Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2022

Valentine’s day is just around the corner, and for parents with young children, this could be a great opportunity to carve out some quality time and get crafty together! Plus, if you’re trying to limit processed sugar in your family, doing arts and crafts with your kids is a much healthier substitute for the traditional candy hearts that many of us probably remember receiving during this time of year.

Here are some valentine’s day projects that will be fun for you and your kids to work on during this season of love.

Wildflower seed heart valentines

This practical craft isn’t just a chance to get creative, but also an opportunity to teach your children to practice loving the environment by reusing and recycling paper or other resources and by supporting pollinators. The finished product looks like little candy hearts, but with no sugar or food coloring!

Materials needed

You’ll need red and white scrap paper from your recycling bin, some wildflower seeds (be sure to look for flowers that are native to your area), a heart-shaped cookie cutter, a pen or marker, a blender, and finally a mesh screen (like an old window screen).

Instructions

Tear up the scrap pieces of paper and put them in the blender. If you want pink hearts, you can use red and white, or you could just do white paper or any colored paper you have at your disposal.

Put enough water in the blender to submerge the paper, then let it soak for 15 minutes or so. Blend until it’s a thick pulp. If the blender starts to jam up, then add water as needed.

Pour the paper water slurry onto a screen and generously sprinkle in your wildflower seeds. You want to smooth out the slurry a bit on the screen to ensure it’s not too thick.

Once the paper has completely dried (give it a few hours), carefully peel it off the screen.

Lay a heart-shaped cookie cutter on the paper and trace around it with the pen or marker, then cut out the heart shapes.

Make a card with planting instructions to give with the heart if it’s a gift.

DIY valentine handprint heart tree

This simple craft is best for the youngest members of the family and will make a cute keepsake!

Materials

You’ll need some red, white, pink, and brown construction paper, cardstock, a pencil, a pair of scissors (or more), and glue or a glue stick.

Instructions

Let the kids trace their hands and down their arms on the brown piece of paper. If they can’t do it by themselves yet, then you can help them out. Their fingers are the tree branches, and their arm will be the trunk.

Cut out the handprint tree and glue it to another sheet of paper, preferably cardstock.

Fold the colored construction paper in half and trace out half a heart. You’ll want it to make a full heart once it’s cut and the paper is opened. Do this several times, making hearts of different sizes and colors. This is a good time to use up those little colored paper scraps.

Now the kids can cut out the little hearts.

Glue the hearts onto the “tree branches” to make heart foliage on the tree. You can also use a heart stamp to add some more visual contrast to the tree.

Once your kids sign it, then it’s ready to gift to a loved one!

DIY heart-shaped crayons

This is another craft that helps kids practice zero-waste habits by making use out of the small nubs of old crayons that tend to go unused. Even though DIY crayons might sound complicated to make, they’re actually very easy and don’t require a lot of supplies!

Materials

You’ll need some old broken crayon pieces, a heart-shaped silicone mold (or any other preferred shape), and a baking sheet.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Help your child take the paper off the crayons and snap or cut them into smaller pieces if they’re on the large side.

Place the crayon pieces into the silicone molds. They can use one color for each mold or mix and match for a multicolored crayon.

Put the silicone mold onto a baking sheet for more stability. Then, bake the crayons in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until melted.

Allow the crayons to cool completely before removing them from the mold.

You can give these separately or attach them to a piece of cardstock with a Valentine’s message.

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