Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to teach your kids any number of things: how to show emotion, portion control with candy, and how to get a little artsy.
This craft project involves several fine motor skills that can be easily modified for kids of any age. It’s the perfect way to make a cute card for a friend, grandparent, or just for yourself.
The grand reveal of the negative space created by the heart cutouts is a thrill for almost any kid. And, who knows, it may even distract them from the candy hearts for just a bit.
Negative Space Hearts Valentine’s Day Craft
Colored paper of choice
Pencil to draw heart outlines
Festive colored paints – Red, Pink, Purple (whatever you have on hand)
This is when the age and ability of the child comes into play. You’re going to need to draw the heart shapes for younger children, but some kids might be able to draw the hearts on their own.
The tried and true way to make a heart is to fold your colored paper in half and then draw half a heart along the folded edge.
Next, either you or your child will cut along the line to reveal your (hopefully) perfectly symmetrical heart. You can make as many as you’d like in varying sizes.
Then, you’ll need to tape down the colored hearts on your white paper. Older kids can help roll tape circles and stick their own hearts down, while toddlers can press the hearts down once the tape is already applied for them. The more your child is able to do on their own, the more engaged they’ll be in the activity.
Creating the Negative Space Hearts Craft
Now, it’s time to dip into those paints! Infants can use their fingers to dip and dot the paint, and feel free to let older kids and even toddlers pick their choice of tool, (finger, cotton ball, paint sponge, etc.)
The key is to dot all around the edge of the heart first to make sure the outline will be visible when you’re done.
Once the paint is all around the outline, let them go crazy filling up the rest of the white space. It can be as sparse or as dense as they want. Let them be creative with the colors they use and how many dots they create.
The final step is fun for any age! Once they’ve finished making their fingerprints or dots all around the page, it’s time to peel up the hearts. Do this slowly so you don’t tear the heart as you peel. You may even consider waiting for the paint to dry slightly so you don’t run the risk of smearing the paint into the heart shape.
Now you can let your little one decide where to display their masterpiece.
Try it on the wall or the fridge, or they can even take it to school or daycare to give to someone special.
Wintertime often means more time spent indoors. Whether it’s the snow and rain or shorter daylight hours that keep you and the family inside, you have a lot of time to fill until warmer, longer days return.
Let’s look at some unique activities the whole family can take part in to cure winter boredom around the house.
Remember: There’s a big difference between being bored during the winter and suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a real type of depression that needs to be addressed with a variety of methods and strategies that work differently for each person. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be experiencing seasonal depression.
Take a night away from the screens and put on your own show! The great thing about a talent show is that everyone can pick what they’re comfortable doing, from painting to singing to stand-up comedy and beyond. Plan the night a few weeks out so everybody has time to perfect their performances—the practice time will build a fun sense of anticipation!
Get everyone’s creative side going with group writing projects. Take some time to write a recap of the year or some resolutions for next year. Or have everyone write their own blurb for the family holiday letter. Writing together offers a peaceful way to connect, and can help everyone find a new form of expression.
Hot Chocolate Bar
Bring a fresh twist to everyone’s favorite winter drink with a variety of add-ins to choose from. In addition to classic marshmallows, try adding in things like mint, candies, peanut butter, chai spices, a chocolate-dipped rim, or whatever sounds delicious!
If you live in an area where food delivery is possible, take the night off from cooking! One fun way to make a selection is to have everyone in the family pick their favorite, and then randomly pick a restaurant. Get takeout once a week until everyone’s restaurant has been picked.
BONUS: While you wait for the delivery to arrive, have a cleaning competition to give the house a quick refresh.
Take advantage of the high-quality camera on your phone and set up a photo booth at home. You can include fun props or different colored lights. Or use it as an opportunity to take headshots that the adults can use in professional settings, or new profile pictures for everyone’s social media profiles.
It’s the season of giving, a time to find something your friends and family will cherish and enjoy. For anyone focused on health and wellness this year, AprilAire has some gift ideas that any homeowner will love.
AprilAire Gift Guide 2022
A Healthy Home is something we all want for our loved ones. The average person spends 90% of their time indoors, where the air can be up to 5x more polluted than outdoor air. Those two facts lead to one simple conclusion: it’s so important to clean the air inside our homes.
