Reinforce basic skills this Valentine's Day as you work on these crafts with your kindergartners. Start with a basic Valentine letter box and mail delivery to classmates. Continue with a hand-painted hearts craft, add some phonics, and finish off with a little character.
Letters and Envelopes
Children love to make Valentine's Day crafts. Kindergarten students can learn basic skills as they create these fun projects.
Have children make their own valentine cards to send to each other and to their families, while also practicing cutting skills. Provide several heart patterns on different colors of paper in different sizes. Children can cut out the hearts and add their own words and designs.
Next, they can cut out an envelope pattern. Demonstrate how to cut out on the solid lines, fold on the dotted lines, and glue the tabs. Children may practice writing classmates' names and addresses on the front of the envelopes.
Children can take home the ones that they have made for their own families, unless you are able to actually affix stamps and take them to the post office. For the ones addressed to their classmates, make a post office box out of a shoebox with a slit in the lid. Deposit letters in there, and appoint someone to be the mail carrier to deliver them.
Hand-Painted Hearts for Valentine's Day Crafts
Children can make a painted heart out of their handprints as a kindergarten craft for Valentine's Day. Dip each child's hand in red or pink paint. Keeping fingers together, stamp the left hand on the paper, with the fingers pointing up to the left. Stamp the right hand with the palm on top of the left print, and the closed fingers pointing up toward the right.
Have the children write their own message, or copy a simple poem, such as "Roses are Red," next to the handprint.
Phonics Study for Valentine's Day Crafts
Review phonics skills with kindergartners as they create poems to use with Valentine's Day crafts. Talk about words that start with the letters found in words related to the holiday. (Think "love," "valentine," "card," "heart," etc.) List them according to their beginning sounds. Write acrostic poems using these words. Make alphabet books.
Character Building for Valentine's Day
Include character-building exercises with your Valentine's Day crafts. Kindergarten children are natural pleasers. They love to help each other and to help teachers. Kids can make their own little ornaments and put them in a basket. Every time they do something helpful in the classroom, they can put their ornament on a special tree. The goal is to fill the tree on a daily basis with good deeds.
Clay ornaments - Let children make heart shapes out of self-drying clay. Poke a hole before the clay dries, so that later a ribbon can be strung through it. When the ornament is dry, paint it with red and pink paint.
Paper heart ornaments - Make simple heart shapes out of construction paper. Punch a hole at the top and thread yarn through it. Consider writing the specific helpful activity on it before hanging it on the tree.
Beaded ornaments - String heart-shaped beads, or red, white, and pink pony beads, on a chenille stem (pipe cleaner). Tie off the ends to hang the bracelet on the tree.
Children can take home their ornaments at the end of the month.
Use the following website for making envelopes for Valentine's Day crafts. Kindergarten students may enjoy being a part of the process of printing the templates.
Free envelope templates: http://www.make-your-own-invitations.com/envelope-templates.html
Photo Credit: Kymberly Vohsen http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1326324