Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine's Day Countdown Tree

A few weeks ago, I came across this cute idea of doing a countdown for Valentine's Day. I absolutely fell in love with the candy heart countdown tree. I loved how it made Valentine's Day special because too often the smaller holidays get forgotten because they aren't Christmas. So here is my Valentine's Day countdown tree I created using the concept found on the above link:

The post describes how to make a 16 day countdown for Valentine's Day based on 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. These scripture verses talk about the attributes of charity, the pure love of Christ. Because there are 16 attributes, this countdown tree starts on January 30th. Each attribute of love is featured on a candy heart and comes with an activity card. The activity cards have scriptures you can read and activities to do as a family where you learn about love.

And, the best part of this post is that the author graciously provides all her materials!! Free Valentine printables!

Step 1:
Find a place to hang the hearts. I loved the idea of having a "tree" to hang the hearts on so I went outside and found some twigs. My husband wanted to help me out so he spray painted them white. I then arranged them in this container with red pebbles. If you don't want to do this, then get creative! You can make a clothespin line and hang the hearts up by clothespins.You can dangle them over a window. The options are endless!

Step 2:
Print and cut out the hearts and teaching cards Then hole punch each heart and use some form of string to hang them up.Because my family doesn't eat a lot of candy, I decided to not use the candy hearts printouts. Instead, I made my own printouts that had regular hearts. I printed the hearts (two of each day so a total of 32 hearts) on colorful card stock. I printed 32 so the backside of the hearts would also have the wording. After I cut the hearts out. I applied mod podge on them to make them sturdier. Once it dried, I hole punched the hearts. I did 9 hole punches on the edges of each heart (4 on each side of the heart and one in the middle, see picture below of a practice heart). I only had to hole punch 16 since I hole punched the identical ones together (make sure to have the words face on the outside when hole punching).

Step 3:
Make little packages for each countdown day.  Using grass twine, I stitched two hearts together to make a pocket where I could stuff the teaching card in (pictures below of when I was working on a practice heart). I did small notes on the top hole punches to provide stability. I did this by leaving about 4 to 5 inches of twine up at the top before making a knot. Then with the leftover twine on each side, I made a hanger by tying the twine together. I liked the idea of pocket hearts because I didn't want to have 16 jars or baggies full of goodies to make. But, I do have to say the author's way of doing the mason jars full of goodies with the activity card is way cute!

Step 4:
Enjoy the magic of the countdown tree and the cuteness of the hearts hanging up. 
I would totally recommend doing this project. It is relatively simple and so versatile. You can easily adapt it to fit your family needs, and is quick to do since it comes with free printables! If you don't want to do scripture activity cards, then you can make your own activities to celebrate Valentine's Day. Like I said before, this project is so versatile. And, I just looking at my cute tree. I plan on doing more countdown trees for other holidays so be on the lookout for my printables!!!

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