Looking for a great kid’s valentine card idea to send to grandparents or other loved ones? Try sending a long distance hug using your child’s handprints! Wouldn’t they be surprised when they head out to their mailbox and discover these adorable handmade hugs from your children waiting for them on Valentine’s Day? You could even add chocolate kisses or hugs to turn it into a special valentine care package. This kid’s valentine card idea is easy to create and is sure to delight grandmas, grandpas and other relatives near or far.
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Both my parents and parents-in-law live far away from us. We live in Michigan, but my husband’s parents are in Washington and mine spend the winter in Florida. I love to create fun art projects with our boys, so last year for Valentine’s Day we decided to make our own cards to mail to their grandparents. C1 was 3 1/2 at the time and C2 was just over a year old so I needed a really easy idea. I searched Pinterest high and low for a toddler appropriate kid’s valentine card idea. I was so excited when I came across the cutest idea for sending Long Distance Hugs for Valentine’s Day on View From the Fridge. It involved using the kid’s handprints and a long piece of yarn to create a child-sized hug. I just knew I had to try making it with my boys. Here’s the version I found on View From the Fridge:
Kid’s Valentine Card Idea: How to Make a Long Distance Hug
This kid’s valentine card idea was such a BIG hit with the grandparents that I got permission from Katie at View From the Fridge to share our version with you this year. In our version, I pluralized the text on the card, so I could send one valentine card with hugs from both boys. I also replaced the yarn with red ribbons since I had some left over from making C1’s Christmas Mug Teacher Gift.
What you need:
- Access to a computer and color printer
- Red washable tempera paint
- White cardstock
- Construction paper
- Red ribbon
- Hole Punch
- Large envelopes
1. Create the handprints.
Pour a small amount of red paint on a disposable plate. Have your child carefully place his or her open hand into the paint until it’s covered. Then firmly press your kid’s hand on a piece of white cardstock.
Here’s a tip: You might notice in the photo, I had each of the boys use just one hand at a time in an attempt to minimize the mess. First I had C1 make several left handprints. Then I had him wash that hand before we created right handprints, so there was never a time when he had both hands simultaneously covered in paint. I also had the boys make more handprints than we really needed for this kid’s valentine card idea so I could choose the ones that turned out the best.
I wasn’t nearly as successful with keeping C2’s hands out of the paint. In all fairness though, C2 was only one at the time and it was hard enough just getting him to keep his hand open to make the handprint. As soon as he had paint on the palm of his hand, he wanted to make it into a fist. I was just glad I stripped him down to only a diaper before we got started. It looked like a Valentine’s Day massacre on the table when he was done painting.
2. Cut around the handprints.
After the red paint has dried on the handprints, cut around the edge of the handprint. C1 was only 3 1/2 years old and just learning to use scissors at that time, so I did the cutting. If we were to make this kid’s valentine card idea again this year, I would let him try cutting around the hands himself.
3. Mount the handprints on construction paper.
Glue the handprints to construction paper. Any color would work, but red and pink always seem the most appropriate for Valentine’s Day. I just used a little school glue and did it myself. If you’d like to have your toddler or small child glue the handprints to construction paper, I recommend creating a glue sponge for crafting with kids.
Cut around the handprints leaving a margin of 1/4 – 1/2 inch of construction paper showing.
4. Measure and cut the ribbon.
Have your child hold the end of the ribbon in one hand. Then stretch the ribbon across to the other hand to measure his or her entire arm span for the “hug”. Once you’ve cut the ribbon for one hug, you can use it to measure any remaining hugs you’re creating for this kid’s valentine card idea. If your child is as wiggly as mine, he or she won’t have the patience to measure out each and every hug. When we did this, it was also really fun to see how much shorter C2’s little hug was than his big brother’s hug.
5. Attach the ribbon.
Punch a hole at the bottom center of each handprint.
Tie the ends of the ribbon to the handprints. Make sure you get both a left hand and a right hand for each hug!
6. Get, print and sign the valentine poem.
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Once you have the file, print the poem in color on white card stock, cut around it and have your child sign it. If you use regular computer paper, you may want to mount the poem on black construction paper to make it sturdier like we did.
NOTE: If you want the singular version of the poem, you can download it for free on View From the Fridge. (Katie at View From the Fridge also has a cute printable version of the poem if you want to send Long Distance Hugs for Christmas!)
7. Seal with a kiss and send.
I wanted C1 to feel ownership over the creation of these valentines for his grandparents so I let him decorate the envelopes with stickers and a little crayon. I even made him trudge through the snow to the mailbox!
This kid’s valentine card idea was a big hit with both sets of their grandparents. As soon as my parents got theirs, they had to show them to the boys on Skype. They each had the hugs draped around their necks like the boys were hugging them in person. I think my mother-in-law also hung the boys’ hugs and the poem on her refrigerator for several weeks. She eventually put them in her annual scrapbook along with a few pictures I sent her of the boys making them so she could save them forever. Your kid’s grandparents will be just as thrilled to get these long distance hugs in the mail for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!
For more inspiration, follow our Valentine and Heart Ideas Board on Pinterest. If you liked this kid’s valentine card idea, please share it with your friends or pin it for later:
Inspired Ideas is a feature on Kenarry: Ideas for the Home, sharing ideas we’ve found from Pinterest or other online resources. The words and photos used in this post are our own, derived from our personal experience implementing this idea.
Carrie is the chief writer, crafter and cook here at Kenarry: Ideas for the Home. She’s an optimist by nature and enjoys sharing recipes, trying new craft ideas, planning for parties and events as well as organizing and decorating. When she’s not blogging, preparing meals or picking up around the house, you’re bound to find her hidden away in a castle under the stairs reading to her two young boys. Whether you’re cooking, crafting or creating for your family, follow Carrie on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to get inspiring ideas for your home.