Once a year, the date of February 14th - set aside for those madly in love sending gushy sweet nothings to each other and flooding our news feed with public declarations of love - creeps up on us. For me, Valentine’s Day has always been a bit hit and miss. Wanting to avoid a Gretchen Weiners-like experience and go for more of a Glen Coco, I have dismissed Lover’s Day halfheartedly for as long as I can remember. But I say ‘pooh!’ to that! What fun is a day celebrating love without the most rewarding, unconditional kind of love being forgotten? The most instinctual, deeply-rooted love that we as mothers, receive; the love between a parent and their children.
We will never be alone as long as we are parents. Since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, my Dad has always gifted my mum and sister with a chocolate treat as our ‘Valentine’. It’s this sentiment of a Day of Love that I want my daughter to grow up with; whether it be between parent and child, between parents’ or the special love between a child and their siblings or friends.
I decided to share something cute and quick and creative that you can do at home to instil the fun of ‘Love Day’ with your children. These DIY painting examples are fun regardless of age and I have demonstrated two different painting activities for the teeny ones and the older toddlers or children.
HEART PROJECT A - Skill level: Toddlers/Kids
MATERIALS (for both activities):
- A table to do your artwork on, or a highchair that you can easily wipe down
- A couple of old toilet rolls, or a longer paper towel roll cut in half (to allow for additional colours or accidents where your heart looks a bit more like a bum. Whoops!)
- Some sticky-tape, I used invisible tape as it peels off most surfaces easily
- Either a thin small canvas, or some art paper or even butcher paper if you have it handy!
- A smock/old tee shirt for your mini’s that you don’t mind being creatively altered indefinately
- A plastic dish/bowl for your paints
- Non-toxic child friendly paints. Crayola Washable are perfect, but if you’re concerned about the tiny babes, you’re welcome to substitute paint for something edible and natural like beetroot juice. It will still stain like paint but may need to be thickened with some cornflour.
- To start, clothe your tiny human in a smock
- Cut toilet roll in half like so
- Pour paints onto plate whilst ensuring toddler doesn’t immediately start finger painting
- Help child to dip end into paint, making sure it is a few mm deep and quite thick to ensure transfer
- Transfer roll from paint dish to paper, you may want to do a few test runs until you get the right thickness of the print
- Let the little artisté create away!
- Hang up to dry
- Once dry, cut into desired size for a frame. Done!
HEART PROJECT B: Skill level: Baby/Toddler
- Take a piece of paper, and draw a heart shape as precisely as possible
- Carefully, adhere sticky tape to the line, trying to get the pen line to one side of the tape so it gets covered by paint (adhere to either side of the line). Ensure tape is stuck down properly, to prevent paint from getting underneath
- Affix the piece of paper to the tray of your baby’s highchair with some tape
- Put your little one in the highchair and dip their chubby little hands into the paint
- Encourage them to get messy and smoosh the paint all around
- Hang up to dry
- Once dry, very gently remove the sticky tape on the canvas/thick paper to leave the heart shape white You may want to write their name and the year somewhere on the artwork or even in the heart so you can look back and see what they created
- cut into desired size and pop in a frame. Presto!