hello hearts!

art class party kids nj best coverWe like to do heart-shaped art projects leading up to Valentine’s Day with our youngest students.   Here are two projects we did recently, for age groups 18 months – 3 years, and the slightly older 2 ½ – 4 year olds.  We focus on projects that the children can do all on their own so they can experience the power of artistic choice and accomplishment, even from this young age.

Sponge Heart Stamping

These young artists are encountering many of these art concepts and tools for the first time, so we make things easy for their little hands and appropriate for their motor skills.

children's art studio nj heart projectWe cut hearts out of sponges and allow the children to press them into different colors of paint, then stamp them on to paper.   The sponges have an appealing texture and hold the paint nicely.

We have two tricks that make this project go smoothly.  The first is the type of sponge we use.  We have found that these compressed “miracle sponges” are very easy to cut into shapes – much simpler than attempting to cut a regular sponge.  You can draw on them and then cut them as if you are cutting thick paper.  Once you put them into water the sponge plumps up into shape.  We get ours from Dick Blick:


The second thing we do is to make sure the optimal amount of paint is used.  As with all printmaking, it is important to use the right amount of ink so that the image is clear and not blobby.  We’ve found that using these paper plates with a small amount of paint, spread thinly, works best.  More paint can always be added as needed.  Clean up is also easy as the plates can just be tossed at the end of class.

Morris county art class for kids

As with all out projects, we encourage the children to explore, trying the materials how they wish, so moving into finger-painting is good learning fun too!

valentines project for kids nj art class

Heart Symmetry Paintings

The students here are provided with pre-folded heart shaped paper and a coordinating paint palette.

NJ fine art class kids heart project

We teach them about symmetry and then let them enjoy dabbing paint on their hearts, folding them, and seeing the magic of the paint transferring to the opposite side.

art party and class for children north  nj north jersey fine art class toddlers kids elementary school

art party class north jerseyParents love to display these projects for Valentine’s Day, or give them to loved ones.

art class party kids nj bestWhat are your favorite Valentine’s Day projects to do with your young artists?  Please let us know!


Author: hellokidsart

The Messy Artist is a special place to create art. We offer year-round art classes for children 18 months through adulthood. In addition to art classes from September through June, we offer summer art camp and Drop-In and Play art activities for kids between our regular sessions. Our bright, colorful studio is also the perfect place for a kid’s birthday party! The Messy Artist children’s art center was created and designed by Owner/Director Donna Bernstein, a professional educator and artist. The curriculum is inspired and guided by Donna’s teaching experience and research in child development, as well as her passion for art. At The Messy Artist, art lessons for kids entertain and enrich their brains, bodies, and hearts.

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