happy heart day

Happy Valentine’s Day!! Hope you and yours have a love-filled (caffeine-fueled??!!) day!

A quick and easy toddler-friendly craft for Valentine’s Day…

LACING HEARTS

IMG_7308

What you’ll need:
cardboard
something sharp (I used a meat fork) – could also use a hole punch if it’s not too big
ribbon, lacing, or yarn

Steps:
1)   Cut out your heart – I free-handed this, but you could also use a stencil, of course.
2)   Poke holes around the edge of your shape, leaving at least a half inch from the side to prevent it from ripping too easily.

IMG_7289
3)   Start lacing your thread through the holes!

IMG_7299

My almost-four year old boy LOVED this activity. We will probably be making lacing crafts for a long time to come, perhaps fancy-ing up the project by printing photos onto cardboard or using fabric strips for the lacing. I gave him the lacing and his little cardboard heart and he went to town.

IMG_7297

I was also able to have my almost-two year old participate. I started the lacing through the hole and he would pull it through the other side – he thought it was a fantastic game.

This simple craft is fully-adjustable age-wise. You can make the holes smaller and closer together for an older child… If I’d used a larger hole-punch, I’m certain my two year old boy could have done it all by himself. It can also easily be translated to most any holiday St. Patrick’s Day shamrocks, Easter eggs, Christmas trees – or every day shapes, numbers or letters. Basically, any shape you can cut out of cardboard!

Sure, you can buy lacing toys at the toy store, but my boys loved making these for their daddy for Valentine’s Day – fully custom and a great way for them to work on their fine motor skills – and patience!

IMG_7305

Happy Heart Day from us to you!

Advertisements

i heart new beginnings

So I started this blog over a year ago and never kept it up. After some fresh encouragement from friends, I am going to try this blogging thing again. It’ll be a hodge-podge of things I fancy – pretty interiors, great diy projects, fun things to do with kids… basically anything that I find interesting. I hope you find it interesting too!

Today I’m sharing the Valentines that my boys made (with a little help from me!). If you haven’t already made yours yet, there’s still time to do these super simple Valentines.

CHOO!! CHOO!!

Hank will be four years old at the end of this month, so he was able to do the majority of his Valentines by himself, with me acting as the director and occasional helper. This sweet little boy has been a bit train-obsessed since he was 18 months old, so we already had a set of train stamps on hand that we’ve used for birthday party activities and general crafting. The set comes with an engine and maybe 8 freight cars with different designs on them. one of them has hearts – perfect for Valentines Day! With an enthusiastic toddler and a few simple materials, here’s the finished product:

IMG_7270
What you’ll need:
Train Stamps
Ink Pad
Paper (or used manila file folders like we did!)
Scissors
Wax Paper
Tape
M&Ms

Steps:
1)   Stamp your paper with the train images. This step is way more fun with a toddler! Hank decided he needed to “body-slam” the stamps – he inked the stamp, set it on the paper, then jumped on it with his belly – way. more. fun.
2)  Cut around your trains – Hank and I both wielded scissors for this step.
3)  Count 20 M&Ms for each Valentine. This was a crucial step for us, because Hank is having a hard time counting to 20 – those teen numbers mess him up!
4)  Have your kiddo write his name on the back of each one. Again, this step was fun for Hank and also practice!! He got through just over half one day and we went back and finished the following day.
5)  Cut out a rectangle of wax paper, secure sides with tape – you can do this step whilst the toddler is cutting… That’s if you’re super lucky and both your other kids are napping!
6)  Fill wax paper packet with M&Ms, fold and seal with tape.
7)  Tape wax paper packet to Valentine over the freight car for a very special delivery! NB: I first taped along the top, but found the bag too easily ripped off the card, so a strip of tape across one corner worked better for us and has kept the M&Ms secured so far.

Lots of steps here as we included a lot of activities that Hank is working on at school – cutting, writing, counting… If you needed to do these quickly, though, it’s just stamps and M&Ms!! And if you don’t already have an arsenal of train stamps, draw a simple train.

Hank was super pleased with his creation!

IMG_7286

DON’T GO BREAKIN’ MY HEART

Here are the Valentines that little B and I did together… I think they turned out pretty cute!

IMG_7280

Bill is not quite two. He helped decorate his Valentines, but I did most of the “work” – again, these are easy, so not too much work!

What you’ll need:
thick paper (we used old file folders, again)
freezer paper (or wax paper, or typing paper would even do)
tape
decorating supplies like glitter, stickers, markers, crayons

Steps:
1)   Cut out a heart for a template (I used the folded edge of a file folder to cut an even heart).
2)   Trace hearts on the thick paper you’re using (file folders, again).
3)   Let your kiddo decorate the hearts before you cut them out – less mess on your table that way when they go out of the lines. I did encourage Bill to try and put stickers in each heart.
4)   Cut out your hearts. I gave Bill his dull kid scissors and he “cut” while I was doing this part.
5)   By this point, my kiddo was done with this activity! While he was off doing goodness knows what, I cut strips of freezer paper (used this because I had it and it’s nice and thick), approximately 2″ by 6″… Hank helped me count 10 M&Ms for these babies.
6)  Roll up your M&Ms in the paper and tape closed.
7)  Use a black marker to draw an arrow on the paper roll.
8)  Attach to your heart!

IMG_7282

You could also just do the arrows by themselves as a simple and super quick/easy/things-you-already-have-around-the-house Valentine.

IMG_4701

So there you go – simple Valentines made with things we had around the house + a bag of M&Ms!

Disclaimer #1: One of the things that I am aiming to do this year is to get better at photography. My husband has agreed to watch all three kiddos while I take a day-long photography class. I will certainly report back here when that class happens! Hopefully, though, you’ll be able to see the difference before I even bring it up 🙂

Disclaimer #2: Any posts older than this one are OLD! To update, we have taken our place off the market and have no plans to move. Also, my boys do now share a room because their baby sister has moved into the nursery!