Oh Valentines day. I remember having awesome valentines day parties in both elementary and middle school, I loved getting my little valentines and the tiny candies. Making my valentines mailbox out a old shoe box was always the best part, then stuffing my friends and classmates boxes with ORIGINAL 1980's care bear valentines. Or waiting for valentines from friends or a secret admirer to be pushed through the slots of my locker in middle school.
Well, Valentines, like many other holidays is no longer celebrated in many public schools...mine included. Last year, upon learning that we did not allow valentines parties, or the exchange go cards, after kinder and 1st grade at my school, I decided to just ignore the holiday and skip valentines project for anyone over the age of 7. OH the backlash I received. From both students and adults. Apparently the mindset (that was not shared with me till after the fact) was that it was not appropriate to do Valentines day activates in class that it was appropriate for the art room because I could make the projects about the art and the process...not the holiday...yeah whatever.
Much like Thanksgiving and Mothers Day the unspoken rule was "non religious" holidays were to be celebrated in the art room, while "religious" holidays such as Halloween, Easter and Christmas....and ANYTHING even remotely Jewish are not to be touched. (let's not talk about the talking to I received for having a class make six point tin stars that people were assumed were my way of prostlizing my personal religious background when what we were really doing was talking about mirror symmetry!) (another grrr moment) I stupidly got into an argument with someone that Valentine's day is...or originally was a religious based holiday...St. Valentines and all....I lost that argument. I think religion has nothing to do with it....but I digress. Ok so valentines day it is this year. Here are some project ideas and grade level that I might use them for.
this + this will become a valentines day card for 1st grade
(both from Art Projects for Kids)
kinder and life skills will make the painted paper for this the first week of Feb and then make puffy hearts (link off crafty crow)
good life skills standby (more crafty crow)
I think 3rd grade will like learning how to make 3-D letters and learn about the famous LOVE sculpture from the 60's (art projects for kids)
It is 2nd grade's turn with clay and how easy is it to turn a pinch pot into a heart shape? Easy.
(this is an idea photo...thrown on a wheel by an adult...not a kid made one)
The trick to little kids and clay is to only let them handle it for a little while or else it will dry out and crack. The other part of this class period will go to make monster valentines inspired by these :
torn paper and cut paper (link from crafty crow)
4th grade will look at Jim Dine's heart artwork and do a modified version of this:
(from kids artists)
5th grade will use our painted papers to make a heart bouquets collage. I'll let them make the hearts in the colors of their choice:
from that artist women.
For my 5th grade class that comes twice a week we will make a second project of tin hearts or these stitched heart cards.
middle school....I guess if I'm feeling nice I'll let them make cards on the Friday before V-day....we'll see.