Showing posts with label Valentine's Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valentine's Day. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

DIY Valentine's Day Treasure Hunt

Last year to make the boys Valentine's day a little more exciting my husband and I worked together to give them a treasure hunt. There were three small presents (one of which was edible play dough which was a huge hit), and they had to follow clues to each one.

My husband because he is awesome with writing poetry and just words and rhythm and rhyme in general, made the clues each a short poem.

The whole process of reading poetry, deciphering clues, running and searching all over,\and unwrapping each thing made the actually tiny gifts much more exciting.

Friday, February 7, 2014

DIY Human Love Letter Valentines

Last year we made a really fun digital Valentine, turning our cute little boys into human love letters. We had our boys lay down on the floor on a play mat and had them become letters and a heart. We got them to formed the  letters I {heart} U. XO

My fabulous husband then put together all of the images on a repeating play mat background he created to spell out. I {heart} U. XOXO

He used Gimp (a free open source program) and cut out all of them really carefully and I thought the results were really great.

You could use a different photo editing program of course or just put a series of photos together without cutting the figure out digitally.

Whatever way you make your human love letters the recipients are sure to love this unique Valentine.



Cute boys.

I {heart} U. XOXO

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

DIY Edible Chocolate Play Dough Gift (Special Preschool Age Activity and Treat in One!)

This year I decided at the last minute on February 2 that we would actually celebrate Groundhog's Day with some activities this year. Yeah, I'm kind of random like that. So (among other things that maybe I'll talk about another time) I mixed up some chocolate edible play dough on a whim, and we made chocolate groundhogs. They were tasty.

The boys loved the play dough so much and they have been asking for it ever since. So I decided one of their Valentine's presents would be edible chocolate play dough and M&M's to decorate their creations with. This activity is great because it is so easily customizable for any holiday. You could also challenge a young child to make certain shapes or an older child to make letters and spell words out of the play dough to make it more educational.

Whether you need a last minute Valentine for your kids, an activity and treat in one for any other holiday, or just something to do on a rainy day, I think this will be a hit.

Homemade Edible Chocolate Play Dough Recipe

  • 1 cup peanut butter (you could probably substitute sun butter for those with allergies, but I haven't tried)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup powdered milk or oat flour (I used homemade oat flour and it worked great)
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder (of course you can just leave it out for a non-chocolate version)
In a mixing bowl stir and knead all ingredients until well combined to form a soft dough. If it turns out too dry, you can add more peanut butter or milk (if you are going to use it very soon) one tablespoon at a time.

Store in an airtight container. And since I made it ahead of time,  just to be safe I am keeping it in the refrigerator until I give it to them in two days.

I am packaging it up with some M&M's which are a huge treat at our house. I think any colored candy or even dried fruits and nuts could work well though.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

DIY Paper Heart Wreath (Valentine's Decoration and Preschool Craft in One!)

Much like our paper heart garland, this is another pretty Valentine's decoration that I adapted from a picture perfect version to make it into a preschool activity for my two boys (4 1/2 and 3 years old).

We also don't have any scrapbook paper and I didn't want to waste printer ink on this project, so I came up with a different way to make the decorative paper. This added another element that small kids can do easily as well.

Homemade Paper Heart Wreath

  • Paper
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils in Valentine's colors of your choice
  • Stamps and ink pad (you could use stickers or something else to decorate the other side as well)
  • Hole punch and string (Or some other way to fasten the hearts together like glue, tape, or even staples)
  • Tape and or a straw to make a needle for the string (optional)

    1. First we decorated our paper. We stamped Valentine related stamps on one side and scribbled a lot of reds and pinks on the other.

    2. Then I cut the strips, about 2 inches by about 14 inches, and folded the strips in half. I folded half of the strips with the stamp side out and the other half with the scribble side out.

    3. I punched two sets of holes at the top and middle. Later I discovered I needed another set of holes at the bottom to stabilize the wreath.
    4. Then we strung them together. First we curled the top ends around so the outsides went in and touched each other forming a heart.
    5. Then starting at one side sew through the heart, looping it through both the middle holes to secure the top of the heart together, and then out the other side. Sew through all of the holes on one side of the heart this way and then go back through the other side. Then sew through the holes at the bottom of the heart.

    6. Tie ends of string together and make a loop to hang.

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

    DIY Fabric Heart Garland

    I've been doing some more sewing lately. After doing some very functional sewing of diapers and mending I wanted a quick and easy project just for fun. This simple heart garland came together really fast and makes me smile.

    Easy Homemade Valentine's Day Heart Garland

    • Assorted fabrics that won't fray easily (I used felted wool and fleece)
    • Sewing machine (although you could do this by hand with a needle, it would just take longer)
    • Thread
    • Scissors
    1. First I cut out a bunch of hearts free hand. The shapes and sizes vary slightly, but I kind of like it that way. I did make the same number of each fabric.
    2. Then I arranged them in the order I wanted to sew them in a big stack. I choose to make a repeating pattern since the shapes and sizes vary some.
    3. Then I sewed  them together using a straight stitch on the sewing machine. I started sewing point first and then just lined the next one up right behind. For them to feed into the machine smoothly, it seemed to work best to sew them point first and over lap them slightly with the next heart just under the one being sewn.
    Once you have sewn all of the hearts together, you can hang it up and smile.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    DIY Paper Heart Garland (Valentine's Day Decoration and Preschool Activity in One!)

    Lately, if you tell my 4 1/2 year old you are going to do something (and it is something he wants to do) he will just keep asking you about it until it actually happens. So we made this paper heart garland a bit earlier than I had intended. That's OK, we'll just enjoy it a little longer.

    Our version looks quite a bit different than the picture perfect Real Simple version that I got the inspiration from, but in the end I definitely like ours better, because my boys did all of the cutting, tracing, and stringing themselves. My 4 1/2 year old did all of the cutting, and my 3 year old did most of the stringing.

    Also, my 4 1/2 year old was the one who decided we should write on all of these hearts. I wrote the words and he traced over them. We started just writing love and then added ἀγάπη (agape, love in Greek) and 爱 (Ài, love in Mandarin). Then we wrote a bunch of people we love (our family names, grandparents and extended family, friends, etc.). You could also write about what love really is, but I think we're going to do other projects later doing that.

    Homemade Paper Heart Garland

    • Paper
    • Yarn or string
    • Tape and/or plastic straws for "sewing" (optional, but makes it a lot easier)
    • Scissors
    • Hole punch
    • Pencil
    • Markers (optional)
    • Other embellishments like stickers if desired
    1. Trace half hearts onto folded paper and let a preschooler who can be trusted with scissors cut them out.
    2. If desired write and/or trace words on the hearts.
    3. If desired put on stickers or other extra embellishments.
    4. Punch a hole on each side of the heart.
    5. String hearts onto yarn or string to make a garland. (I threaded the yarn through part of a small plastic straw that I cut at an angle for a "needle." This made "sewing" the hearts together much easier. You can also tape around the end to just make it a little stiffer, like the end of a shoelace.)
    6. Tie off and hang up the garland to enjoy.
    You can see pictures of the steps below.


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