AprilAire whole-house air purifiers capture and remove harmful substances from indoor air, like mold, pollen, airborne viruses, pet dander, and even odors.
For anyone who needs a single-room solution, check out the AprilAire room air purifier, with a true HEPA 4-stage filtration system.
Fresh Air Ventilation
Another key aspect of enjoying Healthy Air at home is to flush out stale air, and bring in fresh air from outdoors. AprilAire whole-house ventilation does just that, bringing in outdoor air to dilute indoor pollution, and removing humid, polluted air that gets trapped indoors.
For the home chef in your life, you could also upgrade the exhaust hood in their kitchen. Cooking is a major source of indoor air pollution, and old exhaust systems are noisy and inefficient, with clogged filters wearing out the fans quickly.
We don’t always think about humidity levels in our homes, but they play an important role in the health, comfort, and energy efficiency of a space.
As part of a home’s ventilation and purification systems, filters play a critical role in protecting Indoor Air Quality. AprilAire recommends changing our air filters every 6–12 months. Gifting a new filter for the holidays is a great annual gift that will start them off with Healthy Air in the new year.
Here’s a helpful guide for picking the right air filter based on the needs of the homeowner and their family:
Test for Radon
Feeling safe at home is a necessity for everyone. Not so obvious as locking the doors and turning off kitchen appliances is checking for the presence of radon. Because radon is colorless and odorless, it’s impossible to detect without an in-home testing kit.
At AprilAire, we encourage breathing Healthy Air because we know it benefits your overall health. The American Lung Association knows it too. That’s why AprilAire air filters are the National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association*, playing a key role in the fight to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.
We got to interview National Senior Vice President of Development Sally Draper about the importance of Healthy Air and how both AprilAire and the American Lung Association are working together to help you Breathe the Fullness of Life.
Could you introduce yourself for the readers and tell us about why you chose a career with the American Lung Association?
“I joined the Lung Association in 2014 because I was attracted to its comprehensive mission—to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Every day we help Americans breathe easier through our efforts to fund innovative research, advocate for policies that protect our lungs, and educate patients, caregivers, providers, and the public with science-backed information. We were founded more than 115 years ago, and the needs are greater today than ever before, including the youth vaping epidemic, climate change, and COVID-19!”
Can you tell us about the American Lung Association’s mission?
“The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Our work is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; champion clean air for all; improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and create a tobacco-free future. Whether it’s searching for cures to lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, or advocating for laws that protect the air we breathe, the work of the American Lung Association helps to save lives every day.”
How did AprilAire and the American Lung Association come to work together in the first place? What does that relationship look like presently?
“AprilAire and the American Lung Association forged a new relationship in 2018. We quickly realized how much we had in common. Our partnership was developed as we saw an opportunity to educate and help more consumers improve the air in their homes to create a healthier environment.
Since 2020, AprilAire has been a Proud Partner of the Lung Association with its 4” residential air filters. Additionally, AprilAire joined the Lung Association as our FY20 National Fight For Air Climb Partner For Healthy Air. The company has also supported the Lung Association’s “Stand Up For Clean Air” campaign. As part of this initiative, we are driving conversations around air quality, climate, and health. The Lung Association invited people to share their #MyCleanAirStory—knowing that when people realize climate and air quality are impacting the health of their neighbors, friends, and loved ones—they are more willing to act. AprilAire provided prizes for the #MyCleanAirStory contest, including one grand prize of a whole-home Indoor Air Quality upgrade (the AprilAire Healthy Air System®) and nine AprilAire Room Air Purifiers. This year, the company stepped up once again to sponsor the Wisconsin Fight For Air Climb in Milwaukee. Also in 2021, the Lung Association welcomed Dale Philippi, President and CEO of Research Products Corporation, AprilAire’s parent company, to the Lung Association’s Wisconsin Leadership Board of Directors.”
Tell us about the Fight For Air Climb.
