Bunches of Love !

Bouquet of Hearts

Who doesn’t love flowers? These are custom made by your very favorite little artist just for you! Valentine’s Day is a great time to reinforce learning about heart shapes too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some card stock or stiff paper, markers or crayons, pipe cleaners, and scissors.
  2. Start by drawing a heart on the card stock, cut it out and use it as the template to draw more on the other card stock. You can simply draw the hearts individually too. If your child is able to have them draw the hearts!
  3. Have your child color the hearts, we chose other red and pink colors for drawing but any color marker or crayon will work!
  4. Make 3 small holes with sharp scissors or a very small hole punch in the heart.
  5. Thread the pipe cleaner through. This is great for fine motor development, but really little hands will need help. The pipe cleaner should have some extra after being threaded through and you will bend that to secure it.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each heart.
  7. Older children can write messages in black pen on the heart or you can have your child dictate a valentines message for the recipient
  8. Tie a pretty bow around your stems and give it to someone you love!

Books!

” Valentine Friends” by April Jones Prince is a great book for toddlers who have just made some valentines or are just about to. The text is as simple as it gets, explaining one simple step of a valentine’s day art project on each page. The first letter of the action matches the first letter of the animal doing the action . My son liked pointing out the art supplies, animals and sat well for the whole book which isn’t always the case. Cute book for the very young!

” Who Do You Love? “ by Martin Waddell has a cute concept and the cats on the cover grabbed my attention. The book I got from the library was in board book form and I was a little disappointed when it had as much text on each page, my wiggly man shut it on the 2nd page and insisted on a book about school buses instead. When I grabbed it later he sat back down to look at some of the pages but the story didn’t grab him. I the story about a cat and a kitten playing a “Who do you love?” game listing all the cats the kitten loves before bed, it’s very sweet. The part where the kitten says that she loves the cat she met in the woods yesterday gave me the heeby geebies though. I understand it’s supposed to be funny that the kitten lists this stranger and hasn’t said her mama yet but it just came across as creepy. I would just skip that line if I read it again.

Sailing Away !

Shape Boat !

Whenever we do these projects they are big hits, they are so easy to do and are a great way to reinforce shapes . My son ran to the table when I suggested we make a boat, I think he needed a bit of a break from Valentine’s crafts. This easy craft was the answer, after nap when it was all dry he grabbed it proudly and announced “My boat !” now if only I could get him to stop eating glue…
  1. Gather your materials. You will need construction paper, a blue marker, scissors and glue.
  2. Give your child the marker and a piece of construction paper to draw the water and waves.
  3. While they are drawing the turbulent sea, cut out a semi circle, a long thin rectangle, two triangles and 3 small circles.
  4. When they are done break out the glue! Add the glue for the boat first.
  5. Add the semi circle boat.
  6. Next add the glue for the mast and the rectangle.
  7. Time to add the triangles
  8. Dot on three dots of glue for the port holes.
  9. Add the little circles.
  10. Sail Away !
Books !

” Stanley Goes Fishing” by Craig Frazier is a beautiful book dipped in a little bit of surrealism. When the only thing Stanley catches on his fishing trip is a boot, he decides to switch things up a bit and drops his line in the sky! Kids love fantastical books and they love it when the fish come from the sky! As a mom the only thing that bothers me is that Stanley isn’t wearing a life jacket!


“The Seaside Switch” by Kathleen V. Kudlinski is a book packed with information about tides and creatures in the sea. As a child I found nothing more fascinating than a tide pool and all the scurrying crabs and this book captures that. It’s main story is how the tide changes throughout the day and brings with it different animals. The book is too long for most toddlers but my son enjoyed pointing out the animals in the book.

” Busy Boats” by Tony Mitton is a fun little book packed full of good information about boats. The text is short , rhymes and matches the illustrations perfectly. It’s hard to find non fiction books that small ones will sit for and listen to, the cartoon characters in this book will grab and keep your child’s attention , I also like how small the books are, perfect for car rides and longer travel!

King of Hearts !

Valentine Crown !

