I love Valentine activities in my class! My kinder cubs get almost as excited about this day than Christmas!! They absolutely love bringing in cards and distributing them to each other. For several years now, I have had the children create these fun card carriers to hold their Valentine cards. These card carriers are not my original idea. I got the directions from a popular magazine, and I even pinned it a couple of years ago. However, the magazine has taken the instructions to make them off their website. So….I thought I would scan the patterns and post them today just in case you might want to try to do this in your class. Cutting out enough pieces for a class set does take time, but trust me…..they are worth it! The kids love them! Their favorite part is when they get to “feed” the cards into the critters’ mouths.
Here is what you need to make these bags:
1. Colored gift bags: I get mine from Michaels- I like getting different colors. They are sold in sets of 13 for $6.99. I try my best to have a coupon when I buy them, because they are seldom on sell.
2. Colored cardstock for the arms and legs- For the legs, I cut the paper longways (is that a word?) 2 inches wide, and for the arms, I cut them shortways (again….I don’t think that is a word…but you understand…don’t you??) 2 inches wide. I like the sturdiness of the cardstock over construction paper.
3. Construction Paper for the Heart Faces- I only cut out red, pink, and purple- I print the pattern that I linked up below. Next, I cut it out and then I trace the pattern on the pieces of construction paper. You can also copy the pattern on the construction paper. I honestly trace 1 on a sheet and then I cut out 4 to 5 at a time. However, I do have to trace the mouth on each heart if I cut them out this way.
5. White cardstock- enough to make copies of the eyes, hands, and boots
6. Glue Sticks
9. Sticky Back Foam Letters for the Names: I always keep a box of these in my art cabinet. Any style will do. Or you can just write their name on the front.
Print and cut out enough sets of eyes, hands, feet, and heart faces to make the number of carriers you need. Now, right here I have to say that my room parent did this for me this year. I couldn’t find my original patterns, so she made her own patterns and cut enough out for the students to use. So, when you see my pictures, you’ll notice that the eyes are white circles with black circles. The hands are actually small white hearts she cut out and she made the boot pattern herself. Also, I think the arms and legs are a little skinnier than what I usually do. However, I still think the carrier is really cute!! The day after she did this, I found my original patterns! Oh well….
Then, have the student choose the color of bag he/she wants to use. Next, have him/her glue on the heart face. Be careful that you help the student glue it where the mouth will be right below the ends of the handles that are on the bag. Then it is time to glue on the eyes. After the face is completed, take 2 “arms” and have the student accordion pleat (or fan fold) them. Take the arms and glue each one behind the face. Then, glue a hand on each arm. Next, once the child picks out 2 “legs”, he/she accordion pleats those and glues each one onto the bottom of the bag. Then, the students can glue a boot on each leg.
After everything has been glued on the bag, the student can find the letters for his/her name and stick them onto the carrier. I like to place our kinders’ names right below the heart face.
At this point, you can cut the mouth out of the Valentine face and through the bag. Be careful that you don’t cut into the sides of the bag. Honestly, I wait and do this after all of the bags are made into Valentine Critters.
Lastly, I open the bags and close the tops of them by stapling them with 2 staples.
Now the carriers are ready for cards and treats.
This year, I put the carriers at each child’s place on their table. They honestly squealed with delight when they came in on Friday and saw them. Once the kiddos unpacked, I had each child bring out his/her card carrier and I put them in order against our classroom wall.
When it came time for our Valentine centers, I had small groups come out and distribute their cards by putting them in each child’s carrier. They absolutely loved doing this! It was also an engaging activity as they matched up the name on the bag to the name on the card.
By the end of the centers, the carriers were packed full of wonderful cards, candy, and treats from all of the students. They waited until they got home before they opened up their Valentine Critter Card Carrier. It was such a cute sight to see them leave at the end of the day holding their carrier.
I hope you’ll try these carriers out for your class next year. I promise you they really are not difficult to create and your kids will love them!!
Happy Valentine’s Day 2015!!