Despite February 14th still being over a month away, re-posting last year’s shaving cream valentine has opened the Valentine DIY flood gates in my brain. Of course, I could have done this project and held off on posting about it. But I’m the girl who once unwrapped all of my presents Christmas morning before bothering to wake my parents – patience isn’t really my thing.
Have you noticed the preponderance of plastic animal crafts popping up lately? Crafty bloggers everywhere have latched on to these little guys. After falling in love with them here, I’m jumping on the band wagon with these DIY animal herd valentines.
Here’s the basic idea: instead of handing out candy this year, provide your kiddos’ pals with a new friend and a fun little chart to get them thinking. Kids will love discovering that a group of giraffes is called a tower while a group of zebras is known as a zeal – I guarantee it. Your Valentine’s will be a huge hit and if you plan ahead they’ll be the same price (or cheaper) than buying a stack of cards and some candy at Target.
If you want to make these exactly as I did, you’ll need this Toob of plastic animals as they match up with the 12 free printables later in this post. If your child’s class has 24 kids, then just order two. Not everyone has to get a unique critter, in fact the kids will probably like trying to figure out who got the same animal as them.
You’ve got plenty of time to order them on Amazon but, if you’re more patient than me, JoAnn’s often offers 1/2 off coupons via email for Toobs. And if you’d prefer to source your own critters, no worries, I’ve got you covered with a fill-in-the blank template for that too.
Next, you’ll need to print off the cards for each of the 12 animals onto card stock.
Then use a needle and some embroidery thread to attach each critter. I looped around twice and taped the thread to the back.
Soon you’ll have lots of cards like this.
Here’s a shot of the fill-in-the-blank version. For these, you can find the collective nouns used for all sorts of animals here.
Finally, print the accompanying animal group guide and slip everything into an envelope. Write “To:______” and “From:________” on the top and you’re good to go. If you really want to get fancy, dip the animal’s feet into some paint and make tracks on the outside of the card. (And for those extra-observant readers out there, don’t worry, the printable guide has all 12 animals. Some sneaky hands ran off with a few of my animals and I missed them when I first made my list.)