Simple Heart Craft for Toddlers

simple valentine's day craft for toddlersThis is one of my favorite classic Valentine’s Day Crafts for little kids and toddlers. It’s simple for toddlers , fun for older kids and is gorgeous no matter how you do it. I also love that working with eye droppers requires some great fine motor and coordination skills so it’s more than just a pretty craft !

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some coffee filters ( 2 per heart) , ribbon, markers, double stick tape, scissors ( ours are pinking shears) , eye dropper, water, dish, something to protect your table and something absorbent like paper towels or a old cloth towel.toddler valentines day craft
  2. Start by cutting your coffee filters but folding them. toddler valentines day craft bI love using pinking shears because they make it that much prettier.toddler craft for valentines day
  3. Time to color. My daughter did dots but go wild any design will work. Make sure kids know that their designs will change.toddler craft for valentines day s
  4. My daughter colored a bunch .toddler heart craft for valentines day She was just in that sort of mood. Usually toddlers are quick to be done so if your child does 3 dots and declares they are done do not fret. That happens here all the time too. A trick to make many of these when attention spans are still on the short side is to not separate the filters keeping 2-4 all in a pile and coloring those. The color will bleed through . Another way to extend the activity without forcing is to offer a new color of marker as the interest starts decreasing.toddler heart craft
  5. Add water! toddler heart craft for valentines dayTalk about it spreading and the water mixing with the color and how the dry filter absorbs it like a towel absorbs the water on their body after a bath. Using every day references to learn new words and explain new experiences is a great tool for learning.toddler hearts craft
  6. Let dry .
  7. Choose pairs. You can even sneak in some simple math ” Can you find 2 hearts?” She was gleefully helpful with this. You can’t tell from the pictures but she was actually really taking her time making pairs. I was fascinated in a way only parents can be fascinated with their own kids ;) toddler heart craft 55
  8. Add tape and ribbon.toddler heart craft for kids
  9. Sandwich together and repeat.  Find the right place to hang them to add a little love to your home. Ours are in the window that faces the driveway and every time I drive home they are the first things we see from the car.toddlers heart craft for kids

Easy Kid Designed Valentines

easy calssroom valentinesMy son is in kindergarten and his teacher asked for each kid to address and sign each valentine for their class.  I think this is great because it is great real world aka purposeful writing for this age group. Little store bought valentines are usually well little and hard to fit kindergarten sized hand writing in without major frustration and potential set backs in confidence of their writing ability. I wasn’t planning on posting this but when I saw how into it my son was I knew others might benefit.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some graphics program – I use picmonkey.com It’s easy to use ( I barely helped my son after giving him a quick tour).  If you are going to print it out on regular printer paper like we did you may also want some construction paper and glue to make a backing. You will also want a class list and a sharp pencil with eraser.
  2. Start by playing around with picmonkey deciding on the design. I showed my son options and he chose the font, did most of the typing and moving the items around the page. * Disclaimer this picture is a recreation of the real events. We did this last night in a dark living room while my youngest and husband cleaned up after dinner. He’s actually admiring a picture of himself on pinterest… but you get the idea! kid designed valentines for friends
  3. This is his design.kid designed valentine
  4. Print. I printed ours at a 3.5×5 size 4 to a page.
  5. Glued them on the construction paper and cut them out.  kid designed valentine cardsSet them out with the class list and invited him to choose 4-5 friends to write them to. I like doing them in batches because it makes the task manageable. Writing is hard and I think because we do it so effortlessly we forget how much effort it once took us. Do it in little bits and it will be much easier. My son loved designing these and with a bunch of birthday parties coming up he can’t wait to make more . Kid Designed Valentines

 

Dinner Conversation Hearts – Family Meal Activity

conversation hearts dinner time activity for familiesDinner isn’t always peaceful at our house. With a 2 year old who pops out of her chair and a negotiating 6 year old who’s food taste changes more often than his socks it sometimes feels like it’s kids vs. parents. That’s not how I want to spend my evening and I don’t like to view my kids as the opposing team either . To change the focus from getting  of  her chair and getting out of eating whatever is on his plate we often play games. This Valentine’s day themed dinner table conversation starter does double duty as decor as well!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some foam hearts in various colors ( dollar store!), a red marker, pen, ribbon and clothes pins.conversation hearts at dinner activity for families
  2. Start by writing the classic conversation hearts sayings all in uppercase letters on your hearts.dinner conversation hearts
  3. Next write out interesting and conversation provoking questions on the opposite side.  No yes or no questions!dinner conversation hearts questions
  4. Hang your ribbon close to your dinner table. You could make a garland, wreath or even pop them in a bowl too. Get your kids interested in this before dinner.dinner conversation hearts activity for families
  5. At dinner have a child choose a heart and read both sides. dinner conversation hearts activityWe went around in a circle giving our answers and letting others comment and ask questions about each answer.conversation hearts dinner talks
  6. My daughter wanted to read too – we aren’t sure what her’s really said but she asked us ” You like candy?” We all shared our favorite types of candy . We will keep this up until Valentine’s Day and hopefully have as enjoyable dinners ( most days) as we did tonight.conversation hearts dinner conversation starters

