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34 Fun Valentine’s Day Activities & Crafts Ideas for Kids (on a Budget)

Unless you’re Martha Stewart, you’re probably looking for some relatively easy kids craft ideas that don’t create too much mess.

With a bit of glue, some pipe cleaners, and construction paper, your kids can create a masterpiece they’ll be happy to hang on the fridge or send to a loved one. Many crafts can also double as gifts for parents, grandparents, or other family and friends.

Making a craft project to say I love you is also an inexpensive and fun way for kids to spend time with family and create lasting memories.

Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids

Kids love making crafts and art projects, and Valentine’s Day provides a perfect opportunity to get their creative juices flowing. And there’s an endless number of craft ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Just make sure you read through each tutorial and stock up on supplies early so you have everything you need on crafting day.

1. Valentine’s Day Mason Jar Vase

It’s simple to transform a Mason jar into a pretty flower vase or planter for Valentine’s Day.

Just paint the outside of the jar with several layers of chalk paint, letting each one dry completely before applying the next. When it’s completely dry, rub the outside with a small piece of coarse-grit sandpaper to give it a rustic finish. Then apply a layer of creme wax to protect the paint.

Get the full instructions on DIY Joy.

After the flowers are long gone, you can use the Mason jar to hold all sorts of things, including:

  • Toothbrushes
  • Utensils
  • Pens and pencils
  • Coins
  • Facial tissue
  • Cupcake liners

2. Love Tree

Sure, you can buy someone in your life a bouquet. But a homemade love tree is a lot more meaningful.

To make a love tree, have kids collect bare branches, and spray-paint them white or red. They can arrange them in a vase — a real one or a found vase, such as a pitcher or decorated Mason jar.

They can then create a heart-shaped ornament to hang on each branch by a red or white ribbon. Kids can take the idea a step further and write messages of love on each ornament, such as something specific they love about the person they’re giving it to or other family members.

Get the full instructions on The House That Lars Built.

3. Felt Heart Mobile

This craft is best for older kids who can use a needle safely.

A felt heart mobile is nothing more than some stuffed felt hearts hanging from a bar with ribbon or bakers twine. They can sew tiny eyes onto the hearts. And the bar can be anything from a tree branch to a plastic straw, which they can decorate with spray paint or washi tape.

Get the full instructions on SewYeah.

4. Lipstick Heart Wall Art

Kids of all ages can use shades of pink and red lipstick to make a cool piece of wall art. This craft makes an imaginative gift for a sweetheart or crush. It’s also an enjoyable project for a group of makeup-obsessed preteens or teens.

Start by having kids trace a big heart onto a piece of drawing paper or canvas. Then they can use the lipstick to paint the heart using broad diagonal strokes, one color per line. This is one time when you want to encourage them to color outside the lines to get the controlled mess effect.

Get the full instructions at I Heart Naptime.

5. Tree Stump Initials Carving

Most of us know it’s taboo to carve our initials onto a tree. While it’s an age-old custom, this act of love damages the tree’s bark and makes it vulnerable to disease and pests. But a thick branch or stump that’s already down is fair game and makes for beautiful nature-inspired art for your home.

First, find a thick branch that’s already fallen in your yard, neighborhood, or a nearby park or saw one off a dead tree. While you can use any tree, those with thinner bark, like aspen or birch, are the easiest to carve. Branches that are at least 4 inches thick are big enough, but using larger branches makes a statement.

Saw off a section of branch around 12 inches long. Make sure the bottom cut is level so the branch can stand without falling over. If thinner branches don’t stand up when leveled, cut a few inches off the top to make it less top-heavy. Older kids can do this step themselves, but little ones will need some help.

Next, kids can use a pencil to draw initials into the bark surrounded by a heart. They can use your family members’ initials or their own initial and that of the intended recipient. Or they can create a joint Valentine’s Day gift by carving a couple’s initials — for example, this is an extra-special gift for Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa.

