Here are two fingerprint heart magnets that make wonderful DIY keepsake gifts! They were part of the valentine activities for preschoolers that we enjoyed this year. The functional valentine art was a hit with all of our students’ families!
Related: Heart Crafts for Preschoolers
We made these heart-shaped magnets specifically for Valentine’s Day. But I think they would be sweet gifts kids can make for any gift-giving occasion. Or even just because!
Below you can read about both of the magnets we made, as well as a few tips we learned along the way.
Fingerprint Heart Magnets
We tried these heart magnets two different ways, and I actually loved them both! While different, they both met my end goal, which was to create a heart fingerprint keepsake with the kids.
First, we’ll take a look at the Model Magic version. These magnets really couldn’t have been easier! Plus, the end results were colorful, and the kids seemed to enjoy making them. Win-win-win!
Materials for the Model Magic Hearts
We didn’t use all that much to make this version of the fingerprint heart magnets (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Model Magic (we used white, blue, and red because that’s what we already had)
- Acrylic paint (the kids chose white, pink, red, and orange)
- Magnetic strip “tape”
- Precision-tipped Q-Tips (or small paintbrushes)
Fingerprint Magnets Directions
Have the kiddo choose which color Model Magic to use. Break off a small piece and roll it into a ball. Have child help press it into a thick circle.
Use the child’s pointer finger to create a “heart” in the Model Magic. I did this by helping the kiddos press their finger into the circle at an angle one way, then again at an angle in the opposite direction. One of my children pointed out, “it kind of looks like a V!”
Let the Model Magic dry overnight. The next day, have the child paint the fingerprint heart. We used cotton swabs with pointed tips and acrylic paint to do this.
Hot glue a piece of magnetic tape to the back. Label it with child’s name and year. Once everything’s dry, put the fingerprint heart magnets in child-made gift bags and they’re ready to go!
Baking Soda Clay Version
While I loved how the Model Magic hearts turned out, I wanted to try a similar project with clay. I’ve been curious about baking soda clay since I read about it at The Imagination Tree, so I decided to try it. It’s also known as white clay.
I whipped up a batch of clay in the morning and then brought it to school. (More tips on that later!) To make the magnets, give each child a lump of clay. Help the child roll or press the clay until they get to the desired thickness.
Then bring out the cookie cutters and let them cut shapes out of the dough. Since we were making Valentine’s Day presents, we used hearts.
Help the child make a fingerprint in the center, using the directions above. Just make sure not to press all the way through the shape!
Related: The Best Gifts for Preschoolers
Using the letter stamps, have the kiddo add ‘I’ above the fingerprint heart, and “you!” below it.
Cook/dry the clay fingerprint heart magnets in the oven, then break out the paint. My preschoolers painted their baking soda clay hearts any way they wanted. You can also have the child paint just the fingerprint heart, too.
Once everything is dry, write the child’s name and the date on the back. Use a hot glue gun to attach a round magnet to the back, too!
My son and I made some together at home, too. We made a few fingerprint hearts, and we also just had fun writing messages in the clay using stamps.
Something to Keep in Mind
The baking soda clay is just beautiful! However, this works out so much better if you use the clay right away. There were a lot more cracks on my students’ pieces than on the ones Engineer and I made together. I’m positive it’s because Engineer and I made ours once the clay was done. For my preschoolers, I made the clay in the morning (about 6), but they didn’t get to create with it until center time (about 9). I kept the clay in a wet towel, but I think 3 hours was too long a wait!
Which of these fingerprint heart magnets would your kids most enjoy? Do you have other ideas for gifts kids can make their families and friends? I’d love to hear them!
Preschool Resources for Valentine’s Day
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes book suggestions, printable plans, over 30 learning activities (both whole group and centers) related to the theme, and corresponding printables.
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers
Originally published February, 2015.