New Year’s is behind us and Valentine’s Day is on deck...and that means it’s time to roll out a new list of festive, kid-friendly activities. Here are our top picks for Valentine’s Day crafts to keep the tiny tyrant (and love of your life) out of trouble over the holiday...or until Groundhog Day, at least.
1. Pipe Cleaner Heart Rings
Mess-free and as low maintenance as it gets, this kid-friendly craft produces seriously cute Valentine’s Day bling. Plus, it’s a great way to keep tiny hands busy with nothing more than a bag of pipe cleaners.
2. Penguin Heart Craft
Fine motor and visual reasoning skills get a boost from this easy craft, which involves cutting hearts of various sizes out of cardstock and arranging them to make an adorable penguin. Pro tip: For an extra challenge, show your kid a picture of the finished project and see if they can successfully solve the assembly puzzle solo.
3. Rocking Paper Plate Love Bird Craft
This paper plate project requires precious few materials (paper plate, colored pencils, feathers, scissors) and promises to entertain toddlers and tweens alike...and our hearts are officially bursting with joy.
4. Valentine Balloon Craft
Tap your kid for a quick photo shoot and pull out the paint for a mixed media work of art that kids of all ages can help create. Bottom line: The crafting process is stress-free and the finished product looks great on display, so let’s call this one a winner.
5. 3D Optical Illusion Heart Craft
This drawing project is so simple a preschooler can do it with ease and, needless to say, the resulting piece of art really pops. Best of all, you don’t even need to take a trip to the craft store to make the 3D magic happen: All you need is white paper, lined paper, a pencil and a marker.
6. Cork Love Birds
That’s right, friends: This kid-friendly craft couldn’t happen if not for your grown-up indulgence, so pour yourself a glass of wine and put that cork to good use with an art project that yields adorable results.
7. Candy Heart Frames
Set your child up with some paint, glue and a bag of candy hearts for a straightforward craft that produces a veritable Valentine’s Day keepsake—just keep in mind that you might want to monitor your kid’s candy consumption, lest the activity end in heartache stomachache.
8. Water Bottle Love Bugs
A recycled water bottle and a few basic craft supplies (think: craft paint, pipe cleaners and googly eyes) are the only materials you need to make these charming love bugs with your child. Bonus: If you score a couple glow sticks, too, you can transform the craft into a nightlight to keep bedtime fears at bay.
9. Mosaic Heart
Keep your kid busy with a hands-on art project that requires little more than cutting and pasting. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the process, though: The resulting mosaic-style collage is so pretty, it’s guaranteed to win a few hearts.
10. Tin Foil Heart Project
Tin foil, cardboard and markers are the only materials required for this mess-free craft—and even the youngest kids can get in on the fun. No complicated instructions, here, so feel free to hand over the reins and have your kid doodle to his heart’s content.
11. Footprint Heart Craft
A craft with serious scrapbooking potential, this footprint heart will make your heart melt for years to come...and even if the sentimentality is lost on your little one, the opportunity to get messy definitely won’t be.
12. Family Watercolor Heart Banner
Parents of preschoolers, this fuss-free watercolor craft is for you: The crafting process is as quick and easy as the clean-up, and your kid will have a blast every step of the way. In other words, it scores a perfect 10.
13. Paper Heart Wreath
If your child can be trusted with either a stapler or a pair of scissors, she can help craft this sweet paper heart wreath, which comes together with nothing more than the aforementioned tools and a few sheets of construction paper (plus some ribbon for hanging).
14. Heart Windsock Craft
Little kids will have a field day with this simple windsock craft. (Party streamers and stickers—need we say more?) Best of all, it’s a breeze to make, so you needn’t possess any artistic talent in order to pull it off with a preschooler.
15. Valentine Ladybug Craft
The only thing cuter than a ladybug craft is one that features your child’s cherubic face front and center. Kids of all ages can help with this cardstock-and-glue stick craft and the end result is sweet enough to post in the mail.
16. Secret Message Valentine Craft
The novelty of a secret message decoding craft is enough to make any child swoon, and parents will be relieved to hear that this painting project comes together with watercolors, not acrylic.
17. Paper Heart Stuffies
A simple construction paper craft that can be stuffed with tissue paper or sweets—either way the finished project will make your child puff up with pride.
18. Tissue Paper Heart Wreath
With a little school glue and some tissue paper, you and your child can craft a cheerful heart-shaped wreath that’s exceedingly easy to make and lovely to look at, wherever it’s hung.
19. Wriggly Heart Snake Craft
Get your wriggly kid to sit still with an innovative Valentine’s Day card craft. The body of this snake—composed of construction paper heart cut-outs and a handful of brads—can move and groove like nobody’s business. And as if that weren’t cool enough, each segment of the snake lifts up to reveal a sweet valentine message.
20. Salt Dough Heart Ornaments
This salt dough project provides plenty of sensory stimulation and hands-on entertainment for the little kid crowd. Once the dough is ready to go, youngsters will have a blast decorating their ornaments with glitter and paint for a finished craft with gifting potential.
