Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Handmade Valentines & Truffles for Kids

My friend, Kristal, from The Rikrak Studios, asked me to contribute some kid crafts and activities to her blog. I love the idea, and asked her if she would consider doing the same for my blog. So, we plan to have a bit of a project tutorial swap on an ongoing basis which we hope you enjoy. Stay tuned!

I teach crafts to kids and seniors in my community, AND I get PAID! I love it! Today, I made valentine cards and truffles with my favorite seniors. I have taught the same projects to kids ages 6 - 12 years old. These are fun and doable projects for all ages if you join in the fun.

Valentine "Puffy Hearts" (as my friend, Sue, calls them)
I LOVE tissue art. It brings me back to childhood. I love the bright colors and texture of the paper. I also find the repetitive

You will need:
- Colorful tissue paper, folded as many times as you can and still cut it into 1" squares (the idea is to make many squares from minimum cuts). You can go as large as 2", but just keep in mind the larger the square, the higher they will be off the paper.
- Hearts cut out of card stock, ours were about 5".
- White glue
- Pencil
- Markers or pen for a greeting

1) It is easiest for kids to write a greeting on the card BEFORE adding the tissue paper.

2) When I do tissue art I put glue in a little bowl and dip, but for kids it seems to be easiest if they make a running bead of white glue around the piece.

3) Put the end of pencil in the middle of a square of tissue paper and wrap the paper around the end of the pencil, then push into the glue on the card, and pull out the pencil. There is no wrong way to do this. The less perfect the better. If a child doesn't have the patience to fill in the whole heart they can still make adorable cards by just putting the paper on the border of the heart.

A variation on this theme is to just put the tissue on the border and then to paste another heart on top so that the tissue paper sticks out the sides.


These are not comparable to fine Belgian chocolates, but they satisfy the chocolate cravings of adults and kids alike. They are fast, easy, and yummy! No cooking required, which makes them great for a class (although you need a microwave to melt the butter). I quadruple the recipe.

You will need:
2 1/2 oz graham crackers
4 oz icing sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon or instant coffee (you can probably tell which is best for kids)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1) Put crackers in a clean plastic bag. Use rolling pin to crush them into fine crumbs.

2) Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir in butter, cinnamon OR coffee, and vanilla.

3) Pour the crumbs into the bowl. Mix them in. Then, use your hands to squeeze the mixture into a ball.

4) Break off pieces of the mixture and roll into small balls the size of walnuts. You can roll the balls in more cocoa, icing sugar, or crushed nuts.

5) Put the finished balls onto a large plate and let cool. Then, package them up in fun Valentine bags or boxes. Give to your sweetheart and hope they will share some with you. Enjoy!

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