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Watercolor Resist Valentines

Sweet Pea is 45 months old.

From: Do you want to make some cute homemade Valentines with your tot?  We loved these adorable watercolor resist valentines from One Inch World (featured on Teach Preschool’s excellent Tumblr blog).


  • Watercolor paint.  (We used liquid water color, but a standard pallet of watercolors should work fine.)
  • Several sheets of white card stock or watercolor paper.
  • Paint brush.
  • Pencil.
  • White crayon.
  • Scissors.
  • Colored card stock or construction paper.  (Optional – for matting purposes.)
  • Ruler.  (Optional – for matting purposes.)
  • Glue.  (Optional – for matting purposes.)


  • Draw a cross on each piece of white paper to divide it into 4 sections.  If you want to add a mat to the Valentines, these lines need to be exactly in the middle of the paper (If you are using 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper, that will be at 4 1/4 inches from the long edge and 5 1/2 inches from the short edge.)
  • Use the white crayon to draw hearts in each of the sections.  Press hard with the crayon and trace over the lines to make them thick.

  • Let your tot paint with watercolors over each section to find the “hidden” hearts.

  • Let the paintings dry.
  • If you will be adding mats, cut each of the painted sections 1/2 inch from each side of your pencil lines to create slightly smaller paintings.  Otherwise, just cut along the lines and you are done.
  • For the mats, draw a cross on each piece of colored paper and cut along the lines into 4 rectangular sections and help your tot glue each of them onto a rectangle of colored paper.

Observations: This was really fun.  Sweet Pea had a great time painting and revealing the secret hearts.

Sweet Pea was totally engaged in this, but we had 24 Valentines to make for her preschool class which was too many to hold her interest for one sitting.  It took us a couple of sessions to finish them all.

An older tot could even draw the hearts themselves, but I loved how Sweet Pea was able to do so much of the art for this activity herself and the results were beautiful.   I would definitely recommended this project.

Notes from the Trenches: Unfortunately, almost all of the crayons in our house are marketed as “washable” and the hearts I drew with those did not hold up very well to the water colors.  Of all the things we tried, the white Crayola Twistables crayon worked best, but I did have to use a little elbow grease to make my lines thick enough.  I wonder if a china marker or some sort of oil pastel would have been better.

We tried using a glue stick to attach the paintings to the colored backing, but the paintings were so crinkly that it didn’t work well.  Sweet Pea had trouble getting the entire back of the painting coated with glue, so I would let her draw an X with the glue stick and then I used another glue stick to draw all the way around the edges.  Even then I had to place the finished Valentines under a heavy book until the glue dried.  I think regular school glue might work better.

Rating: 2 Stars * (Fun, Frugal)

Carnivals:  This post is linked up to It’s Playtime at hands on : as we grow.

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