And tassels are always nice for hanging decorations, so, we added that.

Items Used:
home-made marbled paper, textured paper, or other scrap book paper
yarn or thread
a few beads

hearts valentine hanging decoration

  1. Hearts: Cut out 6 paper hearts. We did identical sizes, not small-to-large gradation of heart sizes.
  2. Tassel: String the beads on a piece of yarn long enough for the bottom tassel part as well as the top loop. Of course, tie the yarn around the first bead or make a knot before stringing all the beads so they stay in place. 
  3. Stack & Staple: Stack up the hearts. Place the beaded yarn in the middle of the stack. Fold it over to form a loop at the top. Tie the free end to the bead at the top of the tassel if preferred. Carefully staple the middle, on a slight bias to hold the yarn in place
  4. Finish: Open out the heart halves to form the decoration
They look dreamy hanging by our window. We went with the marbled paper colors we had, which were muted cool colors. But, bright warm colors - reds and oranges - would be great for this project.

hanging hearts decoration

Considering food allergies her friends have and to limit sugar intake, as well as limit distributing more plastic junk, Ana decided to give a hand-made card with a printed quote on each from her favorite books along with an apple. "An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away" as my dad says...

Hearts and Crossword Valentines

Apple is wrapped up and tied with a piece of yarn, with the card attached. While it would have been nice to write the quotes by hand, it irked her that most of her friends would probably not care for the card and keep it safe, so, she asked me to print it out for her.

Some of the quotes were quite long - especially the ones from The BFG, Matilda, The Witches and The Twits. (Roald Dahl is somewhat of an idol for her, for now - I think it is that he was born in Wales that impressed her.)

The heart shaped cards are cut out from our favorite Lettuce Stamp/Print. And, thanks to the randomness of such things, each print came out unique enough to identify some sort of familiar shape. Our favorite was the Galloping Horse with its flowing mane shown on top of the stack.

lettuce print valentine cards

The little guy is fascinated with crosswords these days. Just the simple ones with super easy clues. Works great for his spelling. The joy he has at finding the spaces where each word fits (thanks to the number clue) is priceless.

I make up a lot of these impromptu crosswords at home for both the kids.

The older child gets themed clues - like Hats Around The World, Different Types Of Trees, Ocean Creatures, Quirky Animals and so on... Clues are straight-forward for her, not cryptic. Like, The fastest flying bird in the world , Slowest mammal in the world, Largest carnivore mammal in the world, Scottish Bonnet, Large Mexican Straw Hat. [Balmoral, Elephant Seal, Peregrine Falcon, Three-toed Sloth, Sombrero]

And typically, we have a bit of R&R session (Reading & Research) before I make up the crossword for her. As this is not an intense quiz-type exercise, I also provide the Word List (Answers) in no particular order below the list of clues. So, she can always refer to it and make the connection...

Anyway, when Og wanted to make little crossword valentines for his friends, I was all for it.

I made up a  very small crossword puzzle with only 4 words for the pre-schoolers and all they have to do is fit those 4 words in the numbered spaces, two of which they'll easily know as it is their own name and Og's name. [Teachers get a slightly more challenging crossword with lots of words to fit in the spaces provided.]

Of course, I also added a favorite quote from the books we've read. And we wrapped it up.

Kids Crossword Valentines

For some reason, both of them love opening packages, anything that is wrapped... and, according to Ana, "I like to wrap it for two reasons, Mama. First, it will be a surprise, they can't easily guess what's inside. Second, I won't be so embarrassed about what I give as they can't see it right away."

The card itself is decorated with the Lettuce Stamp design we've been doing lately. And, Og had something specific to say to each of his friends, which I duly wrote down as he dictated. And, he added his own words as well, in his own handwriting, which is not easy to decipher.

valentine hearts crossword kids lettuce print

The crossword for Ana was fun to make up with Og - we just called out a few typical words surrounding this celebration and there you have it. Ana gets only a few numbered clues, but the puzzle itself is quite easy to complete anyway, so, it's all in good fun. The cards for his school friends are very much like this in format.

valentine crossword easy card kids lettuce stamp

This year, we did end up using the printer a lot more for the cards, but a lot of thought and effort went into making these cards and I think the kids were quite happy to do that.

As they get older and become more selective about friends and celebrations and commemorations, we may not be doing Valentine-specific cards, and that's okay too.

Valentine's Day itself has been pretty uneventful in my life until kids came along and were offered a special day to celebrate friendship. I've run through the usual arguments in my mind about commercialization of "made-up" holidays and have been on both sides of the issue at different points in my .life. However, at this time, I am neutral about all this and am willing to let the children's interests guide me. If they are happy making crafts/cards and sharing it with friends, great. If not, no worries.

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At 10:25 AM, Blogger Dee said...

Can't wait to do this with D and the crossword - definitely doing it for K next time!! thanks for the inspiration Sheela :)
Ana's signature is so mature looking :)

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

Thanks, Dee!


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