Friday, February 14, 2014

Fingerprint Stamp Art & Valentine Cards: A Maker Craft Program

I've had success in years past with offering craft programs where kids can make Valentine's Day cards, and so I offer a program on that premise every February. I like to tweak and add to these sorts of open-ended, crafty maker programs, though, so I am always on the lookout for new elements to incorporate. For this year's program, I pulled a bunch of our great Ed Emberley fingerprint drawing and regular drawing books to provide some artistic inspiration.

The Supplies:
  • lots of paper, both card stock, construction, and printer
  • scissors
  • glue sticks
  • markers
  • pencils
  • washable ink pads in a variety of colors
  • baby wipes (to get ink off fingers)
  • extra fine point permanent markers

The Premise:
     Create valentines or artwork using the supplies provided. Ed Emberley titles provide inspiration and how-tis.

The Results:
     Were outstanding! There was a solid variety of creations, ranging from traditional heart-shaped valentines and pop-up cards to fingerprint designs and even occasional poetry. Check out the gallery of some of the final products:

Roses are red / Violets are blue / I hate poetry / I love bacon and you!

I had around 20 kids in this program creating art, and they were all particularly talkative and eager to talk about their work. I love these informal conversations that take place while hands are busy doing other tasks, and I'm always able to get the conversation focused on books. Since this particular program was centered around Valentine's Day, we talked about books we love. I stuck a large sticky note on the wall to encourage kids to share the books they love, and several of them obliged.

Open-ended creation and talking books: a great way to spend an afternoon at the library.

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