April works full time in higher education balancing her time between her special needs son, handsome husband, elderly mother, and new baby coming in May 2014. She has a background in theatre, film, and television but somehow stumbled into the educational field. She loves spending time with her family, dreaming of the beach and organizing her house.

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Valentine’s Day Crafts for Special Needs Kids

I remember as a child all of the different crafts that I did in school and at home around the holidays.  Valentine’s Day was a big one for us because that means we got to decorate and play with hearts.  As a little girl, I loved hearts and glitter!  You can recreate that fun and togetherness with your child no matter what their disability.  All kids love getting their hands messy.

Before you decide what project you want to do, I recommend plastering the work area with old newspapers or craft paper.  This will allow you to protect your table and have an easy clean up.   Have your glitter, pre-cut hearts, glue, etc. ready to go in child friendly containers.  Butter containers are great and so are the plastic baby food containers.

Here are a few fun Valentine crafts that any kid can do with or without your assistance:

Glitter/Paper Hearts

Needed:  Glue, Different colors of glitter or cut up shapes of different colored paper, different colored hearts, extra paper.

Pick out a heart, cover it in glue(liquid glue is generally easiest for special needs kids) and have your child put the glitter or paper on the heart where they want it.  Some kids create a design and others just dump the glitter.  It helps to put another full sheet of paper under the project so you can dump the glitter that is extra back into your dish so you don’t waste all of your glitter.  Once your child has finished decorating the heart, put it aside to dry.  Sometimes a cookie rack is helpful to put the artwork.

Puffball Hearts

Needed:  Assorted colors of hearts, Assorted colors of puffballs, glue.

Have your child pick a heart and then do the glue design.  Since you have assorted colors of puffballs, they can pick and choose the colors and location on the heart.  It’s neat to watch them figure out how to design the heart.  Some kids might have issues picking up the puffballs.  You can use tweezers or small tongs to help them pick them up.  Once your child is done, you can put them aside to dry.

Fridge Heart Frames

Need:  Hearts sized close to the pictures you wish to use, picture, scrapbooking sticky strips, stickers, glitter, candy, small magnet, etc.

Pick the heart and the picture you wish to use.  Cut out a hole in the heart to match the picture.  For example, make sure that your child’s face is showing but don’t cut out too much so they can’t decorate.  Put the picture aside and let them put stickers, glue, glitter, candy hearts or whatever they want to put on the heart.  Set aside to dry.  Once it is dry, attach the picture with glue or scrapbooking strips to the heart.  Then, glue the small magnet to the back.  If it is a large heart, you might need two magnets.  (Tip:  I reuse the magnets that come on various ads.  I collect them over time and use them for projects like this. )

These are a few ideas that can be done with your child and make great gifts for family members.  We usually send the crafts to family members that aren’t in the area or even his grandparents.  It’s also a nice touch to send to family members who don’t have a significant other.  It lets them know that they are loved.  Have fun and happy crafting!

 

 

 

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