Cinnamon Heart Bark – Valentine’s Day Treat

 

heartbarkI made peppermint bark at Christmas and was amazed at how easy and tasty it was, so while at the grocery store I thought why not try with cinnamon hearts? Here are the results!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a package of chocolate chips, I used milk but semi sweet or dark would have been a nice balance. A package of white chocolate chips, some cinnamon hearts or candies ( can you believe no one in my town had hearts?) , a ziploc , a pan lined with wax paper , some butter and a hammer.
  2. Put the cinnamon candies in the ziploc and hammer them into little pieces, if I had had hearts I would have crushed 1/2 and kept the other half whole.
  3. Melt your chocolate chips – I always use my microwave but they recommend a double boiler for better results. I pop in about 1/2 a tablespoon of butter to help make the chocolate spread easier.
  4. Spread the chocolate in the pan- pop in the freezer for a few minutes to help it set.
  5. Repeat the process with your white chocolate but add the crushed candies before putting it all in the freezer.
  6. When it’s set break into pieces!
Enjoy !

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.

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!

Be Still My Heart !

Katherine from Katherine D Photography was kind enough to share an adorable Valentine’s craft ! If you have a chance and want to see some amazing pictures check out her photo blog, I wish I was closer to her so she could take some pictures of my little man!

Take wax paper, a marker, glue, water and colored tissue paper (red, pink and white).

Mix equal parts glue and water on a paper plate.

Then tear up small pieces of tissue paper.


On the wax paper, draw a heart (or in our case, we drew hearts, this is our Valentine’s exchange project)

Dip the tissue paper into the glue/water mixture and then put it on the heart.



All the hearts done:

Once it’s done, let it dry. I had to wait overnight and I put it on top of my dryer so that it would dry faster

Cut out the heart shape, punch some holes in it and string up ribbon so it can be hung