Friday, January 13, 2012

Squirrel Gives Her Heart

Squirrel Gives Her Heart

Squirrel was very busy. She was making the biggest and best Valentine heart she had ever made. It was almost as big as she was. She was so excited and could hardly wait to give it to her friend.

Finally she was finished. She had made the most beautiful big and sparkly Valentine she had ever seen. Now she was ready to give it to a friend. But squirrel had lots of friends and didn’t know which one to choose. The big heart would be perfect for deer who was her biggest friend. But then she thought about her other friends whom she also liked very much. Raccoon would certainly enjoy having a sparkly heart. So would her friend chipmunk. She should also give one to her friend bird and she couldn’t leave out her smallest friend mouse. Squirrel was worried. She didn’t have enough paper to make everyone a Valentine. Yet she didn’t want to leave anyone out. What should she do?

Squirrel thought and thought. Suddenly she knew what she could do so that everyone could have a sparkly heart just the right size for them. Can you guess?
Squirrel cut up her sparkly heart. She took her scissors, folded the heart in half and carefully cut around the edge to make a big open heart for deer. Then she cut some more to make an open heart for raccoon. She made a medium-sized one for chipmunk and a slightly smaller one for bird. All that was left was a teeny-tiny solid heart which was just the right size for her smallest friend mouse.
Squirrel was very happy and so were her friends when she presented each of them with their own special Valentine’s Day heart.

Notes:  This story can be told as either a paper cutting story or as a board story.  The basic concept of cutting concentric hearts was inspired by a paper cutting story from Paper Stories by Jean Stangl. 
Paper - For plain paper cutting delete the adjective sparkly from the story.  For more ambitious paper cutting use glitter glue over the area to be cut out to make it sparkly.  Just make sure the area inside the heart is completely covered and that it is completely dry before folding the paper in half (so it won’t stick together). Be sure to do this well ahead of time for it takes some time for the glue to dry, particularly if you get carried away like I did.  (I put the paper on a towel and used a hair dryer so I could have my sample for Flannel Friday rather than Flannel Saturday.)   You can also use a metallic marker to give your heart sparkle.  I used both for the sample.  The paper can be any paper that can easily be cut when folded in half such as copy paper. My sample is made from thin construction paper.  Fold the paper in half (sparkles on the inside and fold on the left side) and draw half a large heart onto this side.  (Make sure this is done on the fold edge so that when you open it up you have a complete heart.)  Draw the the four smaller (half) hearts inside it.  These will be your guidelines for cutting out the hearts.  You can make templates to trace around if you wish.  I made my pattern using Microsoft Publisher.  Cut out the large heart and open it up to show the big heart squirrel made.  (If you wish, you can cut the large heart out ahead of time.)  Refold it to cut out the additional hearts. You should end up with four open hearts and one small solid heart.  Open each heart up to show which heart squirrel gave to each animal.

Board - If you tell this as a board story you will be making hearts that fit inside each other.  I use paper to make magnet board figures which is easy to cut.  Cutting the hearts from felt will be more difficult due to the thickness of the material so I recommend sharp scissors.  (The hearts can also be drawn on craft weight interfacing which is easy to cut and sticks to a feltboard.)  With felt you can decorate the edges with puffy paint as well making the pieces sparkly with glitter glue.  You also have the option of adding the animals mentioned in the story to the board.  The story would work with a very large heart alone which would probably be easier to make than a smaller one.  The other option would be to make a smaller heart with pieces that can be placed next to each animal.  Heart templates can be made with a simple drawing program.  Use clip art for the animals or use animals from other sets that you might have.  You can substitute whatever animals you have for squirrel's friends.

Template using Microsoft Publisher

 Use black marker on half of the heart so it will show through the copy paper for tracing the pattern.

I cut the template so I could trace it onto construction paper. 
I would use this for board pieces as well.

I used this to show where to cover the inside with "sparkle."

The inside with sparkle.

The large heart cut out.

All of the hearts cut out.

Happy Valentine's Day!
This week's Flannel Friday Roundup (Mushy Gushy Valentine's Day Extravaganza) is hosted by Anna of Future Librarian Superhero.  Past and future roundups are listed here and our Pinterest boards are here.


  1. You could also use sparkly scrapbook paper to make it even faster and avoid the issue of stickiness.

  2. Using scrapbook paper is a great idea! One could use shiny foil or a paper with a pretty pattern. I'll now be looking at scrapbook paper for paper cutting inspiration . Thanks Kristine.