Valentine's Day Painting Activity

4.0 based on 1 ratings
Updated on Jan 28, 2014

This heart print makes the perfect simple and sweet gift for Valentine's Day! In this activity, your child will learn about basic math concepts such as geometry and repeating patterns through the artistic process as she creates unique, mosaic-like print art. Introduce her to the work of famous artists such as M.C. Escher and the technique of tessellation to help her find inspiration for her design.

This print art activity will not only encourage your child to apply mathematical concepts in a hands-on activity, but will also help her explore color and printmaking.

Did you know? A tessellation is a pattern in which the shapes fit next to each other without gaps or overlaps. It isn't possible to create a true, gapless tessellation with the shape of a heart, but you can get close!

What You Need:

  • Paper in a light color (try pink or white)
  • Tempera paint in red, blue, and white
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint palette or washable tray
  • 2 heart shaped paint sponges or rubber stamps

What You Do:

  1. Start with a quick color mixing experiment. Have your child carefully place the paint in puddles on a tray or palette. Ask your child to mix the paints together with a paintbrush to create different colors. Which two colors make purple? How about pink? For added fun, add in yellow paint too so she can make any color she likes! Have your child create two distinct colors to use in this activity.
  2. Ask your child to dip one of the heart shaped sponges or stamps into one of the paint colors, then print (stamp) the shape onto a blank sheet of paper.
  3. Now have your child dip the second sponge or stamp into the other paint color and print.
  4. Have your child repeat steps 2 and 3 until she's satisfied with her design.
  5. Set aside to dry completely.

To make printing easier, you can attach a piece of cardboard in the shape of a heart to the back of your sponge or stamp, then attach a paper or cardboard loop to the cardboard base to create a handle.

Hang up your heart print for Valentine's Day, or give it away to someone special!

Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

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