Monday, February 10, 2014

Preschooler Art: Making Valentine's Cards

Our days have been filled with dinosaurs (and now also dragons! yay! at least some change) activities, sensory boxes and books. I haven't been pushing art on Santino, since lately he is not interested in any art activities at all. I do take out paint and brushes almost every day, and ask him to make me a picture, doesn't matter what. Something. Usually he wants to draw a dinosaur, and if he is drawing anything, I'm happy with it. Stamping doesn't help either. I just hope that some day it will change.

This Valentine's cards project has been going on for a while, too. Every day I encourage Santino to do a little bit of stamping, or writing in these cards. The project is still in the making, but I am quite happy with the results.


I got this idea from one of the art books I have. I cut out the bases for the cards, a heart, a bug, a snowflake (my own idea and take on this project). Later on Santino inspired me to cut out a dinosaur foot.


To involve Santino, I squished some paint and brought down a couple of sticks of celery. Once cut, the celery makes a great heart shaped stamp. This didn't start as I planned, because as soon as Santino saw the celery, he exclaimed "oh, food!" and ate my art supply! I had some mixed emotions. On one hand, I was happy and proud that he loves his veggies so much, on the other hand... why can't he accept that it can also be a heart shaped stamp? Oh, well. I had more celery in the fridge, so I could easily replace the eaten ones.

Once Santino figured out how to stamp, he happily stamped away, making a lovely mess on the cards.

 He got bored with the hearts though, and made an improvement. He brought in his dinosaur, and made a few foot stamps. That was more his style. He was much more interested!

This inspired me to cut out another card, with a dinosaur foot! A little unconventional, indeed, but this represented Santino in a much better way, than a heart ever could. This one is really special. He said it will be for Devin, my friend, who's son was Santino's best friend until they moved to Vancouver a few months ago.

I suggested that he picked which card would go to which girlfriend. Then I scored the names on the cards for him to practice following the lines. This activity needs more practice. Santino just isn't interested, and sometimes he follows the lines, and sometimes just scrambles away with no particular aim.

Once all the cards are signed, they can be folded and inserted in an envelope.

I think this is a very cute project, a great exercise in art and a good way to practice writing. I found it easier to involve the reluctant preschooler when his obsession (the dinosaurs) came into play.

P.S. I am adding a couple of more photos of these cards. Our task was to prepare 13 valentine cards for Santino's nursery school Valentine Party. I cut out 13 cards, and managed to persuade Santino to decorate them all. He did a good job, I must say! My persuasion did include bribery, though. Santino can't co-exist near freshly baked cookies, he simply feels that he must eat them all. I made and decorated a batch to attach to the cards, and Santino really wanted to eat "just one more" and "a little one more, please".

So, my motto "first you do the art, then you have a cookie" really sunk in his mind. After the project was done, I heard him playing with his dinosaurs: "First you do the art, then you have a cookie" and showed a foam heart to the dinosaur.