This is a sweet and fun project for kids to do around Valentine’s Day. Every time we do this symmetry painting project, the kids get very excited as they unfold their hearts. They love discovering how the paint has transferred and mixed into a new design.
Click here to download a lesson plan of Heart Symmetry Painting Lesson Plan.
Age Level: 3-5 years
- To learn about symmetry
- To explore painting with unusual tools and methods (sticks instead of paintbrushes, and folding an rubbing to create painting)
- To talk about Valentine’s Day and making things for people we love
- Construction paper
- Tempera paint in coordinating colors/shades (we used pink, purple and white)
- Small plastic cups for paint
- Small wooden craft sticks
- Plastic tray (we use take out container lids) to keep the paint in place
- Fold paper in half, then cut hearts out. We use a template to make sure all are the same.
- Put paint into cups, one set per every two children
- Put craft sticks out, one per color per child
Show the students an example of a finished project. Tell them briefly about Valentine’s Day (“we like to show the people we love that we care in special ways on this holiday”). Also explain that we will be painting not with brushes, not with our fingers, but with sticks and by rubbing today.
Show the students a folded heart, then open it. Explain that it is symmetrical – the same on both sides. See if they can think of any other symmetrical things (our bodies, a square, an apple).
Next demonstrate dipping a stick into paint and then tap, tap, tapping it onto one side of the heart. Put a few colors on and then fold the heart in half. Rub it and ask for some special magic words. (Kids usually come up with “Abracadabra” or “Shazam”. Sometimes someone says “Please”.)
Open the heart to reveal how the paint is now on both sides, in a symmetrical pattern.
Have the children go pick out their paper hearts from a nearby supply table.
While they are doing this, place the paints on the table.
Walk around encouraging the kids to tap their paint onto the hearts. The more paint they use, the more dramatic the reveal after they fold and rub.
The kids can add more paint and fold again and again if they wish.
Make sure to unfold all hearts so that the paint will cry – otherwise they will stick together. As these usually take some time to dry, we send them home the next class session.
Happy Valentine’s Day!