This is a simple Valentine ’s Day activity based on the book Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett. After reading this delightful book several times we were itching to do something with yarn.
Given that Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, we made heart shaped yarn creations, however the shape options are endless. Shamrock yarn art anyone? You could also use a multitude of colors, but we stuck to reds, pinks, and purples.
Materials to make these Yarn Wrapped Hearts:
- Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
- Pipe Cleaners
Get the hearts started first:
- Twist a pipe cleaner [one for each child] into the shape of a heart
- Tie a piece of string to each heart
Read Extra Yarn together with your kids.
We are in love with Extra Yarn! If you haven’t read it yet, we highly recommend picking it up at your library regardless of whether you plan to do this activity.
It is a sweet story of a little girl and magic box of yarn. She discovers a seemingly endless supply of yarn and begins knitting sweaters for everyone she knows. Soon she is wrapping her entire town in yarn and people are coming from near and far to see this amazing girl and one of them has an eye on her box.
I am not a knitter, but this book makes knitting a sweater look like a kind, fun, even adventurous thing to do. Jon Klassen’s illustrations are remarkable and together, the story and illustrations inspired this activity.
As you read, draw special attention to the illustrations and discuss what the girl is doing. She starts by knitting sweaters, but soon she is wrapping yarn around the whole town. What is her method? Is she using any tools?
When you are done, invite your preschooler to the table to use yarn to make a Valentine with yarn.
Perhaps they have someone in mind to whom they would like to give a Valentine – Grandma? an Aunt?
Or maybe you want to make a string of yarn hearts to decorate for the holiday?
Demonstrate how to wrap the yarn around the heart shape. Explain how you are using one hand to hold the heart and one hand to wrap the yarn. This may seem obvious, but it needed explanation in our case.
Then, allow your child freedom to wrap yarn however they desire. There is no “correct” way to do this, however they may need to extra guidance on how to get the yarn to stay wrapped around the heart.
Whenever they decide their creation is complete, tie off their yarn and then either snip the remaining yarn or use it to hang it as Valentine’s decoration.
Ideas to extend this craft:
- Try using different materials such as; wire, string or sticks
- Use yarn in other ways – we enjoyed exploring glue + yarn
- Try a more open ended exploration of yarn and pipe cleaners
|Erin Buhr lives with her husband and 2 year old twins in Wisconsin. She enjoys traveling, taking photos, and being outside in the sunshine. She has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and was an Early
Childhood Educator for 11 years before deciding to be at Stay at Home Mom. She is also the co-founder of Bambini Travel (www.bambinitravel.com), which hopes to inspire exploration and travel with young children.