“The American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb is the nation’s premier stair climbing challenge. At 38 events nationwide, children and adults of all ages participate in this celebratory stair-climbing adventure. Pre-pandemic, the Fight For Air Climb was held in several of our country’s most iconic skyscrapers. This year, the Lung Association invited participants outdoors for a one-of-a-kind adventure to support healthy lungs and clean air. In fact, Dale was among the company’s team of more than 50 employees that climbed the stairs at Milwaukee’s American Family Field on May 22nd, proving he puts his feet, time, and talent behind causes he supports.
AprilAire has been a stalwart partner in the Fight For Air Climb, promoting the event to employees, customers, trade partners, family, and friends. Through this unique vehicle, the company is engaging individuals of all ages to understand and celebrate the importance of Healthy Air.”
AprilAire’s air filters are a National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association. How do you feel our mission aligns with yours?
“Our CEO, Harold Wimmer, has said, ‘Breathing should not be an uphill battle, but for many it is… no one should have to fight for air on a daily basis.’ Similarly, Dale has declared, ‘We believe everyone deserves to breathe Healthy Air.’ As a National Proud Partner, AprilAire’s mission to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes aligns very closely with that of the American Lung Association, champion of clean air for all.”
What are the benefits of breathing Healthy Air and what are everyday things that people can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life?
“Clean air is essential for healthy lungs. The American Lung Association works to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and safe from harmful pollution. In fact, every year we publish our State of the Air Report, which looks at two of the most widespread and dangerous air pollutants, ozone and fine particulate matter. Our 2021 State of the Air Report found that more than 4 in 10 Americans—over 135 million people—are living in places with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.
One of the most important things you can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life is to keep sources of pollution out of your home. Check out these commonsense tips on Lung.org. Additionally, ventilation helps reduce indoor air pollution, but it works best if paired with keeping known sources of air pollution out of the building. For tips on how to use ventilation to protect your lung health, check out our section on Ventilation: How Buildings Breathe.”
Fight for Healthy Air
At AprilAire, we believe everyone deserves to Breathe the Fullness of Life, and we’re not the only ones that feel this way. Through our Proud Partnership with the American Lung Association, we aim to fill every home with Healthy Air. Both AprilAire and the Lung Association believe that breathing Healthy Air should be available to everyone, and maintaining healthy Indoor Air Quality is an important step for your lung health. Read more about our partnership and the efforts of the American Lung Association on their website.
*Disclaimer: The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.
We take the importance of caring for others to heart at AprilAire. We believe we have a purpose beyond the individual work we do and that being a successful company also means “Being a Good Neighbor.” It’s one of our core values, and something we put into action each year.
We remain committed to helping our local communities in a number of ways, including financial contributions and volunteering. In the past, we’ve raised funds to provide pack-n-plays to mothers in need, volunteered at local blood drives, and held various donation drives throughout the year.
While our partnership opportunities may look different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re excited to continue our work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, whose mission statement reads:
“A membership organization, the Society began working in Madison in 1925 with two parish-based groups of members serving their neighbors in need. Today, programs the Society operates in Dane County include a large customer-choice food pantry, a charitable pharmacy, storage for the goods of persons who are homeless, seven thrift stores offering direct charity, housing at Port St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, and several other forms of assistance for people struggling with poverty.”
We’ve been working with St. Vincent de Paul – Madison since 2014, giving us a number of incredible opportunities to give back and live out our mission of being Good Neighbors.
We believe the work they’re doing to provide assistance for our community is more important than ever right now, which is why it’s our honor to be a 2021 Platinum Sponsor for St. Vincent de Paul’s 6th Annual Care Café fundraising breakfast on May, 5th 2021. The theme is “Love Made Visible.”
They’re going virtual this year, which means they have unlimited capacity to reach their goal of $140,000. If you live in Dane County, we encourage you to attend the virtual event and support our neighbors in need through your contributions to the food pantry, free pharmacy, and housing programs.
Click here for more information on St. Vincent de Paul – Madison to see how you can get involved.
Meet AprilAire at the International Builders’ Show 2023! We offer the most complete line of Indoor Air Quality solutions, providing proven performance and reliability as well as a localized, dedicated support team (including national distribution, nationwide sales force, and in-house technical and customer support) to meet builders’ needs.
