In this activity, kids use sponges to make textured stamps for homemade, artistic Valentine's Day cards. For a more elegant look, replace the simple construction paper with cotton rag paper cards, doilies, or other art papers. Or, use fabric paint, and stamp your hearts onto tee-shirts, bandanas, or other wearable articles. In this way, the stamps can be used for little Valentines cards, or fun and unique gifts for special family members or friends.
Make sure sponges are clean, free of any dirt, food particles, or even soap.
Use a marker to draw the shape of the heart, no larger than 3 x 4 on the top of the sponge. When you have the right shape, cut out the sponge stamp using a pair of sharp scissors.
Cut out the cards you would like to use from construction paper. For simple two-sided Valentines, simply cut small 3 x 4 rectangles of construction paper. (The typical sheet of 9x12 construction page should yield nine small 3 x 4 cards, if you divide each side of a construction sheet into thirds.)
Next, test your stamp sponges. Wet the sponge slightly. Squirt some acrylic paint on the brush, and brush paint evenly over the sponge. Once it is evenly coated, test it on some newspaper or scrap paper to see whether you need more or less paint. Press the hearts down on all sides to make sure it evenly stamps the page.
Once you get a good heart stamp, start working on the cards. Coat the sponge evenly before each stamp application, and then stamp each card.
Let the painted cards dry for a half hour or overnight.
Rinse out your sponge if you want to re-use it as a stamp in the future. Also wash your paintbrushes in cool water.
Finish the cards by writing your Valentines greeting on the backs of the cards. You can simply write "To and From, Happy Valentines Day", or include a personal message.
Kids can give the cards to friends, classmates, or party guests. Or, display them around the house for a festive environment.