Last, someone can use a Phillips-head screwdriver to carve the initials into the bark. Younger kids may need help with this step.

Get the full instructions on The Idea Room.

6. Homemade Valentine’s Cards

Do-it-yourself cards let your kids express themselves on Valentine’s Day. Have them try writing a short poem or explaining why they’re grateful to have this person in their life.

If older kids feel stuck, Better Homes and Gardens has some lovely DIY Valentine’s Day card ideas to get them started.

Let younger kids use their imagination by setting them up with supplies to cut out hearts, smear on glue, and go wild with glitter.

7. A Jar or Box of Love Notes or Poems

You can make this one a Mason jar project or use any vessel you like. For example, search for a unique antique glass jar or simple jewelry box. You can often find these at thrift stores or antique malls. If you don’t want to head out shopping, check eBay or Etsy for some vintage finds.

Once you have a suitable vessel, kids can write love notes, quotes, or poems to their valentine on small pieces of paper — decorative scrapbook paper makes them even more special. Bonus points if they go the extra mile to make tiny envelopes for each one. Then put the notes into the jar or box so the recipient can pull one out when they need a pick-me-up.

To get started, use some of these writing prompts:

  • I love you because _______.
  • My favorite memory of you is _______.
  • When you _______, it makes me smile.
  • One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from you is _______.
  • My favorite thing about you is _______.
  • I’m proud of you because_______.
  • I’m really looking forward to doing [future event or milestone] with you.

You can also find an expansive list of quotes they can select from at Good Housekeeping or Goodreads.

8. Valentine’s Day Heart Suncatcher

The Valentine’s Day heart suncatcher makes a beautiful piece of art you can hang in front of a sunny window to brighten up a dreary day. And even very young children can do this craft.

Just gather clear contact paper, glitter and other relatively flat embellishments (like jewels), red and pink tissue paper, red construction paper, and glue.

To make the suncatcher, cut out a heart “frame” and attach it to the sticky side of the contact paper sheet. Then, kids can decorate the inside of the heart as they please with glitter, jewels, and tissue paper.

When your child finishes decorating, simply lay another piece of contact paper over the top and trim off the excess.

Get the full instructions at Happiness is Homemade.

9. Valentine’s Card Mailbox

This easy craft gives your kids a little mailbox to store all the Valentine’s Day cards they get at school in. All you need are plastic plates (ideally red ones), ribbon, a hole punch, and foam alphabet stickers.

Have your kids cut the top third off one plate. With the plates facing each other, they can punch holes every couple of inches around the perimeter of both plates and weave ribbon through the holes to affix them, creating a pocket for their valentines. Leaving an extra 2 feet of ribbon allows your child to hang the mailbox.

Then they can use the foam alphabet stickers to spell their name and decorate it as they please.

Get the full instructions at That’s What Che Said.

10. Valentine’s Fingerprint Tree

Parents never really get tired of seeing their children’s fingerprints and handprints in art. It’s such a personal marker of a special time. This craft is a meaningful way to preserve your child’s tiny fingerprints. It’s also quick and easy to do with preschoolers and 4- to 5-year-olds.

All you need for this project is white paper; a black marker; and pink, red, or purple paint or ink (from a stamp set).

Start by drawing a tree trunk with empty branches. Then, ask your child to put the paint or ink on their fingers and use them to make leaves. The result is a tree full of red, pink, and purple fingerprint leaves.

Get the full instructions at Easy Peasy and Fun.

11. Valentine’s Day Banner

Hanging decorative banners is a cheerful way to celebrate an upcoming holiday and show your family they’re loved. You can create a simple Valentine’s Day banner from colorful paper hearts or download and print a banner with a message like “I Love You” or “Be Mine.” Hang the banner with red and white bakers twine to make it look even more festive.

Find charming V-Day banners at Tatertots & Jello, Tell Love and Party, or Aspen Jay.

12. Heart Pipe Cleaners

If you have kids, you have pipe cleaners. So put them to good use by making Valentine’s hearts. Just pick out the red and pink pipe cleaners and grab some cardboard.

