Love Potions – Valentine’s Day Science Play

love potions valentine's day scienceWe love to play with vinegar and baking soda at our house . We explored it with squirt guns, at a play date and even pretending to be mad scientists. This time we made potions but really we just made a really awesome fun mess!   We made these after school this week and already my 2 year old has asked to make so many I am out of vinegar and baking soda. Kids love to pretend and mixing imagination with scientific inquiry is a great way to get them interested in asking questions and testing their theories out. We pretended we were making love potions but not the way that maybe a teenager would think about it. Instead we were making potions to make everyone feel loved, not to fall in love with us and even that fell by the wayside . Bottom line, have fun and make sure you have towels ready!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some baking soda, vinegar and then we added  food color and food flavoring ( strawberry and cherry) . You will want clear containers, spoons, and whatever you need to protect your house from food color. love potions preschool scrience play
  2. Set out the ingredients and let them explore. While they started I talked about how some people think that potions and spells will make people fall in love and they both thought that was crazy talk! We pretended we were making people feel love but soon they just got into making a potion and the love bit was lost. This is fine the goal wasn’t to teach about love potions so much as simply explore. love potions science for kids valentine's day activity
  3. My son saw the baking soda and immediately got excited about the prospect of a fizzy overflowing potion. Only he couldn’t remember what made it bubble and discovered it was not the cherry flavoring.love potions for kids
  4. My daughter followed her brother’s lead and absolutely adored every minute. love potion science play activity for kids
  5. Once they figured out it was the vinegar they made potions over and over.love potions  In all different color combinations and with as much excitement every time. love potions 2It soon turned into making predictions about if it would overflow or not. love potion number 5

Giant Valentine’s Word Search

valentine's day word search

My son loved the 3D Word Search I made him a while back so when I saw that the dollar store had pink and purple foam letters I grabbed a few packs and headed home to make another for him. The great thing about this activity is that it incorporates different senses . Kids can see and feel the letters that make up the words. I kept the words easy to find by making them all a uniform color for my beginning reader but make it as tricky as you want. Also even if your child isn’t reading you can still make this , just turn it into a letter search .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a canvas or other stiff cardboard base, contact paper, foam letter stickers , scissors and a marker. Depending on which contact paper you get you will want to either use a dry erase marker or a regular washable maker if you want to use the word search as a write and wipe surface. I bought a new type of contact paper this week and dry erase is a pain to wipe off it, but washable markers do great with a baby wipe. If you want this to be a one time only activity you can skip the contact paper and just add the letters to some construction paper. 
  2. Cover the canvas with contact paper- this makes the surface wipe able.
  3. Add your words. I tried my best to stay lined up but I never worry about it being exactly perfect. I took words from classic conversation hearts but you can do any thing , even names of people you love. I find it easiest to add one row vertically and one horizontally first then fill the columns in .
  4. Write the words out on some paper .
  5. Add a marker and a kid and watch them amaze you with their skills! As my son was doing this I noticed he touched the letters, squished them and traced  a few with his hand. My cuddly guy ( he’ll hate that I said that in a year or two) seems to have a real need for kinesthetic elements in his lessons.
  6.  I also noticed how he was holding his marker, after I took these pictures. He has a natural tendency to twist his wrist like that for cutting but it’s the first time I have witnessed it for writing. Not sure if it was just because of the raised letters but I am going to watch him much closer … Any tips of correcting this ? Experience with this particular tendency? I am going to have him write on the wall more ( forces proper grip) but if you have any other awesome ideas please share !

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day !

Looking for fast fun Valentine’s Day activities for toddlers and preschoolers? We are doing a bunch today. This weekend was packed with activities for our family so today we are staying home in our Pjs and doing a few of these lovely projects and reading some great books.

I think we will start our day with some gifts . I bought my daughter  Where Is Baby’s Valentine? by Karen Katz. She is grabbing at everything so she will love all the flaps to lift up and grasp!

Then while my daughter naps we’ll play with our Valentine Sensory Tub

While my son watches his favorite show ( Busy Town Mysteries) my daughter and I will paint . Here’s a tip when painting with babies , use painter’s tape to tape the paper down so it’s not thrown , ripped or eaten while painting!