A preschool board meeting prevented me from posting this when I had planned and we have now had 3 dinner with these conversation hearts. All have been fun, informative and really great family time. My kids have been racing to the table to be the one chosen to pick the first heart. My daughter has chosen the same heart every night but asks us new questions that we can usually decipher.  Tonight I learned that my son loves a new book , my daughter loves her brother more than princesses, that my husband loves math more than sports and when it comes down to it I like reading about educational psychology more than art history, even if the pictures aren’t as pretty.

Here is the list of questions I included:

What is your favorite game to play?
What is your favorite subject to learn about?
What do you want to get better at?
What is your favorite book?
What is your favorite sport?
What character from a book/movie or TV show would you like to be?
What was your least favorite ride at at Disneyland?
What is your favorite food?
How old do you have to be to get married? ( My son said ” Well the law is 18 right? So I’ll stick with the law.” I almost choked on my dinner.)
What is your favorite room in the house to read in?
If you could visit any country in the world where would you go?
what do you want to be when you grow up?

 

 

14 Heart Crafts & Activities For Kids

14 Heart Crafts For Kids For Valentine's DayValentine’s Day is in less than a month and it’s time to celebrate love and friendship while being creative, learning a little about shapes and getting ( a little) messy.  Here are 14 of our favorite Valentine’s Day Crafts that are all about hearts!

Heart Rainbow
Princess Wand Valentine
Heart H
Sorting Hearts Math Activity
Shake Painted Heart Valentine

Circle of Friends Heart Wreath
Paper Hug
Musical Hearts Game
Hearts Playing Card Banner ( great for a math lesson too!)
Puffy Heart Wreath
Love Bug with Heart Wings
Heart Tambourine
Heart Sun Catcher
Heart Filled Dump Truck Craft

For even more heart shaped and Valentine’s Day ideas check out our Holiday Pinterest Board. Don’t miss our Love Bomb craft that I completely forgot to add to this round up!

Natural Valentine’s Day Crafts

I have been meaning to make an easy bird feeder with my son for ages, but the problem was all the ones I knew or have done in the past used peanut butter. My son isn’t allergic but he is completely repulsed by the smell.  So when I found this one on Pinterest and saw that it uses gelatin I squealed ( yes really) and added gelatin to my grocery list immediately. We had some left over gelatin so we made some yummy all natural gummy treats too. Two easy heart shaped treats made with 1 box of gelatin, that’s rad!

  1. We doubled the recipe that Bargin Hoot  uses here.  And instead of cookie cutters we used a silicon mold .
  2. They had fun  mixing .I had fun vacuuming after. But it’s easier to vacuum bird seed up than try to sweep it, those little seeds roll and hurt to step on!
  3. Press into the mold. We filled it halfway popped our string in then filled it up.
  4. A few hours later – voila!

The best part of this activity wasn’t making it was finding the right spots in our yard to place them.

We put them in the apple trees in the front yard, the pine trees in the back and some random bushes too . Clearly I am not a gardener. Since we hung them up we have gone outside every day to see which ones have had birds nibble away at them. It’s been fun to see my son concerned about the birds and I think the hearts add some natural sparkle to our wintery yard. Just today we noticed the birds ( or perhaps raccoons?) already have a favorite. We will continue to observe them in the upcoming weeks.

After we hung those up we noticed a recipe on the back of the Knox Gelatin box , adjusted it for our serving size and made some heart jellies! Why haven’t we been making these for years? My son loved helping me make them and I loved that there are no artificial colors like the store bought gelatin desserts.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 envelopes of gelatin, 1/2 cup of cold juice, 1.5 cups of juice brought to a boil and a dash of sugar. You will also need a heart cookie cutter, a sauce pan , casserole dish( ours is 8x8x2) a spoon and a big bowl for mixing.
  2. Pour the cold juice into the bowl and drizzle the gelatin on.
  3. Boil the other juice.
  4. Pour into the bowl and mix . I added just a dash of sugar since the juice we used was already low sugar. I had my son gently mix and I got the bottom bits. Once dissolved let cool for 2-3 hours.
  5. Using the cookie cutter make heart shapes.
  6. He loved the leftovers!

Note about the juices we used – we used mostly natural lemonade with just enough natural strawberry kiwi to make it red. Any juice will work though, I may hit up the natural market for some pomegranate juice before Valentine’s Day.