To make this craft, have the kids cut heart shapes from the cardboard, then draw a smaller heart in the middle and cut that heart out as well. That leaves them with a heart-shaped DIY wreath form. Let the kids choose a pipe cleaner color and wrap it around the wreath form until it’s completely covered.

They can use these colorful hearts to top gifts, make a garland, or as Valentine’s Day decorations around the house.

Get the full instructions at Tell Love and Party.

13. Valentine Bird Feeders

Valentine’s Day falls during the last official month of winter. It’s cold and snowy in much of the country, which means birds and other wildlife could really use our help finding food to make it to spring.

And that’s where these cute valentine bird feeders come in. It’s a suitable craft to do with kids of all ages, even preschoolers, as there are many ways they can help. But because the bird feeders are delicate, it’s still an activity best-suited for older kids.

To make these bird feeders mix birdseed, gelatin, flour, water, and corn syrup. Then pack the birdseed mixture into heart-shaped cookie cutters, using a chopstick or dowel to make a hole in the top to accommodate ribbon.

You can hang them outside from trees or give them as valentines using the free printable gift tag.

Find full instructions at Simple Joy.

14. Valentine Heart Wind Chime

If you have a container of plastic pony beads you don’t know what to do with, bring them out for this creative wind chime craft.

To make the wind chime, let the kids help you sort red and white beads into small heart-shaped silicone baking molds. Then melt them in the oven. When the hearts come out, they might have sharp edges from the melted plastic. You can remove those by sanding them with rough sandpaper or trimming them with scissors. When they’re finished, the plastic hearts look a bit like stained glass.

After they’ve cooled completely, attach the hearts to bakers twine using a hot glue gun, and tie all your twine to a stick.

Get the full instructions at No Time for Flashcards.

15. Love Bugs

With this project, your kids can create a buggy Valentine friend for their room or to give to loved ones or a special friend.

They need a toilet paper roll — and pretty much anything else they want to decorate it with. That could include pipe cleaners for antenna and legs, beads, glitter, pom-poms for noses or spots, construction paper, and glue. You can also use googly eyes to create a fun face and cut wings from colorful cellophane.

Get the full instructions at Red Ted Art.

16. Glitter Clay Dough Hearts

This heart craft uses homemade clay dough, which is much less expensive than air-dry clay.

In this craft, your kids use cookie cutters to cut hearts or other Valentine’s Day shapes, like Cupid. When the clay designs are completely dry, they brush them with white glue and sprinkle them liberally with colorful glitter.

Get the full instructions on Happy Hooligans.

17. Valentine Origami

Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. And there are many wonderful origami crafts you can try with your kids for Valentine’s Day.

The wonderful thing about origami is that all you need is colorful paper. While you can use any type of paper, origami paper is cut in a smaller square for origami-specific projects and holds a crease well.

You can make just about anything. For example, try these origami candy boxes from Vitamini Handmade or a heart-shaped origami garland from Alyssa & Carla.

For a twist on origami, look for a kirigami craft. Kirigami is another paper-folding art, but it allows for cutting the paper to create your designs. Try these cute kirigami heart corner bookmarks from Red Ted Art,

18. Black Glue Hearts

Making black glue hearts is a wonderful art project to do with older kids. Black glue is just white school glue colored with black paint. You use it in arts-and-crafts projects to create a simple and bold background or outline.

To make homemade black glue, mix white glue with black acrylic paint. Then let the kids use the black glue to make a stained-glass heart using a premade template. Once the black glue is dry, your kids can use watercolors to paint each segment of the heart.

You can download the template on I Heart Crafty Things and get the full instructions at Red Ted Art.

19. 100 Hearts Sensory Bottle

Sensory bottles can help your kids calm down when they’re upset or self-regulate when they feel strong emotions like anger or fear.

