For Valentine’s Day, the kindergarteners need to make a Valentine Box for their friends to put their Valentines in. I was dreaming up making a furry monster with the opening for his mouth. I excitedly told my 5-almost-6-year-old all about it. NO WAY MOM! I have to come up with it and make it myself. He told me. He is like that, very independent. For his 100th day project, I was not allowed to help at all.
For me, one of the most exciting things about having kids, was being able to make things with and for them…and watching them become who they are.
When he told me no, he was making his box himself, I gave my husband my little frownie face. So we went to Joann’s and I had my husband take the boys to come up with something, while I went in another direction and pouted. Did you catch that? I let them do it all by themselves. And let me just say, my little guy is soooo much like me.
He decided he wanted it to be an angry bird. They were strolling down the aisles looking for red felt when they happened upon the hat boxes. My older son, just happened to be wearing an Angry Bird shirt, so they picked the colors of felt they needed.
Of course, when I saw what they picked up, I was delighted with their imagination.
My son told me another day that we needed to work on his box. I found a coloring page online that he liked and we printed it out. I did trace the pieces onto the felt, but my son cut it all out BY HIMSELF.
It was hard for me to not fix things, but I didn’t. He was right there with me and would have known if I changed anything. That is one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn as a Mom….just letting their things be how they want them.
I layered the pieces to make sure they would be a good fit. He was happy with it.
The sewing began. He has sewed with me before. He knows how to guide the fabric.
He knows how to make the needle go down or up. (I keep my needle down.) And he knows how to cut the thread. Ok, so it is all just button pushing, but he knows when to do it. He can lift the presser foot and pivot his piece and continue stitching.
I started with him on my lap. But he got frustrated and told me he could do it himself. So I got to watch him instead.
Here the front circle is almost ready. I resisted putting any additional details like the beak line on. But he realized we needed eyes. I did cut them out for him, but I assure you, he stitched them on.
They have to have their names on the boxes. I had him write his name on a piece of paper and did my favorite trick for sewing details on felt like I did with the felt pencil topper or the felt apple garland. Just make sure your stitch length is pretty short and the paper almost pops off with just a little help. The name is on a circle of red that covers the back.
Close up of the stitching. I think he did a bang up job on it!
He cut out some hearts to go around the sides.
All Valentine boxes apparently need hearts on them, don’t ‘cha know!?
My husband cut the hole in the top of the hat box because it is pretty thick.
I confess, I did sew the front and back to the middle rectangle. The felt slips on and off, but it tight enough to hold it all together. The hole in the top is where the Valentines will go. I think my son’s favorite part is the tail and the top tuft of feathers that stick out.
My favorite part was spending time with my son as he did it 90% by himself. He is so proud of himself too! What is not to love? AND in the end, I was so thrilled with his own vision and his own hard work. I think this did turn out better than the furry monster vision I had.