Hearts are the order of the day with it being Valentine’s craft. So I spent some time picking out all the hearts from the acrylic gems, plastic beads and shiny fabric shapes I have in my toddler group craft stash. If you have time this would be a great shape-sorting activity to do with children.
Then I cut hearts from corrugated flowers (I’ve kept the leftover card it looks like clouds), tissue squares, newspaper and coloured card. Then I added our heart die cuts into the mix and voila – a fantastic range of different weights and textures of paper and small heart embellishments for the children to use on their cards and pictures.
Heart Cutting Tip
A symmetrical heart is easy to cut. Simply fold your paper in half and cut out half a heart making sure the fold is in the middle. If you don’t cut to the edges you can then use the left over card/paper as a heart shaped border. Plus, if you’ve made large hearts you can cut another in the middle again to make a heart with a hole.
Cutting tissue and newspaper is really quick as you can cut more than one at a time whereas with card you’ll struggle doing lots together, not to mention blunting your scissors.
Avoiding the “Conveyer Belt” Craft Trap
As usual, I’m trying to avoid ‘conveyer belt’ craft where the children are expected to make exactly the same thing. With this project they have to choose their own materials and they decide where to stick them. And the results are fantastic and individual – better, I think, than a preconceived adult idea.
This activity not only gave the children the experience of working with different weights of paper and a variety of embellishments but they also had the chance to make patterns with the different sizes and textures of hearts.
The children didn’t worry about borders and are happy to let their hearts go over the edge of the card, giving their pieces dynamism.
I thought the children might struggle with the delicate tissue paper. But they didn’t. The tissue hearts were big enough for the children to handle and not mess up the heart shape. I’d cut them from our 10cm tissue squares.
Another great thing about using the tissue is that, when layered, different strengths of colour are produced when placed on top of something the same colour or new colours are made if the tissue or card underneath, is of a different colour.
The children really engaged with this activity. One of the mums said, “Isn’t wonderful to see them so absorbed in what they’re doing.” Yes, it sure is.
And remember, you can adapt this activity for Mother’s Day by using flowers and hearts or use geometric shapes for shape collage.
Written by Susie Busby