This season of love is the ideal showcase for the spirit of goodwill that’s so essential to our Stepping Stone™ community. Valentine’s Day calls forth the starry-eyed artist in our wee ones: From toddlers to teenagers, research has shown that children who are given artistic outlets develop important skills and improved mental health. No matter what stage of life your children are in, we have a craft they’re going to love. Read on for three creative — and developmentally-appropriate — projects to fill everybody’s hearts this season.
 
Littles and Lace

Kids Making Valentine's Day Cards Getty Images

Spread out construction paper, crayons, safety scissors, and a whole collection of glue sticks then let your littles loose! The satisfaction of gluing a lacy heart onto construction paper is a feeling shared by children everywhere — but what they may not know is that they’re simultaneously developing fine motor skills and language. In fact, the CDC recommends that by five years old children should have frequent access to glue and scissors. Children will blossom as they build confidence in their motor skills and artistic ability, so why not help them grow and have fun all at once!
 
Wrapped with Love

Valentine's Day Crafts Getty Images

Starting around age seven, children develop logical reasoning and can classify objects into sets — they still crave guidance and structure but want to add their personal touches. This sweet wreath can be a project for the two of you that offers plenty of free choice to your newly-independent kiddo.
 
Wrap a foam wreath with twine, then cut hearts of various sizes from sturdy cardboard. Secure one end of the yarn to the cardboard with a small dot of hot glue before methodically wrapping with yarn to your desired thickness. Use a glue gun to attach hearts around the wreath and add a loop of twine for hanging, then let your preteens give them as pretty holiday presents to teachers or friends!
 
Quilled to Perfection

Quilling Hearts Valentine's Day Getty Images

In adolescence, teenagers begin to process abstract thought — which means they can create interpretations of objects without needing to capture a realistic representation. Quilling is the art of paper filigree, a craft that requires attention to small touches. Thin paper strips are looped, shaped by hand, and glued onto a background to create patterns or images.
 
Hearts are some of the easiest shapes to quill, which makes this a perfect Valentine’s Day craft for your teen! One white strip of paper is folded in half, then spiraled inward from each end. While you can cut your own strips of paper, buying precut paper strips saves everybody time (and sanity). Quilling is easiest with a quilling board and slotted tool, but can be done purely by hand as well. As teens work through the details of their designs, they have a safe and creative space to alleviate stress. What could be better for their hearts than that?
 
Here at Stepping Stone™, we pride ourselves on the attention we pay to the education and care of the children in our community: As their artistic freedom soars, so do they! Show them how much you love them on Valentine’s Day (and every day) by giving them frequent opportunities to create — and remember, if you’re running low on supplies, Stepping Stone™ is a skip away from Hobby Lobby on Parker Road or Michael’s at Flatacres Marketcenter. We would love to help you find your perfect fit here in our community with a floorplan that’s just as much an arts-and-crafts HQ as it is your family’s dream home. Contact us today to get started!

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