By MaryAnn Kohl
For kids of all ages, February is the month of friendship and love, of colors pink and red, of glitter and lace and all things valentine. Here is a very easy art idea for you to enjoy with your artsy kiddos. Remember to allow for children to be inspired, creative, and unique, and to let their enjoyment of art truly flourish.
You will need:
- Tempera paints (pink, red, white, lavender)
- Tip: Liquid watercolors are beautiful for this project, especially if you mix in a little glittery silver or gold liquid watercolor paint to other colors.
- Paper plates or grocery trays for paints
- White paper cut into big heart shapes
- Covered workspace
- Optional: metallic glitter, confetti, or spangles
- Depending on the age of the children, either precut big hearts from white paper or let them cut their own. Hearts the size of a dinner plate or even much larger are recommended.
- Pour paints onto paper plates so the kids can share them around the covered workspace. Place a brush on each plate. Have some damp sponges and jars of water handy for rinsing and wiping brushes or hands, if you wish.
- Let the children paint the hearts as they wish, mixing colors as desired.
- For optional creative fun, sprinkle glitter on the wet paint to complete the heart painting.
- Let dry completely.
- Display idea: Staple the hearts to a strand of yarn draped like a garland, or hang hearts with clothespins from a wire or heavy cord.
Other ideas for decorating paper hearts:
- Wrap bubble wrap around a rolling pin. Roll in paint and then roll across the paper heart.
- Paint with items other than brushes, such as kitchen utensils, flower blossoms, fir-tree branch, hands, feathers, and so on.
- Press a paper doily into the still-wet painted heart. Add more paint if desired.
- Dip the round circle end of a cardboard tube into paint, and make circle prints on the heart. Feel free to use lots of colors.
- Cut hearts from wrapping paper or foil, and paint with tempera paints mixed with a little dish detergent to help the paint stick to the shiny surface.
- Other kinds of heart-shaped artworks:
- Collage: Glue on any variety of valentine-y materials on hand, such as pieces of doilies, cotton balls, buttons, paint chips, craft feathers, craft rice, fabric pieces or sewing trims, tissue scraps, foil scraps, or wrapping paper scraps.
- Bubble Prints: Bubble-blowing paint designs pop on heart paper.
- Fingerprints: Make fingerprints, footprints, or handprints with paint.
- Spin Art: Make spin art, and cut the paper into hearts.
- Spatter: Spatter paint on paper, and then cut hearts from the designs.
- Fun Prints: Make prints with a balloon, a shoe tread, a flyswatter, or the wheels of a toy car. Look around for things you have that have interesting patterns or textures.
This post was contributed by MaryAnn F. Kohl. MaryAnn is the renowned author of over 20 books about art for children. She is also an expert contributor and member of the Barnes & Noble Parents' Expert Circle. MaryAnn lives in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, Michael.