The other day, I received a notice in my five year old's back pack that her kindergarten class will be exchanging Valentines in two weeks. We've done this before with friends, but never for an entire class of expectant five year olds! This is a big deal, people.
I started looking around on Pinterest and found millions of creative ideas for Valentines. Almost every idea I found had one thing in common: They required ME to make them. Some of them even called for special paper and labels for printables and while those Valentines are awesome, I wanted something my five year old could make herself, with my assistance.
I've been studying the letter A with my four year old and while I was looking up astronomy crafts, I came across these constellation tubes. And thus these STELLAR VALENTINES were born.
And yes, even a kindergartner can make them.
We made both full size and half size Stellar Valentines. I think the mini version is best to hand out in the classroom and the full size is perfect for a craft activity at home.
Here are the materials you'll need:
toilet paper roll
(I honestly love crafts that use those things because I always have plenty)
stickers, glitter, ribbon, decorative letters, and any other BLING to dress it up
Cut out a square of foil and cover one end of your tube. Place some glue around the rim of the tube beforehand to keep it in place. I used hot glue because it gets the job done faster.
Smooth down the excess foil as you will be covering it with paper and want it to lay as flat as possible. (Can you tell this girl is used to posing for my camera?)
To help it lay flat, wrap some masking tape around the foil. Then you're ready to create your constellation!
Here are two of the books we read this week to learn a bit about constellations:
Use your toothpick to poke holes, or stars, into your foil.
Since these are Valentines, we made our own constellations of LOVE.
We did plain hearts, two hearts linked together, multiple tiny hearts, and I even tried writing "Stellar" but soon realized that it was backwards when I looked through the other side. Duh.
Cut your construction paper to size and wrap it around your tube, sealing it with glue.
Time to decorate!
My four year old decided to punch holes at the other end and tie a ribbon onto her tube so she could wear it as a necklace. She opted for glitter dots and "You are stellar" in her own handwriting, which is huge progress for that little one.
Love those backwards R's.
And my fancy five year old went after the stickers and even drew a helmet around the monkey's head to make him a "space monkey."
Yep, I made one too.
Time for a snack...
And on to the minis! I think these will be so fun for Hazel to pass around to her classmates and every one can be unique. I used card stock since Wednesday was trash day and we were fresh out of toilet paper rolls.
Cover the end with foil.
Wrap in your paper.
Glue the edge.
And make your constellation of love.
Since they weren't fancy enough, we lined the rim with glue and dipped it them in glitter!
I had some letter stickers that we used, but my favorites are the ones that my daughter wrote herself.
Hazel added that "I love you" for a boy in her class. She said it was because he just had a birthday, so naturally she had to say "I love you."
Even though we make activity time a consistent thing in our home, I'm not always good about having patience with tiny fingers or strong-willed opinions that want to do it their way. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and when it comes to these activities with my kids, I have to throw my desire for perfection out the window and focus instead on my lovability. There have been times that I have wondered why I do these activities on a regular basis with my kids when it can become so challenging. These pictures don't show the moment I burned my finger with hot glue, muttered an expletive, and shooed away my four year old who was scraping the table with her tooth pick. But I know it's worth the effort to keep trying because I want, REALLY want, my kids to remember that I took the time to do these things with them, not for them.
Happy Valentines to all you awesome moms out there.
You inspire me, really.