As much as I wish they were, I'm afraid none of my boys are really into arts & crafts very much. Sure, we'll have fun with the odd project or two, but it's not something they do on their own - or are addicted to - like I was as a kid. However, one tradition that we do have is making handmade Valentine's for their classmates. I have found Family Fun magazine to be an invaluable resource for these kinds of ideas - a subscription to this would be a wonderful present for a new parent. The kid's projects below are all based on ideas I found there.
I thought I would share a couple of the cards they have made in years past. One of the all-time favorites is the Candy Airplane. I'm kicking myself for never taking photos of this (since we've made them several different times), but you can see them and get the instructions here. The only change we made was to print off "Happy Valentine's Day from... " and cut it into a long, thin banner which we staple to the back of the plane.
Another one was the playing card "Mr. Heart" - this is a great use for that deck of playing cards that is missing one and you were going to toss - take out all the heart cards first to use on this project. The arms and legs are pipe cleaners - and the "hands" are wrapped around a lollipop.
In 2007 I met Wendy Kubota, the owner of Gel-a-tins stamp company, who was just as sweet as could be and she gave me a few sets to play with. One of them was just perfect for this project - the Candy Car (guess it's an easier sell with my kids if the cards include candy...wonder where they get that from? hmmm...). I found a pack of these chocolate cars at our local party store in the "favor" section and Super Tape from Therm O Web was strong enough to hold them in place. One thing that my kids do enjoy is rubber stamping...I think they like the messy, inky aspect of it the best :)
The clear stamps are great because they can bend to whatever shape you like.
Here is the front of the card -
and this photo shows the back of the card -
Not sure what this year's card will be - and Jack will be the only one making them since Stephen's class isn't celebrating. Do you have any good ideas for a not-too-girly-frilly-sweet Valentine that is easy to reproduce that Jack could make? I need to check out the new ideas on Family Fun.com too - haven't been there in a while.