We are spreading kindness this month through our 100 Acts of Kindness project. We are challenging our readers to perform 100 acts of kindness between Jan 16th and Feb 14th. You can read more about our kindness challenge here. Many of our blogging friends have joined the challenge and will be sharing ways that you can spread kindness here and on their blogs. Today we have Mikilani as our guest blogger. She is a super creative friend of EJ's and we are excited to have her posting today. She is sharing an adorable project that she created with her sons. Welcome Mikilani!
In my opinion, nothing beats a homemade valentine! A few years ago I made a card for my husband using my nine-month-old son's footprints.
This year I decided to revisit this technique and allowed my son (now almost three) full creative control of the project. First, he colored one foot with a washable red marker (you could also use washable paint or a stamp pad). The marker is very ticklish so you may find your child erupting into fits of giggles during this step.
Next, he made the first half of the heart by standing firmly on a piece of paper. We then carefully peeled his foot off and quickly washed it with baby wipes, and repeated this process on the other side. Be sure to help your child carefully position his second foot to create the heart-shaped print.
We also made thumbprint and pinkie-fingerprint hearts (the small ones pictured above) and handprint hearts (pictured below).
My older son really enjoyed this project too, making his heart prints in pink to compliment the red. Both boys worked together to customize an oversized card for dad that will be waiting at the breakfast table on Valentine's Day.
While we let our heart prints dry, (it shouldn't take too long unless you use paint), we read Valentine's Day books. One of our favorites is "If You'll Be My Valentine" by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka. I love Rylant's gently rhyming verses and Kosaka's soft, soothing pictures. (You can watch a reading of the book on YouTube, but the video doesn't do the illustrations justice, so try to find a copy.)
In the book, the little boy makes valentines for the special people in his life - his cat, mom, dad, sister, grandma, teddy bear, favorite tree. After we read the book together, we talked about who is important to us and who we should give our valentines to. This year both our preschool friends and Thomas the Tank Engine friends made the list.
Once the heart prints are dry, it's time to make copies. Instead of having the boys make multiple prints for multiple cards, (that would be beyond my preschooler's attention span), I printed color copies on card stock for additional valentines and the kids' scrapbooks.
It was fun to sit down with my preschooler and compare his footprint hearts from different years.
This is such a fun project to do with your children and the end result is a beautiful homemade valentine, personalized by your child, that it sure to please the recipient. It's quick and easy and you probably already have all the supplies you need in your closet. So what's stopping you? Grab a washable marker, your child(ren), and a piece of paper and let the fun begin. ❤
*Fair warning: Depending on which brand of marker and what color you use, you may have little stained hands and feet which can take a few washings to completely get rid of. Lighter colors (like pink and yellow) clean up much easier, but my boys always want to do red, so the color tends to linger. Alternatively, if you want to avoid this, you can trace your child's feet (and hands) onto a piece of colored paper and use the cutouts to make your hearts.
Mikilani is a Jill-of-all-trades mom who has traveled from coast to coast with her family and is still up for more adventure! This spring, she will spend three weeks in Japan with her family on the ultimate field trip.
What a beautiful project! Your son's list is adorable too. What a great activity to do as you make connections with the book. I also love the color copying idea. I will be using it. Thanks Mikilani!
Do any of you have any special Valentine's day creation that you've made? We'd love to see them, so share a picture or link to them on our Facebook wall today.
If you've missed any of our kindness challenge posts so far, you can catch up by clicking the links below:
Also, have you donated to The Heart Project yet? As our ultimate kind act we are trying to raise over $2,000 for the American Heart Association by February 14th. I actually think that we can raise more than that... since we raised a $1,000 in just one day. We'd love to give you our free ebook filled with 100 + heart projects for kids when you donate. Go check it out!
Have a wonderful Friday!