From January 31st–February 2nd, tens of thousands of professionals in the building and construction industry will descend on Las Vegas for the International Builders’ Show (IBS), which will feature over 1,300 exhibitors and hundreds of educational sessions.
AprilAire is proud to be an exhibitor at this year’s show. We’ll be showcasing several innovative additions to the AprilAire Healthy Air System®, which is our all-in-one solution that provides fresh air ventilation, air filtration, humidity control, zoning control, radon mitigation, and more to address all aspects of Indoor Air Quality.
We’ll also have information on our established, nationwide network of distributors and our reliable in-house technical and customer support.
If you’re a professional in the residential or light commercial construction industry and are planning to attend IBS 2023, stop by and say hello to our knowledgeable team members at Booth C7908.
Below is a short preview of what AprilAire has in store, with much more to see in person. If you’re a homeowner and not attending the show but want to learn how you can improve the air in your home, read on below for the latest in Indoor Air Quality solutions from AprilAire.
AprilAire Ventilating Dehumidifier
AprilAire dehumidifiers balance your home’s humidity by reducing mold- and mildew-causing moisture, keeping you protected against the harmful effects of allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as airborne viruses.
The Ventilating Dehumidifier (Models E100V + 8190FF) brings in fresh air to meet ventilation needs while removing excess humidity from the incoming outdoor air. This solution combines our ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient 2022 dehumidifier with best-in-class ventilation. Fresh air is brought in whenever the HVAC system or dehumidifier is running to meet that need. If the required time is not met through these run cycles, the AprilAire Ventilating Dehumidifier will bring in fresh air and remove any excess humidity.
AprilAire Model 8145 and 8144NC Fresh Air Ventilators
AprilAire ventilation systems help create Healthy Air in the home by bringing in fresh air from the outside to dilute trapped airborne contaminants like allergens, chemicals, viruses, and bacteria. They also push out trapped, humid air to help improve indoor comfort and health.
Beyond the benefits to the health of your environment, these fresh air ventilators are also optimized for energy efficiency. Both units were awarded ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient 2022.
AprilAire Sensors and Monitoring
Knowing the performance of your Healthy Air solutions gives you confidence in the health of your home environment. AprilAire products have sensors for temperature, relative humidity, radon, and the operational health of your systems.
Plus, our wireless sensors easily pair with the new AprilAire S86 Series Wi-Fi Thermostat to improve installation time, whole-home comfort, and personal health.
AprilAire Zone Control
When you choose AprilAire zone control, you’re choosing Healthy Air throughout your home. Our zoning systems let you control the temperature in every area of your home, delivering optimal comfort and reduced energy usage. You can even manage these controls from outside your home using the AprilAire Healthy Air App on your mobile phone.
NEW AprilAire Next-Generation Thermostats
The AprilAire S86 Series Thermostats are our latest innovation. They launched in Q4 2022 and are easy to install with real language menus, basic and advanced HVAC installer settings, programmable and non-programmable options, and home automation capabilities.
AprilAire UVC Coil Cleaner
The new AprilAire UVC Coil Cleaner operates with a proprietary innovation using a sub-band of ultraviolet light. The AprilAire UVC product kills up to 99.9%* of mold on the surface of the coils of an air conditioning system, preventing the coil from becoming a source of bad air quality.
*Testing performed on Aspergillus niger mold spores in a sheet metal duct with a new bulb placed 18 inches from the surface.
AprilAire’s Partnership with the American Lung Association
AprilAire 4-inch Air Filters are a part of the American Lung Association’s National Proud Partner program*, which allows responsible brands, after careful internal and external vetting, to use the non-profit organization’s Proud Partner logo on product packaging and approved promotional materials. These 4-inch filters feature MERV 11, MERV 13, MERV 13CBN, and MERV 16 ratings and improved performance from the patented AprilAire Self-Seal Technology which minimizes the amount of air bypassing the filter.
Using AprilAire Air Filters allows homeowners to vacuum and dust less often because the filter catches airborne particles, like dust, pollen, mold spores, bacteria, and pet dander, and prevents them from settling on furniture and flooring.
*The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.