Celebrating Valentine's Day with your children can be a challenge for dads. We are not generally very romantic (although there are certainly exceptions to that rule), and we are often not very creative. So I checked in with several of my About.com guide friends who specialize in Valentine's Day craft ideas and came up with a few crafts that dads and children can do together and share with others. They are relatively easy and inexpensive but can be a big hit for the kids' mom, friends, relatives or others to help celebrate Valentine's Day.
Tissue paper flowers are easy to do and are a lot of fun for moms or kids. The instructions are clear and simple, and the supplies are easy to find at a local craft store. The plaster of paris can be a little messy, so make sure you have some newspapers on the table.
Speaking of potted flowers, this project is a little more complicated but is really fun and beautiful when it is finished. You use wrapped candies and pipe cleaners to make the candy look like flowers in a ceramic pot. The end product is pretty colorful and will impress anyone with your and your kids' craft skills.
Craft sticks (or what you may know as Popsicle sticks) can be used for tons of fun craft projects. But like many of them, you have to be kind of precise as you glue them together to get the effect you want, so be patient. If you have some experience with wood gluing in the workshop, you know it is important to get it right. This candle holder made with craft sticks and wax paper can have a neat effect. Make sure you follow the directions precisely to keep it large enough to make it safe for the votive candle and remember to always be cautious with candles and flames.
If you want to work with the kids to make Valentine's Day cards, this pattern is excellent and still easy. Our guide to School Age Children has step-by-step directions with photos showing each step of the way. Red and white card stock, scissors, glue, a ruler and a red marker are all that you will need to make a fun and interesting Valentine's Day card.
Speaking of Valentine's Day cards, this one is simple to make and yet looks very professional. The template is available on About.com and can br printed on your color printer and then it is a matter of cutting and gluing the various parts. If you have a teenage daughter, you and the younger kids can make this card for her or for their mom.
If you are hosting a Valentine's Day party with the kids, this creative heart garland is a fun decoration. It only requires some string, scissors, construction paper and a hole punch. Then you take some items like school art projects, magazine pages, family photos, scrap paper and the like and glue them onto each heart to give it a little character. With a little creative thought, the heart garland will be a fun memory and an attractive Valentine's Day decoration.
For several years during our kids' growing up time, we had a family tradition of making small Valentine's Day boxes and putting a valentine from each of us in the little boxes in our kids' rooms. This is a variation on that theme as you make an old-fashioned valentine into a little pocket you can hang on the door of your kids' rooms with space for valentines from family members. It is an easy craft and doubles as a good Valentine's Day decoration.
Talk about simple! If you are pretty good with a graphics program like Photoshop or Paint.net, this is an easy craft to put together. You just download the printables, then cut and paste Valentine's Day synbols randomly on some bingo cards and you have a fun game to play with the family. Your kids can help you figure out which symbols to put where on each card and then you have a gift for the family along with a fun activity for Valentine's Day.