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Spread the Love with Handmade Valentine's Day Crafts for the Classroom
4 ways to spark creativity with crafts in the classroom
We are quickly approaching that special day - VALENTINES! Students live for this day. They love the chance to share how much they care with their classmates and teachers. I have to admit I have always loved this holiday because it is a bucket filler for everyone in our learning community. Students have such an amazing ability to share their positive feelings for one another, they are so inclusive and inviting and it does my heart good to see all the positive vibes that flow through our classroom.
Over time the celebration of this holiday has also changed. It has gone from a full day of crafts, activities, read alouds and parties to a much more structured day. The allotment of time we are allowed to use has become more condensed and the activities really need to be meaningful. I like to use this celebration to promote the students community as well as continue to build students' social-emotional learning. I will be sharing with you several crafts that are fun, creative and worthwhile.
1. Hearts of Uniqueness - when I saw this image my mind instantly started creating a super fun craft that promotes students' unique identities. Scholars love a chance to share what makes them special and this is a way to share this while also getting to showcase their own art style. You will want to take out your MARK 5 Die Cutting Machine and you will also need string, a hole punch and the Seals-Heart (Pinnovation). I love to use pastel cardstock for this activity because it helps the hearts look like the timeless valentines classic candy. Cut out a heart for each student, allow students to select which color they like the most and then have them write the word that best represents who they see themselves to be. Share a list of different character traits and discuss what they mean to help students explore what characteristics we can claim as humans. Once they write their word they then get to draw and decorate their heart in whatever way they want. Encourage scholars to really let their creativity and style shine on the heart. Once they are done add them to the string and create a beautiful chain of classroom uniqueness. In my classroom we have huge amazing windows that we can hang our chain on, If you don’t have windows you can hang it on a way or in the hallway or you could even ditch the string and make this a fun door display. Students will love to look at these and celebrate one another in the classroom for as long as you choose to keep them up!
2. Valentines Party Box - we all know that the Valentine’s Party is the absolute best part of the day! Expect to be asked when the part is about 750 times that day. Kids cannot wait to celebrate and share their cards, gifts and treats. The anticipation alone creates a magical celebration. There have been so many years when I would run to the store to grab some brown lunch sacks and let kids write their name on the bag, and to be honest students always seemed disappointed in this. The perfect solution to this problem is to allow students to create their own Valentine’s box. For this one you will need to grab our your MARK 5 Die Cutting Machine as well as the Box #32 die cut and the Seals-Rounded-Square 2 1/2" (Pinnovation). You will also want to get some fun cardstock to create the boxes out of. An extra fun touch would be to also get some fun ribbon to use for closing the boxes. One thing to consider would be to have several different types of paper so students can pick which pattern they like best. I have found that these little chances for students to express their individuality goes a long way in keeping students engaged in crafts like this. Make enough boxes for the class, keep them flat so that the scholars can assemble and build the boxes themselves. You will also let students pick a seal-rounded square as well. They will attach this to the front, on this they can write their name or a saying that they think is fun to help decorate their box. You can have students add stickers or even add puff paint to the boxes to make them special and unique. This activity is another great opportunity for scholars to feel like they get to express themselves. They will be just as excited to take their boxes home as they are to bring home the valentines from their classmates.
3. Take-Home Valentines Craft - this is a great craft that will allow students to bring something special home to their adult at home. This will take a little work ahead of time. Make sure to take some pictures of students that you can print so they can add them to this page. One fun idea is to have students wear a graduation cap and gown in the image. Students love to dress up like this and it will promote the idea of continuing their education. Run to a local craft store and grab some scrapbook paper for your scholars. They will use this to put their hearts and photos on. You will need to use your MARK 5 Die Cutting Machine and you will need Ribbon Heart-11 1/2" as well as Ribbon Hearts. I find that having a good model or example for kids to see before they start this craft is really helpful. Students will need to be given a large heart. They will start by gluing this to the paper. Next they will add their pictures to the page, allowing kids to put 1-3 pictures on the page in whichever way they want to. Lastly, have students add the smaller ribbon heart. On this they can write a thoughtful message for their parents, guardians, or families. This is a craft that is creative and fun but it also gives your scholars a way to give a gift to the people they care about at home.
4. Letters of Kindness - This is one way to continue to encourage and create a caring community. Use your MARK 5 Die Cutting Machine to make as many of these letters for your students to write for their peers. You will use the A2 Card-Foldout #4. Using colorful cardstock paper or paper with creative patterns to make the cards. Give your scholar's time to write letters of encouragement and kindness for some of their classmates. One way I ensure that no one gets left out is to assign students who their first letter will be written for, then allowing students to select who they would like to write the next few to give kids a chance to write to their friends while also making sure no one gets left out.
This day is a time to pause and think about the people we care about, what we appreciate about them and how blessed we are to have them. These crafts are fun ways to celebrate this fact. Even when we are given less time on Valentine’s Day to create and enjoy the holiday these are quick and meaningful ways to utilize the time you have for this special occasion. After all, this is a special day when spreading the love is both expected and encouraged.
Written by Amy Pinegar