Sure, you can go out and buy a box of Valentine cards…but for a special message—handwritten by your first grade beginning reader—try this simple craft activity to make someone’s day.
What You Do:
- Start with your three tissue paper squares. Place them one on top of the other, and rotate each one to be sure that the corners don’t match up. You want a “ruffled” look!
- Place the top of your lollypop into the center of the three tissue papers, and pull the tissue papers down over it. Fasten them with a small rubber band or twistie; the lollypop will make a ball in the center, and the tissues will ruffle around it.
- Now cut 5-7 “leaves” from the foam board. Each leaf should be about 1-3/4” long and 1” wide—enough for a short written message.
- Have your first grader write at least one word on at least 3-4 leaves, to send a message to his Valentine. He might write things like: “Dear Teacher Anna/Thanks/I like you/School is fun…” Help if he asks; otherwise, leave the creativity to him.
- Now drive the end of the lollypop stick through the end of each leaf, and run the leaves up the “stem” so that they support the tissue paper. Expect an adorable Valentine message.
The final product of this project is always delightful to see…but if you’re also looking to build those literacy skills, you can feel extra good. You’ve given your first grader yet another chance to see that writing is communication, and it can be good fun, too.
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.