So with Valentine’s Day closely approaching I thought we’d do some heart themed painting and see what we could create. I was really pleased with the results and the best thing is, one of the nicest things we made was down to my son experimenting with his favourite mark-making tool of the moment; the humble cotton bud!
For the painting bit:
Activity mat (for table or floor).
Old clothes/aprons for you and your child.
Paints – red, pink and white (water based, non toxic).
Paper plates – to squeeze paint onto.
Card: red and white sheets – I also cut some card into heart shapes and bought a card 3D heart card magnet to decorate.
Heart shaped things to use as stamps: cookie cutter, wooden hearts (from craft shop) sponge made into heart shapes.
For the Decoration bit;
Permanent markers/ felt tips.
Step 1: Preparation!
Firstly get some toilet rolls – always a good tip to save these up as they are VERY useful for MAMA activities! Bend the toilet rolls into heart shapes and then tape them into place (see photos). I then collected other heart shaped things to use as mark-making tools.
I put the activity mat and a towel on the floor to make a nice large space to get messy! I then laid out the paper plates, paint tubes, heart mark-making tools, cotton buds, card, and heart magnet onto the mat whilst my son was napping!
As my son has grown up he’s started to want to help get the paint out by squeezing it onto the plates, so I no longer get this part ready, I incorporate it into the activity but if you have a younger child you may want to squeeze the paint out at this point too.
Step 2; Squeezing paint and making mess!
Once dressed in our painting clothes it’s time to start having fun. Firstly my son chooses which colour to start with, then he squeezes it onto the paper plates- normally from “up high”! We then do the same for the other colours.
Once ready I showed him how the toilet roll hearts make nice heart shapes and then he was off experimenting with all the other mark-making tools. The ones which worked the best were the toilet roll hearts and the cookie cutter as they were easier to hold and make clean shapes.
We used the wooden hearts to make shapes on card and then my son started using the cotton buds to add other colours to them, this looked really lovely and was not part of the plan but that’s how MAMA experimenting can help create original designs by your children! He also decorated the heart magnet in the same style.
Step 3: Tidy tidy tidy up!
Put all your reusable painting equipment into soak whilst you wipe off any excess paint and then put your child in the bath if they got a little bit too messy for wipes alone! Put your paintings to the side to dry. Make sure you then properly clean your equipment later so you can keep using them for future MAMA activities.
Step 4: Decoration/embellishing.
I mixed PVA glue with some glitter to paint over the wooden hearts and magnet.
Now this looks messy to begin with but trust me once dried you won’t be able to stop marvelling at their ultra shiny, glittery appearance! I then stuck some pink and red buttons to the edges of the magnet whilst the glue was still wet. Once dried I tied string to the wooden hearts through the pre-made holes to allow them to be hung up or used as gift tags.
For the painted card hearts I stuck them onto one of the sheets of card with heart prints on and embellished this with valentines messages using permanent marker pen. We also used stickers (another of my son’s favourites) to decorate the other paintings.
Now you have some beautiful decorative hearts and pictures to give as gifts or keep to decorate your home and spread the love! Don’t forget to keep an eye out for “Will you be my Valentine?” Part 2 where we will be going back to our love for hand and foot prints to make some lovely cards and pictures to display and keep!
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