All girls want jewlery for Valentine’s day, if you are a mom you get Pasta!


Pasta Necklaces

Some people look forward to owning mini vans, some look forward to dancing at their child’s wedding- I can’t wait for my son to bring me home a pasta necklace! This is not an activity for young toddlers, they must have fine motor skills and be past the ” I put everything I am not suppose to eat into my mouth!” stage. My suggestion is no one under 3 at the youngest.

  1. Gather your materials! Get some of the yummy dyed pasta you made, some string or ribbon, and scissors.
  2. There are two ways to make sure your child doesn’t simply thread pasta on the ribbon only to let it fall… you can tie one piece of pasta on the end to make a stopper, or you can tape the ribbon onto the table.
  3. I encourage you to do this with your child, make a necklace for him or her or even your mom! Don’t worry about the pattern if there is one on your child’s necklace but if you think your child is able to recognize patterns, start a simple pattern on the necklace you are making and once it has repeated a few times, ask your child what they think comes next.
  4. Tie it and Voila . Wear it proudly!
Song!



On a day like Valentine’s Day when we are talking about Love and other emotions a song like this is a great tool to teach about emotions. Songs like these help kids recognize different emotions and ultimately helps them learn empathy.


If you are Happy and you know it…..remix

If you are happy and you know it
clap your hands.
If you are happy and you know it
clap your hands.
If you are happy and you know it
and you really want to show it
if you’re happy and you know it
clap your hands.


Next verses:
Sad/ Wipe your tears
Silly / Make a funny face
Sleepy / Yawn real big
Hungry/Make some food

Unless you are THIS tall don’t try this at home.

Pasta Dyeing


For a lot of crafts, especially making pasta jewelry dyeing plain pasta is a great way to make it more exciting , and prettier. Also let’s face it if our kids are going to make us a necklace and expect us to wear it, we may as well choose the colors!

This is an adults only activity- the one time I did it with kids many many years ago, I had some very angry parents , their kid’s faces and clothes were red, purple and yellow for days. Live and learn!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some water, white vinegar , food coloring , some bowls, pasta and paper towel.
  2. Put a little water ( I put about 2 table spoons) in your bowls and some food coloring in it. Add about a tablespoon of vinegar .
  3. Add Pasta- you just want to coat it, don’t let it soak long enough to get at all soft.
  4. Transfer the pasta to paper towel , mine is 4 layers deep. Stir them a bit on the paper so they don’t dry stuck to the paper towel. Let dry for 24 hours before using it for a craft. Also I like to test it for colorfastness before making anything, just in case .
  5. Oh and you might want to wear gloves, even after 10 years of doing thins I forget, and look! This is after 4 hand washings!

*** The same process can be used for rice too!


Stay tuned we will be making Valentine’s Necklaces with the Pasta tomorrow!

Pastry Brush Painting


  1. Gather your materials. Paper, paint and a brush is all you need. I am using a pastry brush because really little hands have a hard time with a thin paintbrush and they are less expensive than toddler brushes from an art supply store. I got this one at a dollar store for 99 cents!
  2. Add one color at a time and let your child have fun mixing colors. I only did 2 colors because at 14 months long activities are tedious, so I kept it short. If your child is older plan on using 3 or 4 colors!
  3. Make sure to display this masterpiece where your child can show off their art!

Song!

Over the Irish Sea

When I was 1 I sucked my thumb
and then I went to sea
I climbed aboard a pirate ship
and the captain said to me
“Let’s go this way , and that way.
backwards and forwards,
over the Irish sea!”

* Continue counting with rhyming words like 2 and shoe, 3 and knee etc

Books!



All these books are themed around famous painters and their masterpieces! ” Painting with Picasso” is a board book and great for fumbly toddler fingers. The other two are beautiful and are wonderful for preschoolers all the way up!

“Babar’s Museum of Art” by Laurent de Brunhoff
“Museum ABCs” by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
” Painting with Picasso” by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober


Apple Print Valentines



Valentine’s is only days away, so I thought I better get to sharing an activity that can be made into a special Valentine’s activity. Apple printing is great any time of year, just skip the last step of cutting the paper into the shape of a heart!

  1. Gather your materials. You’ll need an apple, some paint, a plate, and some paper. I am re- using a paper grocery bag. Whenever I use paint I like to put an extra layer between the project and the table surface, so I cut the paper bag in two and used half for an under layer and taped it to my table using painters tape.
  2. Cut your apple in two lengthwise, this way you will get a heart shape when you print it!
  3. Pour some paint on to your plate , you don’t need much at all. If you put too much you will just get a blob of paint instead of a nice print.
  4. Print !!
  5. Let the prints dry before drawing a heart and cutting it out!

Books!



All of these books have love as a theme , ” Daddy Hugs” is a great counting book for young toddlers, “The Kissing Hand” is a wonderful story and great for kids experiencing separation anxiety at school, and ” I love you forever” will make any mom cry, and most dads too!


Daddy Hugs” by Karen Katz
I love you Forever “
by Robert Munsch
“The Kissing Hand”
by Audrey Penn




Sing and Dance , no talent required!

Silly Songs

Who doesn’t love to sing? I have probably one of the worst most unmusical voices on this planet but kids just don’t care, as long as you are animated you can forget words, skip verses and be tone deaf!

Here are a few songs that were staples in my classrooms and now are favorites at home with my son too!

Little Bunny Foo Foo !

Little Bunny Foo Foo
hopping through the forest
scooping up the field mice
and bopping them on the head.

Down came the good fairy
and she said
” Little Bunny Foo Foo
I don’t want to see you,

scooping up the field mice
and bopping them on the head !”

I will give you 3 chances
or I’ll turn you into a goon!

( Then 2, 1, no more chances!)

5 little Monkeys


5 little monkeys swinging in a tree
Along came a crocodile
as sneaky as can be
One little monkey said
” Betcha can’t catch me!”
SNAP

4 …3…2..

1 Little Monkey swinging in a tree
Along came a crocodile
as sneaky as can be
One little monkey said
” Betcha can’t catch me !”

SNAP!

” Nah Nah you missed me!”

Dance Dance Dance!
Kids love to dance , so turn off the tv and turn the music up! Make it special with some scarves or my easy ribbon tie!

  1. Gather your materials. All you need is a few pieces of old ribbon. The color and width don’t matter, just make sure it’s not too long so your child doesn’t trip.
  2. Lay them down so the middle of each ribbon is at about the same spot, tie a knot.
  3. Turn the music on , hand it to your child.
  4. Dance with the ribbons!!!