If you’re preparing for Valentine’s Day crafting with your preschooler, one of my best bits of advice is to set up an open-ended process art experience that allows your child to make choices and feel creative.
Our local market does a good job at displaying an appealing array of holiday goodies just as you enter, and I’m often a sucker for such marketing ploys. They recently set up a lavish Valentine’s ordeal, and before even getting close to the milk aisle, I already had a shaker of heart sprinkles and a Fancy Nancy Valentine’s Day book (affiliate) in my hands.
My daughter skimmed through the book on the way home, and then devoured every word as soon as we had a chance to sit down together. We’ve been talking a lot about this mysterious “hearts and flowers” holiday, but I don’t think it actually began to sink in until we read the book.
Once we read the book, mere moments passed before the request to “make Valentine’s cards” came in and Project Deconstructed Valentine’s was underway!
It all began, quite obviously, with a pile of doilies, cut-out hearts, glue, and glitter.
And then the cutting began. And more cutting. Cutting, cutting, cutting. Any vision I had of frilly Valentine’s with heartfelt messages was quickly replaced with one of hearts, cut into smithereens. A bazillion little fragments of love, splintered all of the table.
It wasn’t enough to cut up a sheet of paper. Oh, no. I had to cut hearts out of the paper first, and then hand them over for further cutting. Since we were collaborating, I was then instructed to glue the little shards to a doily, which is what you see here. A true collaboration, full of process-based goodness. And while the end-result may not be what I had in mind, I actually think we ended up with something far more interesting and fun to look at in the end.
How to Make Process Art Valentine’s Cards
Although I didn’t start with this plan, in retrospect I think this is what led to our success…
- Look at examples of Valentine’s Cards or Read a Book about Valentine’s Day
- Set up some basic Valentine’s materials – Doilies, Red and Pink Paper, Glitter, Glue, Scissors, Markers
- Provide materials in a color scheme that will make the end product look cohesive (i.e red, pink, white, and silver)
- See where it takes you without prescribing how the child should make their card
- Gift them, hang them, or repurpose them. N wanted to decorate the house with ours, and I had a package to send off to grandma and thought this would make for a festive gift topper.