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How to Make Valentine's Day Art Projects With Your Kids That Enhance Their Creativity


When selecting an art project for your child, you should ask: Does it foster the three i's -- imagination, innovation, and independence? If not, it's probably not worth the time and trouble. Too many art projects kids do in school today are just made for show – to look pretty on bulletin boards and to impress parents. But they do little or nothing to get children's creative juices flowing. Most of them are teacher-directed, meaning the youngster copies the teacher's sample in a step-by-step way that involves little originality. This Valentine's Day project with hearts is ideal because it pushes kids to think for themselves and design something that's personal and unique.


Letting kids get creative means adults need to let go of preconceived ideas of how they want the project to look. Remember, when doing art with children, the process is always more important than the product. Here's what you need for this simple project with hearts:

  1. Gather the materials: hearts cut from construction paper and scrapbook paper (various sizes), crayons, glue.

2. Let your child use the hearts to make a picture -- something concrete or abstract. Have them use crayons to add details and create a background. Ta-dah!


Sample Or No Sample​?

Through many decades of teaching art at preschool and kindergarten, I strongly recommend not having a sample. When I have one, it immediately shuts down the children's creativity. Some kids become determined to make their project look just like mine and can't imagine anything else.


I've been amazed at how original children become when there's no sample. Their imaginations have no limit. Adults just need to let go of having neat and tidy projects that all look the same. They need to accept children's art for what it is with all its uniqueness and imperfection.





This is the perfect book to read before your child makes her heart project. It's  a wonderful addition to your Valentine's Day library. It's written by the author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. When I taught preschool, we'd spread the hearts all over the classroom. When the kids entered that morning, they went on a hunt to gather them. Then, when all the hearts were found, they made their projects. This would be fun to do at home as well.


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