Valentine’s Day is a love-ly holiday for making heartfelt gifts! All over the world, people send candy, flowers, and cards to express affection and appreciation. At KiwiCo, we encourage kids to make their own awesome projects to share with family and friends! From magnetic hearts to light-up pencils, here are five STEM craft activities to make with your kids!
Need some help making handmade Valentines for classmates? That’s why we created our Valentine’s Day Card kit that comes complete with everything you need to make 27 craftastic cards.
1. Magnetic Hearts (ages 4 to 8)
Explore the laws of attraction with these magnetic hearts! Little ones can discover how the different heart pieces snap together or push each other apart; older kids can explore the science of magnets.
Magnets have an invisible area of magnetism called a magnetic field. There two poles on opposite sides; North and South. In the laws of magnetism, like poles repel, unlike poles attract. The North pole of a magnet attracts the south pole of a second magnet, while the north pole of a magnet repels the other magnet’s north pole.
2. Light Up Flower Pencil (ages 9 to 16)
Cut paper hearts to make these love-themed, light up paper flower pencil toppers. Younger kids will appreciate cutting out paper hearts while older kids can experiment with LEDs, (also known as light-emitting diodes). Similar to incandescent lamps (and unlike most fluorescent lamps), LEDs come to full brightness immediately with no warm-up delay. You can use this pen to write up all your valentines!
3. Heart Garland (ages 6 to 16+)
Create a mini-heart garland to welcome love into your home using a technique known as Kirigami. Whereas origami is the art of folding paper, kirigami is the art of folding and CUTTING paper. In Japanese kiri means “cut” and kami means “paper. ” Artist Florence Temko combined the two words and created this term as the title of her book, Kirigami, the Creative Art of Papercutting. These adorable little puffy hearts only require two small cuts, so it’s a lovely accessible project for kids of all ages.
4. Heart Mugs (ages 9 to 16)
Create beautiful, easy-to-make heart mugs using an art technique known as pointillism to create heartfelt design! Once you have your initial shape marked, draw more dots. Cluster the dots near the heart to help emphasize the shape. Make each mug unique with different shapes and color. Then, fill each one with chocolate goodies to create useful gifts for your sweeties!
5. Pumping Heart (ages 9 to 16)
Curious about how your heart pumps blood? Create a model to learn about the right atrium and the ventricle! If you’ve ever squeezed your hand together to shoot pool water, you’re familiar with the basics of how your heart works. It’s a muscle that squeezes together to pump blood around your body! But shooting pool water with your hand is pretty messy and splashy. Your heart has to be a lot more orderly. In fact, because of how your body uses blood, your heart needs to pump blood in just one direction. Blood carries oxygen on it, and all the parts of your body need oxygen to work right. If the blood pumped backward, your body would get blood that had no oxygen in it!
In order to keep your blood flowing in the right direction, your heart has two pretty cool design features: chambers and valves. The chambers fill with blood, then squeeze tight to pump it out. Each side of your heart has an entry chamber called an atrium and an exit chamber called a ventricle (so your heart has four chambers total!). The entry and exit chambers pump one after the other to push your blood forward.
Each chamber also has an exit door called a valve. These keep blood from getting pumped backwards. When the ventricle contracts, the atrium’s exit valve closes so blood won’t push back into it. When the ventricle relaxes, its own exit valve closes to keep blood from spilling backwards into it. That way, the pumping of each chamber moves your blood forward! To see more about how the chambers and valves work, follow the steps to build this model.
Did you like these ideas? For creative projects any time of the year, check out all the fun KiwiCo.com!