Upcycle Leftover Valentine’s Day Cards

keep-calm-and-glitter-everything-7Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate with children. I cannot get enough glue, purple, pink, hearts, lace, ribbon and the glitter… Don’t even get me started on how much I love glitter.

Anyway, I love the idea of children handing out valentines to their friends (regardless if they are handmade or not) and celebrating this amazing idea of human compassion and kindness. But what happens on February 15? All those amazing valentines are trashed! Am I the only one who feels guilty about that? Here are a few ways you can incorporate those used valentines into your child’s every day play.

 Bookmarks

I am always on the hunt for bookmarks at my house. The little store-bought valentines are perfect for this. They are thicker than paper and similar in size to a regular bookmark.

 Velcro Wall or Flannelboard Pieces

photo 1A Velcro wall is super simple to make. Any fabric or craft store sells rolls of Velcro. Simply attach one side of it to a flat surface and the other side to the leftover valentine. I laminate my pieces for the Velcro wall but it isn’t necessary. This is great for story telling, sorting and songs.

A flannelboard is equally as easy to make and use. I love the instructions here. I used a cardboard box instead of cork board and it sits upright on it’s own, which is a bonus.

 Finger Puppets

Alot of the valentines that I’ve seen in stores are characters your child will know from television or movies. It’s super easy to turn them into a finger puppet. You can cut two holes in the bottom for your child’s fingers to act like legs or you could glue them onto popsicle sticks, which is our preferred method here.

 Art projects

Even though at this point, Valentine’s Day is over, you can still use them for future art photo 4projects. We make a lot of collages with leftover Valentine’s Day stuff. Preschool age kids love to experiment with scissors, markers and glue since their fine motor skills are really improving. You can let them go to town without worrying about waste!

 Sensory Box

Toddlers and preschoolers love a good sensory box. Here are a few of my favorites for Valentine’s Day:

1. Chasing Cheerios Valentine’s Day Sensory Box

2. Parenting In The Moment Sensory Box

3. 1+1+1=1 Imagination Bin 

You could shred the Valentine’s Day cards to add to the sensory boxes and that would provide more textures and colors for your little one to experience.

With the endless winter it seems we’re having, it will be nice to add some upcycled items to your child’s playroom. That way you can distract them while you sneak into the other room to eat their candy! Happy Valentine’s Day!

About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at [email protected]

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