Valentine’s Day crafts for kids

February is quite possibly the sweetest month of the year. Following is a confection of gifts and greetings to make and share with someone you love.
Items needed: Red or pink construction paper, clear contact paper, ruler, scissors, hole punch, tape, string licorice, small Valentine candy.
Place construction paper over the sticky side of the contact paper. Press firmly, making sure there are no wrinkles or bubbles. Measure and cut two 5-inch hearts from the contact-construction paper. Place the two hearts together, contact paper facing out, and punch holes every ½-inch along the outer rim of the heart, ¼ inch from the edge. To lace the hearts together, start at the top and pull the string licorice through one hole, leaving 2-inches free at the opposite end of the string to tie up later. Stitch around the outer edge of the heart. If the licorice runs out, start a new piece by tying the loose end with a new string then continue lacing. Once you’ve laced to about 2 inches from the top, stop and fill the heart pouch with candy. Finish lacing around the heart until you reach the starting point. Tie the two free ends of the licorice in a bow and snip off excess string with scissors.
Items needed: 1/3 cup shortening, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, 3 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 2/3 cups honey, bowl, measuring cups and spoons, various colored hard candies, mallet, gallon-size plastic zip bag, cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil, oven preheated to 375 degrees.
 Combine first seven ingredients in a bowl and mix to form a stiff dough. Take a portion of the dough and roll it into a 10-inch log, ¼-inch thick. Place dough log onto the foil-covered pan and form it into the outline of a heart, pinching the ends together at the heart’s base. Repeat these steps with remaining dough. Place hard candies into a plastic bag, seal tightly and crush with a mallet. Sprinkle crushed candy into the center of each heart, heaping it up in the middle. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Let cookies cool completely then gently peel them from the foil.
Items needed: Clear plastic wrap, ruler, scissors, red and white peppermint candies, red ribbon.
Unwrap candies and set aside. Cut a piece of plastic wrap which measures 4- by 32-inches. Working from the middle of the plastic toward the outer edge, place unwrapped candies 1-inch apart until they form a row that measures approximately 18-inches. Fold plastic around the candies, gently rolling it to create a long strand. Cut ribbon into 3-inch strips and tie between candies. Tie the ends of the plastic wrap together and cut off excess plastic to create a necklace.
Items needed: Red or pink colored potpourri, 9-inch tin pie pan, light brown or tan fabric, pinking shears, ruler, glue gun (low setting).
Empty the potpourri into the pie pan. Cut 9- by 9-inch squares from light brown fabric then cut into ¾-inch strips with pinking shears until you have 12 strips. Lay 6 strips across the potpourri and glue to the edge of the pie pan. Lay the remaining 6 strips perpendicular to the first set of 6, weaving them in and out to create a lattice-topped pie. Secure the outer edges with glue. Trim excess fabric around the outer edge of the pan.
Items needed: Construction paper, cardboard, heart-shaped stencil, pencil, ruler, glue gun (low setting), markers, stickers, glitter, jewels and other embellishments.
 Fold a piece of construction paper in half and then in half again to create a rectangular card. Cut a 5- by ½-inch strip from cardboard then fold back and forth accordion style to create a “spring” for the pop-up card. Glue one end of the strip to the inside of your card. Use a stencil to trace around and cut out a heart then glue it to the other end of the paper spring. Write a greeting on the front and inside the card and embellish with stickers, glitter or jewels. Fold the spring down and place it, along with the attached heart, flat against the inside of the card. Close the card and slip it into an envelope. When your recipient opens the card, the design will pop out.
Following is a list of sweet reads:
The Biggest Valentine Ever
by Steven Kroll
Cam Jensen and the Valentine Baby Mystery
by David Adler
The Day it Rained Hearts
by Felicia Bond
Henry & Mudge and Mrs. Hopper’s House
by Cynthia Rylant
Denise Morrison Yearian is a freelance writer from Townsend, DE.