As St. Valentine’s Day approaches, and this world is so desperately in need of knowing God’s love, here’s a fantastically simple craft from our favorite artist, and former art teacher, Megan Maloney (creator of our Kids’ Stations of the Cross). Send these heart-stamped construction paper sheets as cards, bookmarks, love notes, or anything else you can think of. We may not be able to be near each other, but our presence, sent in the form of something so physically tangible as a real hand-made card, can make a gigantic difference. In fact, these are easy enough to create that you could mark everyone off your list this year!

You’ll need a couple of tubes – paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls or even just some cardstock rolled up and taped. Cut them to a length that fits in your child’s fist with a couple of inches or so to spare. They need enough to hold on to, plus a little extra so their hands aren’t automatically right in the paint (even though they’ll get there anyway!). Fold each tube you’re using in on itself in one spot and pinch the opposite side together. Looking at the end of it, you’ll see a heart shape. Crease those folds firmly. You’ve just made your stamp!

Now for the painting. You can use construction paper, card stock, or even watercolor paper. Scraps will do, too, since you can cut these into any shape later. Lay out the papers, and squirt some kid’s art paint onto a paper plate or plastic tray. If you have grabby kids, give them each their own plate of paint. Show the kids how to dip and stamp, then hand them their supplies. Having a wad of damp paper towels nearby might help keep the mess from extending to the walls on the way to the nearest sink.

Once these hand-crafted gems are dry, you can fold them into cards and add messages inside, cut them into heart shapes for cute tags, set them up as name plates at your table for a special St. Valentine’s Day treat or dinner, or glue two strips of them together to make a nice, sturdy bookmark. You can even wrap a tiny gift with them. 

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