A sensory bottle is nothing more than a bottle of water filled with glitter or other small objects. When they’re stressed, your child can shake and focus on the contents of the bottle, watching as the glitter or objects float gently around in the water. Adding an agent like clear glue or hair gel to the water helps slow the objects down when they’re drifting through the water.

You can help your child make their own sensory bottle using rhinestone hearts for Valentine’s Day. They can personalize it by choosing the glitter color they want to use.

Get the full instructions at Living Montessori Now.


Valentine’s Day Activities

If you’re looking for some fun activities to get your kids in the spirit of love day, try some of these Valentine’s Day-themed activities.

20. Valentine’s Day Treats

Since sweets are involved, the holiday of love is also the perfect opportunity to start cooking with your kids. There’s an endless number of easy Valentine’s Day treats you can make with your kids, such as Valentine’s Day marshmallow pops or heart crispy rice treats.

You can find some unique and flavorful kid-friendly Valentine’s Day-themed recipes online. And if you decide to make a Valentine’s Day-themed cupcake, download and print some delightful Valentine’s Day cake toppers from Design Eat Repeat to make it even more special.

21. Conversation Heart Bingo

Start a new family Valentine’s Day party tradition with conversation heart bingo. You play conversation heart bingo just like regular bingo, but instead of round chips, you use conversation heart candies and a custom Valentine’s Day-themed playing board.

This game would also be fun to do in a classroom or with your pandemic pod learning group.

You can download a free printable for conversation heart bingo on Artsy Fartsy Mama.

22. Valentine’s Day Word Search

Many kids and parents love word searches. They’re pleasantly challenging and help kids strengthen their spelling and reading skills.

If you’re homeschooling or just looking for a fun V-Day activity, download and print some Valentine’s Day-themed word searches.

You can find a sizable list of Valentine’s Day word searches organized by age and skill level at The Spruce Crafts.

23. Building With Gummy Hearts

If you’re looking for an entertaining STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the (liberal) arts, and mathematics) activity to do at home with your kids, let them build structures with gummy hearts and toothpicks.

You can increase the difficulty by giving them only a minute or two to create a building before the challenge ends. You can also add math elements for younger kids by asking them to count the hearts or measure the size of the structure they built with a ruler.

Get the full instructions at Lemon Lime Adventures.

24. Read Valentine’s Day Stories

When you’re ready to take a breather from your crafty morning and dial things down a notch, consider reading your kids some Valentine’s Day stories. Reading aloud is one of the best ways to encourage your kids to read.

Go to the library and check out some of these popular Valentine’s Day books:

25. Create a Valentine’s Day Tinker Tray

If you’re looking for an easy Valentine’s day activity for kids, make a V-Day tinker tray. A tinker tray is a tray of small, inexpensive things that encourage kids to make, build, problem-solve, and create.

Homeschooling parents often use tinker trays to foster independent learning and thinking. And well-put-together tinker trays can keep a child entertained for a long time.

For a Valentine’s Day theme, stock your tinker tray with materials in red, pink, and purple. You can buy an abundance of inexpensive holiday-themed pieces at the dollar store. But you also likely have many tinker tray-appropriate objects in your home, such as:

  • Washi tape
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Toothpicks
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Styrofoam balls
  • Construction paper
  • Plastic beads
  • Small jewels
  • Dish sponges (cut into pieces)
  • Clothespins
  • Dry pasta or beans
  • Buttons
  • Yarn
  • Crayons
  • Paper plates
  • Wine corks
  • Pom-poms
  • Rubber bands
  • Golf tees
  • Rocks and small pebbles
  • Old keys
  • Paper clips
  • Bottle caps

You can put almost anything into a tinker tray. Kids get creative with the oddest bits and pieces. Just put everything on a big tray or even in something like a tackle box, and let your kids go to town.

26. Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt

Valentine’s Day is the perfect day for a love-themed scavenger hunt. You can lead them around the house hunting for colorful candies, small presents, or other Valentine’s Day-themed party favors, such as Valentine’s Day pencils.

Get the full instructions, including downloadable Valentine’s Day riddles, on Play Party Plan.