21. Valentine’s Fingerprint Canvas
Capitalize on your child’s love of messy crafts with a paint-on-canvas project that boasts a personal touch. Bonus: This finger painting activity leaves plenty of room for creativity without sacrificing aesthetics. (In other words, it’s a keeper.)
22. Conversation Heart Wreath
What do you do with two bags of conversation hearts? A) Feed them to your energetic child; B) Squirrel them away for your own consumption; or C) Use them to craft a pastel-colored feast for the eyes that you can hang on your front door. (Spoiler: The correct answer is C, so grab your kid and get started.)
23. Valentine Gnome Craft
Gnomes might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day, but these charming bearded buddies come bearing hearts. Oh, and did we mention you can make them with nothing more than a glue stick, a pair of scissors, a stack of cardstock and a kid?
24. Heart Tissue Paper By Number Craft
Color matching, number recognition and fine motor skills all get a boost from this tissue paper by number craft. And when the mental workout is over, both parent and child walk away with a prize: A joyfully bright and texturally pleasing heart that belongs on display.
25. Valentine’s Day Face Mask
Here’s a pandemic-era craft they’ll love: designing their own Valentine’s Day-themed face mask. This kit from Kadoodle Kids includes a blank cotton mask, a mask pouch, three fabric stickers, two glitter glue pens, six Valentine’s Day-related stamps and six temporary heart tattoos, aka everything they could possibly need to create a personalized mask.
26. Pugs and Kisses Valentine Box
Scoop up some craft foam and paint and raid the recycling for a cereal box for a kid-friendly art project that’s sure to excite. Yes, the end result looks impressive, but don’t worry—this valentine box comes with a free pattern so you and your little one don’t have to wing it.
27. DIY Valentine’s Day Window Clings
Show off your holiday spirit for all to see with some pink-and-red window decor that’s so easy to craft, even your kid can do it. These Elmer’s glue window clings are a cinch to make and children of all ages will get a kick out of moving them around to create new designs.
28. Fingerprint Heart Tree
Two tiny fingerprints are all it takes to make the multi-colored hearts surrounding this handprint tree. Yep, it doesn’t get more hands-on than this—but the best part is the finished product, which is sure to inspire oohs and awws.
29. Crayon Shaving Hearts
If you haven’t tried a crayon shaving craft with your kid yet, this one is a must. Children will be amazed by the melted masterpieces they can make with this familiar coloring staple...and likely, so will you.
30. Valentine’s Day Pencil Toppers
This one calls for a Cricut machine—but if you already own this digital cutting tool, you’ve got it made: Simply use the software per the tutorial’s instructions to cut out the glittery cardstock hearts and, once that’s done, bust out some pencils and pipe cleaners so your kid can take over.
31. Rainbow Heart Suncatchers
Some more festive window decor to brighten your home—these tissue paper suncatchers boast an eye-catching array of colors and the decoupage project itself is easy to pull off with a preschool-aged assistant.
32. Valentine’s Tic-Tac-Toe Snack
Creative endeavors can certainly work up an appetite, which is exactly why edible crafts are truly the best. Plus, this one scores extra points for efficiency, since you’ll be entertaining your tot whilst preparing a snack in one fell swoop.
33. Snail Heart
In case you missed it, snails are incredibly cute. Do yourself a favor and craft this heart-shaped snail friend with your child—we promise it will make you both smile on Valentine’s Day and beyond.
34. Valentine’s Day Bird Feeders
Show some love for the real love birds in your backyard with this incredibly sweet Valentine’s bird feeder craft. Kid participation is possible at every stage and the valentines themselves are oh-so punny.
35. Bee Mine Valentine
Will you bee my valentine? (Sorry, we had to.) This probably won’t come as a surprise, but you can make a whole host of creatures from heart-shaped construction paper cut-outs. That said, this bumble bee craft is, er, the bee’s knees.
36. Valentine Puppy Chow
Pretty in pink and perfectly fine to eat (i.e., not actually for puppies): This chocolate-and cake mix-coated puppy chow is sure to win the affection of your brood the next time family movie night rolls around.
37. Cardboard Roll Heart Stamp
That toilet paper roll you just finished can be recycled and repurposed to make a heart-shaped stamp that your child can paint with and while away the hours.
38. String of Hearts
An adorable heart garland that’s as simple to make as a standard paper chain (or nearly). Try this one out with a child of any age for a straightforward Valentine’s Day craft that’s easy on the eyes.
39. Framed Button Heart
Have your child flex his fine motor skills by using buttons to build this beautiful (and frame-worthy) heart. The process provides plenty of sensory stimulation and the finished product boasts both textural and visual appeal.
40. Woven Valentine Heart Basket
Precision-cutting is required here, but with a little guidance even little kids can handle the task of weaving the scrapbook paper strips. Still, what really counts is what you put in the basket: File this one under “filled with chocolate”.
41. 3D Origami Heart Craft
A certain degree of dexterity is required here but, as far as origami projects go, this one is particularly kid-friendly. After a little trial-and-error your little one will be able to fold these 3D hearts blindfolded—or while watching Octonauts—and their handiwork will be something to behold.
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