With Valentine’s Day less than two weeks away, it’s time to get in the loving spirit. Completing crafts has several different benefits for an individual on the autism spectrum, as crafts aid in increasing fine motor coordination, self-regulation, self-esteem, and bonding between parent and child. Most importantly, they can be a fun break from day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Check out some of our favorite crafts!

 

Paper Tube Love Bug

Paper tube love bug

Supplies:

  • Toilet paper tube
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Construction paper
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Googly eyes
  • Glue
  • Marker

Directions:

  1. Paint the paper tube with the craft paint and set it aside to dry.
  2. Once the paint is dry, glue two googly eyes on to the tube and draw a smile with a marker.
  3. Cut two large hearts and two small hearts out of the construction paper. Glue the small hearts on top of the large hearts.
  4. Glue the hearts to the back of the paper tube to form wings.
  5. Cut a pipe cleaner in half, and curl one end of each pipe cleaner around your finger.
  6. Glue the pipe cleaners to the inside of the top of the toilet paper tube to form the antennae.

 

Piece of my Heart

autism-piece-of-my-heart

Supplies:

  • Puzzle Pieces
  • Craft paint in choice of color
  • Hot glue, glue gun
  • Paint brush
  • Ribbon or twine for hanging

Directions:

  1. Begin by assembling your heart first. Before adding any glue, arrange the puzzle pieces into a heart shape.
  2. Now, start adding the glue. Glue one piece at a time and reassemble into the heart shape.
  3. Once your glue is dry and your heart is complete, you can apply the paint. It is easiest to paint the plain cardboard side. It takes the paint nicely.
  4. Apply two coats and allow to dry. Finish by attaching a ribbon or twine for hanging.

This craft has double intentions. It is enjoyable and leaves you with an adorable decoration for your fridge, cabinet, etc., but it also helps raise autism awareness through its use of puzzle pieces. Finish this craft off by telling your child you love them to “pieces”!

 

Heart-shaped Window Clings

Heart clings

Supplies:

  • Assorted colors of puffy paint
  • Wax paper
  • Marker
  • Tape

Directions:

  1. Tear off a piece of wax paper that is larger than you want your window cling to be.
  2. Tape the wax paper to the table so that it doesn’t shift while you are working.
  3. Draw a heart shape on the wax paper, and fill in the heart with a design like stripes or swirls.
  4. Trace over your drawing with the puffy paint. Be generous with the amount of puffy paint you use — you want nice thick lines of puffy paint.
  5. Allow the paint to dry for several hours, and then carefully peel the heart away from the wax paper.
  6. Press the puffy paint heart firmly onto your glass window.

This craft specifically helps with fine motor skills of the hands while creating the intricate design inside the heart shape.

 

Foam Heart Photo Frame

foam heart frame

Supplies:

  • Pink, red and white craft foam hearts (you can cut your own but it is easy to pick up bags of die-cut shapes)
  • Pink craft foam
  • Glue
  • Photo (passport size)
  • Cardstock (1 piece)
  • Magnet
  • Double sided sticky tape
  • Glue

Directions:

  1. Cut out a heart shape from the pink foam. Now cut out a smaller heart from the middle. Don’t worry too much about the shape, as it will be covered up.
  2. Glue the foam hearts to the heart frame, overlapping them and covering the entire frame. Leave to dry.
  3. When the glue is dry, use double sided sticky tape to stick your photo to the back of the frame.
  4. Cut a piece of cardstock the same size as the frame and stick it on to the back with double sided tape.
  5. Finally glue a magnet on to the middle of the card.

 

Valentine’s Day Card Holder

Cardholder

Supplies:

  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Two paper plates (small or large would work though you might have to cut the template pieces a bit smaller if you use small plates)
  • String or ribbon in a nice Valentine’s Day color
  • Masking tape (for holding the plates together)
  • Optional:  paint (pink, red or purple would be best)

Directions:

  • Cut one paper plate in half.
  • Optional:  paint the bottom of the half plate and/or the inside of the whole plate.
  • Place the plates together so the rims are touching (so it makes a pouch).
  • Use masking tape to temporarily hold the plates together.
  • With a hole punch, punch holes all the way around the edge of the half plate, but through both plates.
  • Tie ribbon or string in a knot around the first hole.
  • With the ribbon/string, “lace” the half plate to the full plate.
  • Cut out hearts using construction paper and glue them around the top of the whole plate.
  • Have your child write their name across the middle of the half plate.

 

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