In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, my kids and I are having fun with heart-shaped activities! My 5-year-old daughter enjoys writing and crafting, while my 2-year-old son loves to practice cutting and scribbling. Although it’s often challenging balancing both kids, this Cardboard Nature Weaving Valentine’s Day Cards Activity was great for both ages.
This nature craft was inspired by Little Pine Learners, one of my favorite websites for educational nature inspiration! Check out her brilliant, original idea of the activities here and here! This hands-on activity is beautiful and eco-friendly!
In addition, we used it as a conversation starter for a meaningful discussion about love.
What you need for the Cardboard Valentine’s Day Cards Activity:
- Rubber Bands
- Flowers and leaves
- Optional: Heart stencil (you can draw free hand or trace hearts from these free printable Valentine’s Day cards)
How to set up Cardboard Valentine’s Day Cards:
- Cut cardboard into heart shapes
- Write message on cardboard
- Wrap cardboard with rubber bands
- Insert desired nature collections!
I didn’t get a chance to take many pictures of the process (Little Pine Learners has more details). However, I do want to highlight that this was great cutting practice for both of my children. Although my 2-year-old still uses both hands to hold a scissor, he loves to trim and gather everything independently! Meanwhile, my daughter and I have always enjoyed nature collecting crafts (such as this parts of a flower activity and this 花 literacy activity!
1 Corinthians 13
This is a famous bible verse because it eloquently explains what love it. Our favorite worship band, Stream of Praise, has song lyrics inspired by 1 Corinthians 13:
Love is kind.
Love is patient.
Love isn’t jealous and it does not brag.
Love is never proud.
I wrote this on the cardboard heart in the above photo, and my daughter wrote 耶稣爱你 (Yēsū ài nǐ / Jesus loves you) on the other heart!
Discussing difficult topics with children
Since today is Martin Luther King Day in the United States, I talked to my 5-year-old daughter about Martin Luther King, Jr and race for the first time. Since I first experience racism at age 5, I felt that this was the time to introduce the topic to my daughter, although I’m not sure if she’s experienced racism yet. Some families might discuss this earlier, and others may wish to wait until their children are older. However, I want my children to be familiar with the topic and strategies to protect themselves and others before they face it in real life.
Our first discussion was brief and very general as I wanted to observe my daughter’s response to see how much to discuss and consider what to hold back on. I told her that MLK Jr was a brave man who stood up and educated many people peacefully about treating all people equally and respectfully regardless of appearance. During the discussion, we talked about how people come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and we treat everybody with kindness and respect, just as Jesus would. However, there are some people who do not know God and therefore not nice. But we always show kindness and forgiveness with our actions.
When my daughter asked if MLK was still alive, I got a lump in my throat, but replied simply with “no, he passed away many years ago”. Someday, my husband and I will have to face those hard discussions with our kids, and we will need to pray over how to approach it with them.
Take home message
I know this discussion may not have been what you expected for a Hallmark holiday! But I hope it might inspire meaningful conversation. There’s no “right” way to approach it, and I’d love to hear your experience or any tips that you’d like to share.
Related hands-on activities for kids
If your family enjoys nature activities, you’ll love these easy educational ideas!
More Valentine’s Day learning activities can be found here!