Crafting with my son is the best! I am always looking out for new things to try. I was at Target and saw a tub of air dry clay and thought it would be perfect. Read on to see my Valentine craft for preschoolers.
My son’s friend gave him some very sweet salt dough ornaments for Christmas and that inspired this project. You can use these hearts as hanging decorations or gift tags.
Since air-dry clay comes ready to use, this project is easy and quick.
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Gather your supplies.
As I said above, I found the air dry clay at Target in their craft supply aisle. The cookie cutters also came from there! We started to mix the clay on the table, but it was too sticky. I grabbed some of our scrap wood (pays to be a hoarder sometimes ha ha).
The wood was perfect. I grabbed a dough scraper and rolling pin from the kitchen. I’ve seen people use canned food as a rolling pin substitute! Lastly, I had a cup of water to help soften the clay and an old towel to wipe our hands.
Roll out the clay.
My little guy is 4 years old and he did great with the rolling pin. He has helped pizza dough and other doughs, so he already had the general idea. You wouldn’t want to have a shape too thin or too thick.
Press a cookie cutter on the dough.
Here you can see my little guy has his heart shaped cookie cutter in place. He is dipping his hands in water to soften the shape a bit.
Poke a hole in the hearts for your string.
I think my son had as much fun getting messy with clay and water! While that kept him occupied, I created holes in the hearts with the tip of an old mechanical pencil. My plan was to tie string to give to people as a hanging valentine, instead of a card. Or to use them as gift tags.
Paint your dried hearts.
After a few days drying, (package states to dry for one to two days) we set to paint. I had some paints left over from fall and Christmas that worked fine.
I had read ahead of time that acrylic paints work. I also read that spray paint can work.
Make sure to cover your surfaces before painting!
My son chose the colors he liked most. He mixed some colors together and had fun seeing what the results would be.
Use your hearts for gifting!
After the paint dried, I tied string through the hearts. I had bought a couple plants to gift to neighbors and used the hearts as gift tags. We will leave these on neighbor’s doorsteps to spread a little cheer.
This was a great rainy day activity that was pretty perfect for a preschool aged child. Of course adults can get creative and make vases, trinket dishes, ornaments with delicately carved designs. Next up we will have to try some salt dough!
Have you tried air dry clay or salt dough? Do you have a preference? Leave me a note in comments. I love to hear feedback. Thanks for reading!
Look at all these cute V-day finds!
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Don’t leave just yet!
I’ve gathered some more Valentine inspiration. Take a look at these great ideas.