Thursday, February 13, 2014

Paper Conversation Hearts for Toddler Play

I have a confession to make. Conversation hearts are one of my favorite seasonal candies. So, of course, when Valentine's Day rolls around, I buy more than a few boxes of them. This year I controlled myself, only buying 8 boxes. I was inspired to make paper conversation hearts with personalized messages for my youngest. We could still enjoy the novelty of conversation hearts, without the sugar-high. I was excited to see that they added blue to the mix this year, so I made my hearts in the same colors. The nice thing about this craft is that it didn't cost me any money, as I had all the supplies on hand. 

Using heavy card stock, I folded three sheets in half to be able to make the six colors. In my stash of acrylic paints, I found pink, yellow, red (to mix with yellow to make orange), green, blue, and purple. I mixed a dime sized amount of paint with about a teaspoon of water to create a vibrant watercolor effect. I then used a foam brush to paint my paper, leaving some lighter and darker streaks. I then let it dry overnight.

In the morning they were dry, but the edges had started to curl, so I placed the three sheets under some heavy cookbooks for the day. By 4 pm, they were much flatter, and I could start cutting my hearts. I made a heart template out of another piece of card stock, and started tracing hearts on the backside of my pages. And then cut, and cut, with a sharp pair of scissors until they were all cut out. If I had a large heart-shaped punch, my job would have been easier, but I endured.

With my hot pink pen in hand, and a box of candy conversation hearts as my muse, I got to work writing messages of love on my hearts. As this is a lesson in early literacy, I created a mix of standard messages and more personalized ones, like "MOMMY/DADDY LOVES YOU" "MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE?" and "CUTIE PI" plus my pet name for him "LOVEBUG".

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