First, we finished the Ladybug Valentines for Em's class. Thankfully M's class made their Valentine's in class, so we didn't have to prepare anything for her to exchange. Since we had a little more time,. we took on a more time intensive valentine. The ladybug Valentine itself is not too difficult, but making over 30 of them does take some time. Cindy has a detailed tutorial here. I made the following changes: 1) we used stickers and foam hearts on the wings to let Em get really involved, 2) I couldn't find googly eyes anywhere, so we substituted pink tissue paper for the head and then used a marker to make eyes, 3) We used tape for the lollipops, and 4) I used mini scrapbook brads (they come in black and white) to connect the wings; using a safety pin to pierce the card stock worked really well.
We enjoy art projects and this project let Em and M create while I did the more mechanical parts. M loved the ladybugs so much that she insisted on making some for her teachers. I really love the way the ladybugs turned out. I just can't buy store-made Valentines. But, next year, I am doing these-awesome!
We also finished Valentine's heart monogram shirts for each girl. I love making freezer stencil shirts. So easy, such a great impact. I also love this craft because you can basically let the kids do whatever they want.
I started making these shirts last summer after looking at the numbered shirts for sale, but decided that I could make something just as good for less money. I use the tutorials from Ambrosia Girl and Bethany Actually and have made shirts as party gifts and birthday gifts. There are a ton of great tutorials out there, so I'll just add my suggestions gained from experience:1) wash the shirts before painting, 2) choose a bold, simple design, and 3) don't let your kids paint in white shirts-that was a rookie mistake! The most difficult part is finding solid color shirts in the right sizes.