It’s been a while since we’ve made a crown, it’s such a great craft to do because it’s easy, fun and can be used for imaginative play after wards! Grocery bags are perfect too because they are long enough when cut open , so there is no need to staple two pieces of paper together.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a brown grocery bag, some markers, scissors, tape and valentines stickers. I am using sticker since they are toddler friendly- you can use paper shapes and glue too but my little man wanted to play before nap time so stickers it was!
  2. Cut the bag open so it’s long, and draw a line with hearts for the crown. Make sure to make it longer than needed , it will make the crown sturdier if there it extra.
  3. Invite your child to come and use markers ( paint or crayons work too) to color their crown.
  4. When they are done bring out the stickers, I hide them until the first step is done so that my son doesn’t sit there begging for them while he is coloring.
  5. Peel and stick!
  6. Cut out the crown.
  7. Measure the crown on your child’s head and tape. I prefer tape or staples because it’s instant and we play right away!

Valentine’s Day Kids Craft !

This is another classic craft for Valentine’s day, the first time I did this I was barely older than my son. I was excited to see how much my son liked making it and it’s a great craft for families with various abilities, it’s easy to add lace, sequins, glitter etc… for older children. It also makes a great valentine to someone you love, my son gave away his hug to my sister as soon as she arrived for a visit .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard or other sturdy paper, red paint, construction paper ( red and black), googly eyes, scissors and some glue.
  2. Draw one large heart and 2 smaller heart on the cardboard.
  3. Have your child paint the small hearts – I used this as a little mini lesson about small vs. large.
  4. Paint the large heart. Let dry.
  5. While that is drying , take your red paper and fan fold it. Cut two pieces off for the arms.
  6. Cut a mouth out of the black paper.
  7. When the paint is dry Cut out the hearts.
  8. Add the glue for the mouth and the eyes.
  9. Add the eyes and mouth.
  10. Glue the small hearts onto the ends of he arms for hands.
  11. Glue the arms to the big heart!
Book!

When I asked for book reviews I was inundated with reviews for this book “Snuggle Puppy” by Sandra Boynton, when I was out buying groceries today I saw it at the checkout and I snatched it up . Sandra Boynton is a preschool parents dream, short and easy to read melodic books with illustrations to die for. The story is simply a little love song about all the ways the dog loves the puppy, simple and touching. As an educator something I love is that the dogs don’t have an obvious race , they don’t even have an obvious gender which is perfect. Regardless of who loves who in your family your child can see you in the dog and themselves in the puppy! I think that is the perfect valentine!

Ziplocs Aren’t Just For Snacks….

Shake Baby Shake !

One of my favorite things to do as a child was shake the shake and bake bags when my mom made chicken, this activity is inspired by that. I think any light ball would work, ours is from a birthday loot bag. I loved the results and so did my son! It was an experiment though and we did it two different ways – check it out!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, liquid paint, a fun light ball and a ziploc.
  2. Fold the paper if you need to fit completely inside the ziploc, it needs to be able to close.
  3. Place it in.
  4. Add some paint.
  5. Throw in your ball.
  6. Close the ziplock and SHAKE ! I ad mu son shaking it high, low and in the middle. Hey I had to add in a lesson! With older kids this can be a fun color mixing lesson, I tried with my son but he was so enthralled with the shaking I am not so sure he caught on, although toddlers tend to surprise you with what they do pick up.
  7. Add another color and keep going !
  8. We did it a second time with the paint ON the ball and tat worked too, not major difference.

Song!

This is my son’s favorite song right now!

Shake shake shake your sillies out!
Shake shake shake your sillies out!
Shake shake shake your sillies out,
and wiggle all your waggles away!

Flick flick flick your fidgets out!
Flick flick flick your fidgets out!
Flick flick flick your fidgets out,
and wiggle all your waggles away!

Jump jump jump your jiggles out!
Jump jump jump your jiggles out!
Jump jump jump your jiggles out,
and wiggle all your waggles away

I also add in kick your kickers out, stomp your stampers out and Hop your Hoppers out.