Make Stenciled Heart Paintings

What You Need:

  • Card stock or other thick paper
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Tempera paints in various colors (try using white and the three primary colors: blue, red, and yellow)
  • Paintbrush
  • Washable paint palette or tray
  • Tape

What You Do:

  1. To make the stencil, help your child first draw a heart shape on the card stock.
  2. Carefully cut out the heart. Begin cutting from the center rather than the edge by poking a hole or cutting a slit in the card stock. Try to keep the area outside the heart free of snips and cuts, as this is what will form your stencil. If you do cut into this part, you can tape it back together.
  3. Set aside the heart cut-out. Don't throw it away! You can use it for another Valentine's Day craft or activity.
  4. Squirt out small amounts of each color of paint onto the paint palette or tray. Ask your child to mix the paints together to create her own special shades and colors. As she mixes, ask your child how she can mix together the primary colors to make the other major colors. What color do red and blue make? How about yellow and red?
  5. Have your child tape the stencil onto a sheet of construction paper.
  6. Ask your child to carefully paint the part of the paper showing through the stencil.
  7. Gently remove the stencil to reveal a heart shape!
  8. Have your child repeat steps 5-7 to continue adding hearts to her painting. Encourage her to be as creative as she likes: she can use many different colors, only traditional Valentine's Day colors, or even stencils in different sizes!
  9. Once your child is satisfied with her painting, set it aside to dry completely.

You can also use this activity to make creative Valentine's Day cards for family and friends! Handmade cards are more thoughtful and charming than store-bought ones—your loved ones will surely appreciate the effort that went into them!

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