I don’t know about you, but we always encounter the same problem regarding cards for the Red Holiday. While you would think a homeschooled child would have fewer cards to hand out, as they are not in a class of 25ish other kids, they in fact have many more people to possibly make cards for! With being part of several co/ops each encouraging an exchange and invites to attend additional get-togethers, plus family, it makes creating cards a daunting task. For a child, the task seems downright impossible! My other issue with assembly-line cards is – you guessed it – that boring cookie-cutter look. Valentines have the potential to be so creative and the lovely ideas I’ve come across this year had me so excited, that is until I realized I had to make about 75 of them! And then after making them, there comes the To/From dilemma. Do I put each person’s name on the card or just hand them out randomly? Do I have my children sign their name 75 times (not even remotely possible for my five year old to do)?
This year I had a *lightbulb* – I could still guide my youngest to participate in every step of the process while not making her frustrated by it. That lightbulb was: Having her stamp her monogram instead of signing her name.
First things first, we found the idea to trace their hands and cut them out, then fold the fingers over to make the ASL sign for “I Love You”. To make this easier, I traced the first hand on chipboard, and used that as a stencil to trace the others. The girls did their best cutting out each hand and pasting it onto a square of cardstock, with the correct fingers glued down also.
For the monogram stamp, I looked around the house for something sturdy that I could carve letters into. I found a piece of cone-shaped foam in our “stretchy bin” (check back for more on stretchy bins in a future blog post!). Everyone has one of these lying around, right? No, just me? Well then perhaps you’d like to use a potato. I used a blunt pencil to press her AVE’s initials into the round end, but then cut the end of and decided just a V would look nicer. V for Vada; V for Valentine. I made the round end look more like a heart, also. Easiest stamp ever.
And you know I’m not going to just throw away those chipboard hands, right? No way, those are officially my new favorite way to track growth. We are going to bedazzle them and find some awesome way to stretch them into a keepsake, so stay tuned for that!