After lunch we’ll read this and a few other books my son chooses.

Shelia Rae, The Brave by Kevin Henekes In this story Sheila is a brave little mouse, he even taunts her little sister Louise calling her names when she isn’t as brave as her. However soon the tables are turned and when Shelia gets lost it’s her very own scaredy cat sister who shows the bravery. I think a lot of younger siblings can relate to this story, I know I can. Having an older sister who very much like Shelia is the natural leader among the two of us , it’s nice to see the little sister saving the day for once.  Edited 02/11  My son is nuts about this book. I read it everyday after lunch, and we talk about how some day his sister might just have to help him and how both girls and boys can be very brave.  No matter how many time we read this I enjoy it as much as he does.

Then during quiet time my son will play with this map he loves LeapFrog Tag Maps: World I am not working with LeapFrog in any way I am only mentioning it because this toy is why I can blog. It keeps him playing, learning and it’s so fun!

For dinner we’ll make these heart shaped pizzas

Before bed we’ll read Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton.

This author 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! My son didn’t warm up to this book right away, but now not only does he love it he is very very specific that only I can read it to him . It’s become a big favorite in our house.

Not exactly the red wine and candlelight Valentine’s Day we had before kids but I’d be lying if I said I don’t love being able to have a super day and not even getting out of my PJs.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Semi Handmade Valentines

I love making handmade Valentines for people and my son and I didn’t see eye to eye about this at first. He wanted to hand out Toy Story Valentines he saw at Target and I wanted him to make them himself for his classmates. Well… this was our compromise which will likely become a tradition. It satisfies his need for characters but still serves the purpose of making custom Valentines for each of his friends. Each was made with the friend in mind which was time consuming but thrilling to see him put that much thought into it. Honestly I don’t know if the stars just aligned , but he loved this craft. We even left the kitchen table as our ” Valentine” factory so we can make more today.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, some store bought valentines ( whatever your little on begged you for), heart stickers, scissors, paint,  glitter ( Come on it’s Valentine’s day let them have glitter !! ), colored pencils and anything else to make them fun and sparkly. 
  2. Start by cutting the construction paper into hearts. Ours are not the most perfect but as you will see they still end up beautiful.
  3. Time to customize!  We started with paint.
  4. Used colored pencils.
  5. Glitter
  6. The works! No two were the same. Yes we made a mess but it was so fun. 
  7. Choose which character valentine each recipient will like the best.
  8. We originally made them like this with the store bought valentine on the back but most ended up with it on the front and my son used the whole back to write his name. If you follow me you know how I have been trying to encourage his writing and I didn’t even ask him to do it, he grabbed the pencil and started all on his own.
  9. Oh and for those of you who ask how I manage crafts while my little one is awake …
  10. This picture isn’t really a “step” in the tutorial but it captures how much fun we had, which is really the whole point of this blog!

Don’t miss this. CBS Los Angeles featured our Heart Shaped Pizza on their site . We are making those again for our Valentine’s Day meal. Do you make something special for your kids’ dinner on Valentine’s Day?

Puffy Heart Wreath

I love wreaths almost as much as I love garlands! This Valentine’s Day craft is fun ,  easy to make and easy on your wallet. The foam hearts are super light and I was able to tape the wreath to a door in our house using only blue painters tape . Also if you want you can turn it into a patterning lesson as well or just randomly glue the hearts on.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, glue, foam heart picks ( got mine 9 for a dollar at the dollar store), red markers and scissors. 
  2. Start by coloring the paper plate with markers. We used red but use whatever color your child wants to.
  3. Start by having your child pull the tops off the heart picks. I twisted them so they were easier to pop off. This step was really fun.
  4. While they do that cut the middle out.
  5. Add a lot of glue. If you don’t normally let your child do the glue because they use too much, let them with this one. You need a lot of glue so let them at it!
  6. Add your hearts.  Randomly or in a pattern. I just let him do it however he wanted and he quickly settled on a pattern and sang it out as he added it. You can also sneak counting in here if you want.
  7. Let dry.