Get Creative This Valentine’s Day with 3 Cute Kids’ Crafts
Whenever Valentine’s Day is around the corner, there’s a little extra love in the air. Many families prepare for the annual celebration of friendship and love by picking out flowers, making sweet treats, and creating Valentine’s Day crafts with kids. It’s a time of year filled with kindness and caring.
The History of Valentines
In the U.S., people spend more than $20 billion on chocolates, gifts, and greeting cards every February. But did you know this romantic holiday predates the traditions we know and love by centuries? February 14 has been formally celebrated since 496 CE, when Pope Gelasius is said to have declared an official Christian feast day to honor Saint Valentine (Valentinus in Latin).
According to one legend, Valentine was a Roman priest who lived during the reign of Emperor Claudius II Gothicus. Claudius banned marriage throughout the Roman Empire, but Valentine thought the emperor’s ban was cruel, so he helped couples marry in secret. Eventually, the emperor had Valentine arrested—but not before Valentine met and befriended his jailer’s daughter. The priest signed a letter to the jailer’s daughter, “From your Valentine,” coining the term of endearment we use today.
Although St. Valentine’s Day has been around for a long time, it would take centuries for the celebration to evolve into a day of romance and love. We don’t know exactly when this shift occurred, but English poet Geoffrey Chaucer referenced valentine’s messages in a poem called “Parliament of Foules” as early as 1375. By the 1800s, England was mass-producing paper valentines, creating cards adorned with lace, ribbons, and little poems. These cards were a huge success, and it wasn’t long before Valentine’s Day traditions crossed the Atlantic to the U.S. A Kansas City man named J.C. Hall founded Hallmark Cards in 1910, and in 1916, their first Valentine’s Day cards hit the shelves., The rest, as they say, is history—over 100 years later, people around the world celebrate their sweethearts every Valentine’s Day.
Spread the Love with Something Handmade
While store-bought Valentine’s Day cards are a wonderful gesture, there’s something extra special about making and receiving homemade valentines.
A Valentine’s DIY craft is a chance for your children to flex their creativity and create something personal for their loved ones. This year, have fun making Valentine’s Day crafts with kids to help them find original ways to share love and kindness.
Here are a few of our favorite easy crafts for kids of all ages to try this Valentine’s Day.
3 Heart-Melting Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids
These cuties are the perfect heart-shaped craft for Valentine’s Day. They make great companions to cards and adorable keepsakes to cherish. Kids can perform every step of this craft, although younger children may need some assistance.
- 2 strips of cardboard (about 1 inch or 2½ centimeters wide)
- 2 strips of colored paper (about 1 inch or 2½ centimeters wide)
- Nontoxic glue
- 2 pairs of googly eyes
- Washable felt-tip pen
- Child-safe scissors
- Cut a small rectangle from one of the short ends of a cardboard strip. The rectangle should be thinner than the strip, leaving two prongs on either side (see the header image above). These will be the snail’s eye stalks. (Young children may need an adult’s help with this step.)
- Fold the cardboard strip in half to create the snail’s L-shaped body.
- Make two cuts on the long sides of a strip of colored paper. The cuts should be about 1 inch (2½ centimeters) from the strip’s short edges and half the paper’s width. The top cut must begin on the left side of the strip while the bottom cut begins on the right.
- Fold the colored paper in half, then insert the two cuts into one another to create a loop. You should end up with a shape that looks like a fish with a tail.
- Push the fold opposite the “fishtail” inward so the paper looks like a heart (see image above). Use glue to secure the point of the heart shape in place.
- Attach the heart to the bottom half of the snail’s body by folding the two prongs of the “fishtail” outwards and gluing them in place (see image above). Glue the googly eyes onto the eye stalks. Finally, use a felt-tip pen to draw a friendly smile on the snail’s face.
- Repeat this process with the second piece of cardboard and paper strips. You’ve created an adorable pair of handmade snail sweethearts!
Valentine Candy Butterflies
For many kids, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to indulge their sweet tooth. If your kids (or their valentines) love munching on candy hearts or other treats, they’re sure to think this craft is just delicious.
- Pipe cleaners
- Nontoxic paint (pink, red, and your kids’ favorite colors)
- Black washable markers
- Small zip-close bags
- Wooden clothespins
- Googly eyes
- Nontoxic glue
- Valentine’s candy (your children’s favorite)
- Kids paint clothespins in whatever color they like (or pink and red if they want their creations to look like traditional valentines). Once the paint is completely dry, glue googly eyes to the top of the clothespins (where the pins pinch closed) and draw a smile below with a marker.
- An adult helps kids fill snack bags halfway with candy (one per clothespin) and zip them closed.
- Kids take a bag and fold the zipper portion downward to halve its size. Tightly wrap a pipe cleaner around the center of the bag perpendicular to the zipper to create a pair of candy-filled wings, leaving 1 inch of unwrapped pipe cleaner on each end. Make sure the candy is evenly divided on either side.
- Pinch a painted clothespin over the pipe cleaner and bag to attach the butterfly’s body. Shape the pipe cleaner ends to create curving antennae above the bug’s face. Just like that, you have a cute butterfly full of sweet treats!
- Repeat steps 3–4 with the remaining bags and clothespins until your children have enough valentines to give out to all their intended recipients.
This craft project is perfect for kids looking to decorate for Valentine’s Day. String up the finished garland in their room for a fun and creative way to get into the holiday spirit.
- Construction paper (pink, red, and/or white)
- Child-safe scissors
Help children with the following steps based on their ages and abilities.
- Cut the construction paper into strips about 8 inches long and 1 inch wide (about 20 centimeters long and 2.5 centimeters wide). Fold all the strips in half and crease.
- Pick up a strip and hold it with the folded end pointed down (creating a V-shape). Bring the two ends away from each other and then join them together below the point, maintaining a curve on either side. This creates a heart shape.
- Place the unsecured ends of the heart you created within the folded crease of a second strip. Staple them together, attaching the V-shaped point of the new strip to the bottom of the heart (see image above). Young children may need help using the stapler.
- Repeat this process with other strips of paper until your garland is as long as you’d like. Staple the two ends of the final heart together.
Spend Time with Your Valentines
These Valentine’s paper crafts are sure to make anyone feel loved and appreciated. They’re adorable, pair well with flowers and sweets (like these South African chocolate crunchies), and provide your kids with plenty of hands-on, creative fun. If your kids are eager to try more easy Valentine’s Day crafts, check out this tutorial for a beautiful origami paper heart. And if you need to spread some love ASAP, Little Passports has you covered with these adorable printable Valentine’s Day cards and our newest Valentine’s Day craft kits. Your kids can have loads of fun making Valentine’s Day suncatchers or spinning friendship bracelets—and for extra crafty families, our Valentine’s Day craft bundle contains both activities.