How Do I Love Thee?

Let Me Count The Ways !

Using things like candy for math activities is a fun and novel way to get your children interested and learning. Jennifer over at Ramblings of A Crazy Woman shows us how to make this perfectly lovely Valentine’s counting game using heart candies! For the full how to and a million more awesome ideas head over to her blog:

Ramblings Of A Crazy Woman

Letter Of The Week and More !

Heart H !

How could I not do this? I already did a heart H previously and was just going to repost it but when my son woke up from nap early ( don’t you hate that?) he asked for art so we made a new one, he was pretty little when we did the last so it was fun to do a slightly different version with glitter foam.

1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, some foam sheets, glue , markers and scissors.
2. Draw a large H on one piece of construction paper.
3. Have your child color the H if they want, mine was eager to glue so we skipped it.
4. While they color ( if they color) cut out some hearts from the foam sheets.
5. Time to glue !
6. Add the hearts. We talked about the big and little hearts and how we wanted to keep them in the H, not out of the H. I have been sneaking in these little lessons while doing art. If they get frustrated with you drop it but if you get a dialogue going, run with it! Let dry.
7. Cut out the H
8. Glue on to the 2nd piece of construction paper.
9. Show off your awesome work !

Heart Match

Sorting, classifying and matching objects are all skills that parents probably see their children doing naturally. These are all skills we want to encourage as they are important foundations for math, logical thinking and problem solving. Here is a super quick and easy activity we have been having fun with all weekend.

1. Gather your materials. You will need some fun paper, I am using card stock I had on hand, but if you are doing this with a toddler I would stick to solid colors. The patterns were tricky for my son at first. We want it to be challenging but not frustrating. You will also need a heart paper punch or scissors and a tray or dish with multiple compartments. I got this one at the dollar store for 99 cents !
2. Make multiple hearts in the different papers. If your child is very young start with 2 colors, and add more for older , more experienced kids.
3. Take one of each color/pattern and tape it to the bottom of the container as a guide for your child.
4. Invite your child up to test out the fun . * Since making this early on Saturday it’s been played with 5 times, definitely worth it!

Cinnamon Heart Bark – Valentine’s Day Treat

I 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!