Inspired by the book, The Day It Rained Hearts, by Felicia Bond (same illustrator for Laura Numeroff’s books!), our Valentine’s Day project started off with hearts, raining down, from our balcony! Henry and Teddy loved seeing the hearts tumble to the ground and collecting them in buckets and bags!
You Will Need:
- pink, red, purple construction paper
- glue stick
- brown construction paper
- markers (optional)
Prep the Project: Cut out tiny hearts, in different shades of pink, purple, and red construction paper. I probably cut out close to 50 little hearts, in about 5 minutes. You can cut out several hearts at a time, by folding a piece of paper, into quarters . You want the hearts to be tiny enough to glue onto the ‘branches’ or the outline of your child’s fingers. Fold a piece of brown construction in half…for an older child you may need a larger piece of construction paper, as you will be tracing both their arm and hand, on the paper.
My 4 and 1/2 year old boys and I have read many Valentine’s Day books, over the past couple of weeks, and The Day It Rained Hearts is one of our favorites! In the story, the little girl collects hearts, falling from the sky, and proceeds to make special valentines for each of her close friends. At the end of the story, there are hearts dangling from the trees! I wanted to mimic the ‘raining of hearts’, and the boys were more than thrilled to participate!
If you do not have a balcony, you could simply throw the small hearts, up into the air, or have your little one go on a scavenger hunt, for the colorful hearts (I know that Henry and Teddy would love a scavenger hunt of hearts too!). Obviously, you don’t have to have it ‘rain hearts’ to complete the ‘Project of the Week’. Instead, you can talk about all the love we have for our family and friends, and how we can show this love on a tree of hearts!
After collecting the hearts, we sat down at our kitchen table. First, I traced the boys lower arm and hand (fingers spread out!), on a folded, brown piece of paper. It is important that the paper is folded, because you are going to create a 3-dimensional shaped tree.
Next, cut out the ‘tree’ outline. VERY IMPORTANT: You want to cut out about a 2-inch strip, on the bottom of the brown paper and then cut into the outline of the arm and hand. Once you have cut around the ‘trunk’ and finger ‘branches’, you will end with a 2-inch strip, on the other side of the tree. This will serve as the base of the tree and help to keep the tree of hearts, upright, once the project is complete.
Unfold the tree, so that your little one can add the tiny hearts to both trees. Henry and Teddy covered the tree trunk and branches in a thick layer of glue, using a glue stick. They had a blast, covering the trees with hearts, upside down, sideways, and right side up!
Once the trees are covered in the tiny hearts, it’s time to stand the tree up! I used scotch tape to attach both ends of the brown stripes, creating a circular base. The tree was still a bit wobbly, so I then tucked in one side of the base. It actually turned the base into a heart shape, as well!
As we finished up the heart trees, the boys and I talked about how all the tiny hearts represent the family and friends, in our lives, and the love we have for each and every one of them. It was fun to name off the specific loved ones, as we pointed to the colorful hearts, decorating their little hand trees!