AngelSense Newsletter

4 Valentine Crafts for Kids with Special Needs

Lopsided and gloppy-glued craft projects are hallmarks of childhood.  Sharing in the experience of creating these art projects with our kids is always time well spent, true quality time. But when it comes to special needs kids, we need think ahead and plan accordingly. Crafts projects can be tricky when kids have sensory sensitivities or fine motor limitations. Setting up a Valentine’s Day craft project that’s attuned to your child’s strengths and modified for their comfort, will make for a smooth and ultra-fun afternoon!

1. Hands and Hearts

Handprint crafts are so meaningful. They most often become treasured keepsakes!  This craft involves dipping a child’s hands in paint and pressing them to paper. It sounds simple, but sensory kids may not want wet, sticky hands. To modify, consider using a pair of disposable latex gloves!

You’ll need:

  • A large white paper, cardboard, or poster board

  • Different colored paints

  • Optional: disposable latex gloves, markers, crayons, glitter pens

Your child can wear the gloves, dip their hands into the paint (or paint on each color with a paintbrush), then press their hands onto the paper. In the center, glue a small cut-out heart or paint a small heart. This lovely Valentine can be decorated with markers, crayons, or glitter pens. Your child (or you!) can even write a cute message on it like: I Hand You My Heart, We [heart] You, Happy Valentine’s Day, or Be Mine. Hang your Hands and Hearts on your door or in your front window to spread some love!


2. My Loving Family Flowers

This is a good craft for kids with limited motor skills. Given your child’s abilities, scale this project to whatever level of skill they can handle.

You’ll need:

  • Cupcake liners of varied sizes and colors

  • Glue

  • Markers

  • Colored construction paper (green for the leaves) and other colors for the flowers

  • Scissors

  • Popsicle sticks (or straws)

Make one flower for each family member. Use a few different sized cupcake liners if possible. Gently flatten out the cupcake liners, and glue them as layers of the flower. In the center of each flower, your child can write a family member’s name, draw a picture, or glue an actual photograph trimmed into a small circle. Use markers to color the stems green and use scissors to cut out leaves from your colored paper. A dollop of glue will bind the flowers to the stems. When your Loving Family Flowers are dry, display them in a vase or cup on your dinner table!


3. Tree of Love

This is a heartwarming craft that can turn into a virtual Valentine for out-of-town family.

You’ll need:

  • Colored construction paper (red, pink, orange, or any color)

  • A large white paper, cardboard, or poster board

  • Brown marker or brown crayon 

  • Optional: photos of family members and friends trimmed into small circles

Have your child (or you!) cut out hearts in various colors. Make one heart larger than the others.  This large heart represents your child. Each smaller heart can represent either one positive attribute, one family member, or one person from the child’s circle of loved ones (don’t forget teachers, friends, and pets!).  On the large white paper, draw a simple tree trunk with branches coming out the top. Leave room between the branches. Have your child (or you!) label each heart with an attribute, a name, or a glued photo.  Have your child glue the small hearts to the branches. Have your child add their name (or photo) to the biggest heart and glue it separate from the branches. When your Tree of Love is dry, take a photo and send it as a virtual Valentine to friends and family!


4. Valentine’s Sensory Heart

Super simple, yet lots of tactile fun!

You’ll need:

  • A large white paper, cardboard, or poster board

  • Glue

  • An assortment of textured items (dried beans, dried pasta, buttons, feathers, beads, pompoms, ripped tissue paper)

  • Optional: red construction paper, glitter pens, yarn, markers

Draw a large heart (or glue a cut out heart) onto the large white paper. (*Optional: outline the heart with yarn.) Place your textured (sensory) items into individual bowls. Kids can touch and familiarize themselves with each item before gluing it to the paper.  Have your child use the glitter pens or markers for extra decoration or to write a short message. There’s no right or wrong way to do this Sensory Heart! Let your child’s creativity soar.


Have more Valentine Crafts ideas? Please share with us in the comments below!

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