My little lady and I decided before we ran off to brother’s school party, we needed to do our own Valentine’s Day project. So that’s just what we did. I had been on the lookout for a fun, yet easy enough for her to do by herself art activity. After scouring both Facebook and Pinterest, I had finally found one I saved weeks prior to the big day.
When the day finally came, it seems I always underestimate how quickly a day can escape me. Between client work, chauffeuring my son to and from school, the added classroom party to attend, lunch to make, plus any household chores I choose to try to accomplish… oh, and the dogs, it all adds up. Plus, it was the big dog’s surgery day (this is best kept for a blog of its own another day). Therefore, the day went by much faster than anticipated.
BUT, as most of us moms manage, I finished up the big things before lunch, so after lunch, we got out our supplies and prepared for a fun-filled art-splosion before we had to rush to the next scheduled event. Guess who loves painting? A little 3-year-old reddish blonde gal.
The task decided upon was a cool little spotted picture with a white heart in the middle. Sounds interesting when trying to describe it, but once the finished product is revealed, a lightbulb will go off.
The Set Up
While I love these projects, I don’t always have the supplies listed. Improvisation has become my best friend. I had no clothespins, so I used what we had available (I was going to use those office clips, to be honest with you, but turns out I had some of those pants clips from hangers in a baggy in our art supplies baskets, so score!). Since I also did not read through any of the directions of the link I found, I just watched the video, I knew I needed to attach the cut out heart onto the white paper so it didn’t move around during the blotting process. I just took a piece of scotch tape and made it double sided. BAM! Easy to remove and in place for working.
My daughter helped put all the cotton balls onto the clips, then we picked 4 colors from light pink to dark red (the original project only had 3, but we made the choice to be overachievers). Then, I rolled up her sleeves.
Ready, Set, Paint!
Honestly, I have the easiest 3-year-old ever. I’m grateful for this. I told her to use one cotton ball per color, and have at it. She let me help a little if she missed a spot around the heart (so that we could see it definitively), but she took it upon herself to decide which color went where and how much. She had so much fun, she wants to do it again soon. I think we might repeat the process for St. Patty’s day with greens and a shamrock in the middle-ish of the paper. What a super simple, clean (took one wipe to clean up the paint on the table), and entertaining craft.
She talked to me the entire time she painted, told me which colors she was using, called the dark red color black at first until she painted with it and was incredibly surprised that it really, truly was just a dark red shade. We made up fun words to say while she “plopped” the paper with her handy makeshift paint brushes and she was very proud of her finished product. Currently, it hangs on our pantry door so she can admire her work every day.
I always love doing arts and crafts. The innovation, the fact that you never really know what it will look like until you are finished, the time spent together, watching their minds work, and just the entire process hits me in my heart and makes me happy.
But here are some tips:
- Don’t overcomplicate it — I took what we had, made it simple, and it only lasted about 30-45 minutes from start to finish. But she loved every bit of that time.
- It doesn’t have to be perfect — I was a perfectionist and this took me a bit of time to overcome. I used to try to control every aspect of art projects when my son was little, but then it became more of a chore and neither one of us enjoyed it as fully as we could have. He tends to be a perfectionist himself now, as well, and very hard on himself. Oops.
- Have fun! — This goes without saying and may seem obvious, but along with 1 and 2, it remains important. Let go of everything going on in your day for a few minutes, lose yourself to the process, and just enjoy the fleeting moments with your little. I just watch, listen, learn, and help when needed. I choose to take it as a break for me to breathe.
Happy creating and feel free to share with me any arts and crafts you and your little did this Valentine’s Day! 🙂