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valentines day crafts for toddlers

Cute Valentine's Day Crafts for Toddlers

Valentine's Day is sweet and all, but it's a little stressful. You've got to get a gift for your partner and find some time to celebrate -- oh, and now, you've got to think up some crafts for your toddler? Nope. We've done the dirty work for you -- these 6 Valentine's Day crafts are fun, adorable and easy to pull together.

Photo: Thinkstock

Dessert Pizza

Instead of going the traditional chocolate route, make room for a dessert pizza! It's easy to make, plus you and your tot can get creative when it comes to toppings. Here's how to make it.

What you'll need:

18 oz. package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
8 oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup sliced banana (sliced thin)
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries (sliced thin)
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup chocolate chip morsels (dark or milk chocolate)
1/2 cup seedless grapes, halved

How to make it:

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spread cookie dough evenly on to a 12 inch pan.
• Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown, set aside on a wire rack to cool.
• Once cooled, spread the whipped topping across the crust.
• Together with your toddler, top the pizza with the sliced fruit and chocolate.
• Refrigerate until ready to eat (yum!).

Footprint Valentine

Here's a sweet keepsake for grandparents. Our tip: Keep this craft near the bathroom or mudroom so that your tot doesn't make a huge mess.

What you'll need:

Oaktag or poster paper
Disposable pie tin (for toddler to step into)
Washable, nontoxic fingerpaint in pink, purple, red, white and blue

How to make it:

• Place towels on the floor to protect it from paint spills.
• Have your toddler pick out a favorite color, pour it into the pie tin and have your toddler step into it barefoot.
• Have toddler stand together on the poster board with his heels touching and toes pointing out (making a "v").
• Once the mark is made and the paint is dry, trace a heart around your toddler's footprints and cut it out.
• Write, "From the bottom of my heart to the tips of my toes, I love you!"

Homemade Clay Hearts

What goes together better than toddlers and clay?! For a quick craft before (or after) naptime, this is perfect.

What you'll need:

Clay in all different colors
Rolling pins
Heart-shaped cookie cutters

How to make it:

• Roll the clay flatt.
• Together with your toddler, use the cookie cutters to make hearts.
• Once the clay is dry, use the hearts to decorate your home.

Hand-Size Valentine

Your toddler will love tracing his hand (and yours too!). Just guide him, so he's sure to keep the marker on the paper. These make perfect personalized Valentines.

What you'll need:

Washable marker or crayon
Colored Construction Paper

How to make it:

• Have your toddler trace your hand (or you can trace his) on sheets on construction paper.
• Cut out the hands and let your toddler decorate them.

Sun-Catching Crayon Heart

Cross your fingers for a sunny day on February 14 this craft really shine in the sunlight. (But if all else fails, a lamp will do, too!)

What you'll need:

Wax paper
Hole puncher
String or ribbon

How to make it:

• Let your toddler lightly color what paper with his his favorite colors.
• Cut out his favorite shapes. (Hearts would be apropos!).
• Use a hole puncher, and string through some string or ribbon.
• Hang the shapes in front of a major light source to create your sun catcher.

Red Pancakes

You can't go wrong with this timeless classic breakfast, and dying it red for Valentine's Day makes it so much more fun to make!

What you'll need:

Your favorite pancake mix
Red food dye
Heart-shaped cookie cutters
Chocolate chips
Whipped cream

How to make it:

• Prepare the pancake batter according to package instructions.
• Add your desired amount of chocolate chips.
• Add red food dye. (Less will make it pinker; more will make it a deep red.)
• Prepare pancakes in large circles. One they've cooked through, remove from heat and use cookie cutters to make hearts.
• Top your pancakes with whipped cream and syrup!

-- Kylie McConville

See More: Toddler Basics , Mommy Life