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Valentines Cards: An Art Project Or Should They Be Store Bought?

By Nicola Kennedy

Giving Valentines to your classmates used to include endless hours of making them out of construction paper, cute dollies and with painstaking attention to all the details. It was a project that was done at home, for each individual child in the class. And, it was one that great pride was taken in doing. Today, there are much fewer families making Valentines and many more just buying a box of them to give out to their classmates with a simple signature on the back of them.

This has happened mainly because of how commercialized the holiday has become. As manufacturing techniques have gotten better and more cost effective that is the way that American school children have gone. Before this, in the 1960's, a book of valentines could be purchased. Children could actually cut out the cards from the book, personalize them with lace trim or even with candy and then send them on. But, it wasn't long before children were ready to skip the cutting out part altogether.

The Puns

Who hasn't smirked at the cute sayings that are placed on the Valentines cards? Such sayings as "I'm Sweet On You have been used for years and years. It came from a time of collecting these types of catchy, cute sayings and riddles. These can still be found today on the Valentines that are purchased out of the box.

The Cards

The cards used to fill a box with a variety of different styles and designs. Common ones were those of fruits and vegetables with these puns on them or they could include a few pictures of cute animals. Today, children's Valentines are more often in their favorite cartoon character.

Homemade Valentines

While children may not feel comfortable with providing homemade Valentines to their classmates today, they can and should still make them for their friends outside the classroom, for their adult friends and other loved ones. Not only is it a fun task to do, but it helps with motor skills and creativity as well. All that is needed is a simple piece of paper. The paper can be folded, cut, shaped in any way that they would like it to be. Here's one project to try:

* Fold the paper in half, and then fold it in half again in the other direction.

* Trim the outer edge as desired and cut a straight line diagonally across the folded corner. This will make a diamond shape in the middle.

* Fold it diagonally. Cut hearts along the diagonal line. When the paper is unfolded, there is a line of pin pricks, which make it look much like a piece of lace.

* Add this lacey paper to the top of a piece of pink or red paper.

* Add decorations such as a picture of cupid, a coloring of a rose or anything that is enjoyable.

This is a simple, affordable way to make homemade Valentines that parents and other friends will love to hang on to for many years to come. If your child seems to want to use only Valentines that are store bought, this should be okay as well. Allow them to pick those that they find enjoyable and help them to make those for others as well.

About The Author
Nicola Kennedy has become an expert in making Valentines Day decorations with her children.

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