Homestead to be featured in Valentine’s Craft on Diapers and Daydreams 

Good morning everyone, 

We will be a featured collaborator in an upcoming Valentine’s piece on Diapers and Daydreams but you can see it here first. 

Hey DayDreamers! 
I’m Tara from Homestead Transformation, and like many of you I am a busy mom on a BUDGET! There is one thing that I would never let my BUDGET get in the way of, and that is not because I am willing to shell out the pretty penny at many of the local chain crafting stores, it is because I have found great ways to get my craft on at The Dollar Tree.  
This time of the year is perhaps one of my biggest crafting times. I love to make homemade Valentine’s with my children for their classmates, I not only find it to be a great weekend activity with my kiddos, but I find that it is also it to be an excellent way to help them out with their fine motor skills when it comes to using the scissors and even practicing their writing skills.  
Right now The Dollar Tree is flooded with all of their Valentine’s Day merchandise at their everyday low price of a just $1.00! For the two projects that I am going to show you today you will need the following supplies.
Supplies List

2 Packs of construction paper – $2 

2 Packs of foam heart stickers – $2 

1 Pack of Pipe Cleaners – $1 

2 – 4 Packs of Valentine’s Day Pencils depending on your child’s class size $2 – $4 
Total for both projects $7 – $9 
Candy Free Option 

Fine Motor Activity

Best Age Group 4-6 
I start by making the templates for the boys to trace, to do this I use cardstock that will typically contrast the paper that they will be using. For the butterfly I fold the cardstock in half and I draw the top half of the heart away from the fold. I have the boys use a variety of colors to cut their butterflies out from. Have them fold the paper in half and trace the templates onto each of the sheets. If your LO is a bit older this is a great way to encourage proper pencil or crayon grip. Using age appropriate scissors encourage you LO to cut out their designs. This may become a little tedious for them after a few so you may want to precut all but 5-10, or you can make a schedule and encourage them to make 5 each day! Once you’ve got your butterfly wings cut out have your LO place a foam heart in the center between the two wings. I found that for the next part it works out better for an adult to do, with the butterfly folded in half cut two slits approximately a half inch apart, once complete we will slide the pencil body through the flap this has created. The foam heart in the center works well to create enough stability for the paper not to tear. 


Have your LO decorate their butterflies with hearts, glitter, crayons and markers however they would like. 
To make the body we are going to simply take pipe cleaner and wrap it around the top of the pencil slightly bending the tips to look like antennas. I pre-cut the pipe cleaners to about 2 inches in length. 


Once your Valentine’s have been decorated, you can have your LO slide the pencils through the slits. I pre-printed out my LOs name in traceable format in our school systems alphabet system and attached them so he could sign his own name.  


Best Age Group 3-4 
The penguins are great for a slightly younger LO, or anyone who loves penguins of course!  
I’ve started by pre cutting out some black ovals, I don’t worry too much about matching or perfection because they’re going to be animals and everyone is different. Next I pre cut orange hearts, these are going to be used as our feet and also orange diamonds to be folded in half as our beaks. If your LO is a little older than this age grouping that’s fine too, there are always modifications to be made, you could turn it into fine motor fun by having them cut out the shapes themselves, and it’s also great for teaching shape identification. 
I prefer to use the adhesive strip that comes in the little white out looking rolls personally, having a LO who needs some extra OT help with fine motor I personally find that they way you have to hold them is more similar to a pen grip rather than a glue stick which seems to encourage a grasping hold, but there’s no wrong way to do it and feel comfortable and free to use what you have on hand. 
Have your LO attach the heart feet with the round bumps of the heart facing downward on the back of your oval. When you turn it over it’s amazing how you can already start to see a tiny penguin emerging. Next using the white foam hearts that came in our multipack from The Dollar Tree we are going to attach one directly in the center of the oval, this makes our little penguins white belly! Again using your preferred adhesive method have your LO attach your little pals beak. Just above that using a white crayon have your LO give him two little eyes. If you want to be a little more fancy you can swap out the crayon for some googlie eyes, most often also available at The Dollar Tree. 


Now if you’re ready to call it quits, that’s great! You can have your LO doodle or sign their name to the back using the white crayon, you could also sign them for them with a silver sharpie on the belly or back if they’re smaller. If you wanted to take it one step further you could also. If your school doesn’t have a mandate about candy on Valentine’s. Using 2 half inch by three inch long stripes you could attach a mini bag of m&m’s or skittles to your little penguins back like a knapsack, and if candy isn’t an option using snack size ziplock baggies you could do the same with erasers or little trinkets in the bag. 
That’s all folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed me two easy, cheap Valentine’s Crafts. I look forward to being able to share more fun with you! Have a wonderful day! And if you’re interested in checking out more from me stop by and check out my country, cooking, couponing, homesteading self at https://homesteadtransformation.wordpress.com
As we say at the Homestead! 

Peace, Happiness and Salvation until next time! 

Tara

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