27. Heart-Themed Science Lesson

There’s no better time to learn about the human heart than on Valentine’s Day.

For older kids, download and print The Circulation Game from Ellen McHenry’s Basement Workshop. Younger children can play with a human body organ match from Simply Learning. You can also head over to Living Montessori Now for more ideas and free printables.

28. A Duck Hunt

Ducks are one of the many animals that choose their mates during the winter season. If you live near a river, pond, or lake, take your kids on a hike to go duck watching. Bring binoculars, snacks, and a bird identification book so you can identify which species you find.

Keep an eye out for female ducks surrounded by males, who will likely be bobbing their heads up and down, flapping their wings, and strutting their tail feathers to impress her. It’s an excellent opportunity to explain duck mating and nesting to your kids.

Learn more about ducks and their mating process at Wild Care.

29. Valentine’s Day Mad Libs

Combine handwriting practice and English into one fun lesson with Valentine’s Day-themed Mad Libs. Your kids can fill out a Mad Lib to create a silly story or send a memorable valentine to a friend or classmate.

You can find free Valentine’s Day Mad Libs to download and print at Scholastic and Woo Jr.

30. Write a Valentine’s Poem

Your kids will have a blast writing a short Valentine’s poem to give to a friend or loved one. Ask younger kids to rewrite the “Roses are Red” poem in their own words. This simple poem reads:

“Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

Sugar is sweet.

And so are you.”

You can get more tips for helping your kids personalize this simple poem on Poetry4Kids.

Older children can get more advanced by writing a haiku. Haiku is a short-form Japanese style of non-rhyming poetry, usually focusing on the natural world. All haikus are 17 syllables: one line of five syllables, one line of seven, then another line of five. You can see examples of haiku at Read Poetry.

Download a free Valentine’s haiku activity at Education.com.

31. Kid-Friendly Spa Day

Spend part of the day unwinding with your kids with an at-home spa day. Play some relaxing music, set up a special lunch with tea and delicate sandwiches, create a nail and pedicure station, and look up some cheap and easy beauty treatments to make at home.

For more inspiration, head over to Project Nursery to see how one mother went all out for a surprise DIY spa day for her kids.

32. Watch a Kid-Friendly Romantic Movie

Make some popcorn, grab your Valentine’s candy, and pile on the couch to watch a family-friendly romantic movie. And as you might imagine, there are plenty of endearing options to choose from:

Many of these movies are available through streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Movie, and Disney+. So check your favorite streaming service for these titles and others like them before investing in a DVD.

If you want to stay away from the romance theme, you can’t go wrong with the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

33. Visit a Chocolate Shop (Virtually)

Do you know how chocolatiers make their confections? While you can’t go to a chocolate shop safely due to the pandemic, you can visit one virtually thanks to YouTube.

Take your kids on an online adventure through cocoa fields and then a chocolate shop with a virtual field trip by Eat Happy Project.

34. Valentine’s Candy Heart Sensory Bag

This fun activity is primarily for younger kids, though older kids might find it just as fun.

Take a handful of colorful candy hearts and put them in a clear zip-close bag along with clear hair gel. Seal the top completely with clear packing tape to ensure nothing oozes out. Then let your kids squish the candy hearts. As the hearts break down, they create swirls of pastel colors.

Get the full instructions on Fantastic Fun and Learning.


Final Word

Many people see Valentine’s Day through the lens of romantic love — a day to share with a spouse or partner. But Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love in all its forms, including the love we share with our kids.

Doing crafts with your children helps them put their feelings into words or create something meaningful they can give to a friend or loved one.

It can also help you balance your time and commitments. If you plan a couples date night, you can organize and prepare several of these crafts so the babysitter you hire will have plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained.

Heather Levin
Heather Levin is a writer with over 15 years experience covering personal finance, natural health, parenting, and green living. She lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina with her husband and two young sons, where they're often wandering on frequent picnics to find feathers and wildflowers.

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