For this holiday dedicated to love, give your little ones the gift of generosity by helping them make gifts for friends and family. This project is fun and easy — and partly edible!
What to Do
Put different sizes and colors of candy hearts into separate bowls so it's easy for your child to see all the choices available. (And be prepared to refill often, since kids will almost certainly be snacking as they work!) Spread newspapers on a table or the kitchen floor, and lay a wooden photo frame face up on top of them. Remove the glass to keep it clean; you can put it back in later. Spread a thin layer of white glue over the frame. Then let your child cover it with candies in any design he likes. It will look best if the candies are close together so no wood shows through.
For additional fun, you can show older children how to set up a pattern of alternating colors and shapes. For example, try a rainbow strip of Conversation Hearts surrounded by Red Hots. When the glue has dried, spray your child's creation with a polyurethane finish; if you have time you may want to do two coats. The last step is the most fun: Help your child choose a favorite photo of himself to put in the frame.
What You'll Need
Plain wooden photo frames (wood does not need to be unfinished)
Several boxes of candy hearts of different sizes and shapes (Conversation Hearts, Red Hots, and heart-shaped Sweet Tarts work well; skip the chocolate)
Polyurethane spray, available at craft stores
Learning and Growing
Crafts like this teach fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination. But perhaps most important, they give your child the chance to experience the process of making something from start to finish.