The annual practice of exchanging Valentine’s Day greetings and gifts with loved ones can be traced back to the 15th century. In fact, the oldest known written valentine still in existence is a poem penned by Charles, Duke of Orleans, who wrote to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415 (the manuscript is housed in the British Library’s archives).
Flash forward several centuries, and the practice of exchanging sentimental notes and gifts in celebration of love is observed in countries across the globe. In the United States, an expected $18.9 billion dollars will be spent on cards and gifts celebrating the holiday this year.
But you don’t need money or store-bought trinkets to spread love! If you’re looking for a more low-key, homemade approach to celebrating the holiday with your family, try the projects below. They are bound to inspire curiosity and fun. We scoured our favorite family websites and picked five engaging Valentine’s Day crafts to do with your kids:
1. Sign Language Valentine’s Day Card
Want to get crafty with your kids while teaching them how to say “I Love You” in sign language at the same time? We love fun teaching moments, and this activity from Parents.com is a great one.
2. Love Notes Jar
If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day activity that includes the whole family, have your kids design a Love Notes Jar, as recommended by the Washington Post. Throughout the week, ask everyone to write a love note to each member of the family, explaining who they love and why, and drop it in the jar. On Valentine’s Day, gather the family together over breakfast and read them aloud to one another.
3. Heart Puzzles
Here’s a great activity from PBS Parents that you can make easier or harder, depending on the ages of your kids. Ask them draw a Valentine’s Day themed picture (hearts welcome, but not mandatory), and then cut the picture into squares to create a Valentine’s Day puzzle.
4. Tissue Paper Stained Glass
Searching for a fun, easy way to make any living room feel festive? PBS Parents has you covered here as well. All you’ll need is tissue paper, construction paper, clear contact paper, scissors and tape (or a hole punch and string) to make these sweet stained glass hearts.
5. Hand-Shaped Valentines
This activity from Martha Stewart is perfect for the little ones. Trace their hands (or have them trace their own) on colored construction paper and use whatever craft materials you have around – markers, sparkles, felt, candy hearts, toy rings – to decorate. A great option for classmate valentines!
Have any Valentine’s Day crafts you love to do with your kids? Tell us about them in the comments below!