Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity for a crafty heart-to-heart with your grandchild. In a classic heart-to-heart session, each person shares something of herself with the other person. In a crafty heart-to-heart, you use colors, shapes, and all kinds of interesting materials to create something special. But most important, you share time. In this hectic world, grandchildren don’t often get a chance to slow down and make something from craft supplies. This type of playtime breeds a love of the creative process, which will serve them well throughout their lives, no matter what path they choose. As a grandparent, your nurturing of this process is a valuable gift.
When you do a craft project, one of the keys to encourage creativity is to make sure the project is age-appropriate. Below are three crafts, one for preschoolers, one for grade-schoolers, and one for older grandchildren. All materials listed are interchangeable with items you may have on hand. Check dollar stores or discount stores for craft items as well.
For Toddlers and Preschoolers:
Crafts for children in this age group need to be simple, as their attention span is extremely short. Toddlers tend to taste whatever they are using, so always use non-toxic products in case they decide to nibble while they work.
BUCKET OF LOVE
Small buckets or flowerpots
Foam balls to fit buckets
Toothpicks and sandwich picks
Soft candy or marshmallows
Cut foam ball in half to fit inside bucket or flowerpot. Set out assorted candies and different-sized toothpicks. Let your toddler stick the candies on the toothpicks and then stick the toothpicks into the foam to create a bouquet of candy. Let him keep one masterpiece and give away the rest as gifts to his parents or pre-school teachers.
Their dexterity is improving, so craft projects can be a little more challenging.
EGGSHELL HEART MOSAIC
2 raw eggshells
Black paper 5 ¼” x 4”
White card stock 5 ½” x 8 ½”
Red paper 4 ¼” x 3 ½”
White doily 5 ½” diameter
Heart-shaped cookie cutter (should be slightly smaller than red paper area)
20 adhesive dots
Crack the raw eggs. You will not need the yoke or egg whites for this project, so separate the egg from the shell and refrigerate the egg for later use. Remove and discard the raw membrane from the inner part of the shell. Place the shell in the plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush the shell into small pieces. Remove shell from plastic bag and place the pieces in a bowl, allowing them to dry completely, usually 20 minutes. Use the cookie cutter to trace a heart on the red paper. Apply a thin layer of white glue inside the entire heart outline. Spread eggshells evenly over glue. Allow glued eggshells to dry onto the red paper. Fold white cardstock in half to make a card and use six adhesive dots to mount black paper directly on top front of card, leaving an even margin all around. Next, use eight adhesive dots to mount the doily on the black paper. You may need to trim the edges of the doily that go beyond the edges of the white card. Finally, use six adhesive dots to mount the eggshell mosaic on top. When everything is set, fill in the card with a love note to each other!
For Older Grandchildren:
This project requires more time and patience, but yields a beautiful and textured result.
HEART KEEPSAKE BOX
Heart-themed tissue paper
White acrylic paint
Heart-shaped papier-mâché box
Mod Podge decoupage medium
2 small foam brushes
Using one of the foam brushes, brush a base coat of the white acrylic paint on the heart box. Set aside and allow it to dry. Cut out heart shapes from the tissue paper in a variety of sizes. These will be layered on the box. When the painted box is completely dry, use the second foam brush to coat it with Mod Podge. Work in small sections, brushing on the Mod Podge and sticking down the tissue paper hearts. Layer the tissue hearts over one another to give the box depth and texture. Continue layering until the child is pleased with the design. Air bubbles should be pressed out with the brush. Make sure to include the lid and sides of the box as well. Once everything is dry, check to see if the lid still fits. If it doesn’t go on and come off the box with ease, use an emery board to lightly sand the edges. This will remove a small amount of the decoupage medium residue and make the box easier to use.
How well do you get along with your grandchild and other family members? Want to know if your personalities mesh?Find out here.