Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine Playdough

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I love Valentine's Day.  Not because of the candy (but I do love candy!), but because of all the fun things you can do with kids.  There are no shortage of props you can purchase for inexpensive that can enhance any activity.  The dollar store is full of fun items to craft with, add to playdough, or use to create a fun sensory bin.  Valentine activities can be used all month long and is a wonderful way to teach kids about the heart shape and the colors red, pink, and purple (and how you mix those colors).  
Playdough is quite popular in our house.  My youngest (of 3) benefits from 13 year of collecting supplies, cookie cutters, and various tools which she can enjoy with her playdough.  I always have some on hand or am ready to make it, trying different recipes along the way.  

This beautiful, rose colored playdough is a no-cook recipe from The Imagination Tree.  I added some red food coloring (less for pink, more for red), glitter, and rose oil for a complete sensory experience.

As an invitation to play, I put out the playdough, some red faux diamonds, silk roses, foam heart picks, and heart DecoPics (cupcake decoration) . Most of this stuff I purchased at the dollar store.  There were no instructions, no "you must create this..."; just a table full of tools to explore.

When you provide an open play experience, you never know what your child will create.  It's all up to them.

  1. Your favorite Playdough
  2. Various Valentine type/inspired items such as flowers, gems, cupcake decorations, floral decorations, etc  
Don't forget to leave a comment about your experience.  And feel free to share your pictures on my Facebook page!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Simple Scribble Valentines

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Like many moms, I have an addiction to Pintrest.  And like many moms, I pin what I like, but hardly get around to completing the project.  This is especially true when it comes to holidays.  For instance, have you seen all the adorable Valentines you can make?  Robots from juice boxes, printable Minecraft and Lego Valentines; just about every kind of creative Valentine you can imagine.  One problem I've come across, besides the time issue, is the amount of these creative Valentines one must create to distribute to a class.  I don't know about you, but the average class ratio in California for young school age children, and often preschool too, is 24.  Printables are not the issue here.  It's the adorable Robots and such that are not only time consuming, but can be costly when you account for so many children.  I can spend $5 at Target for a box of the old school paper Valentines, or go to the Dollar store and spend less.  Many parents, even the stay-at-home kind, don't have the energy or time to put in such an effort for such a large class.

That's why Scribble Valentines are perfect, especially for the preschool aged or young school-aged child.  They are incredibly easy,  take very little time to create, and can be upgraded with a treat.  Perfect for busy parents!

I first came across a similar idea on What We Do All Day while searching for last minute Valentine's Day ideas.  You want to start by rolling out some plain white Easel Paper.  It's the kind of paper that comes on a roll so it can be as long as you need it.  I covered my coffee table to make it easier for my son to work.  Then....SCRIBBLE!  You can let your child do it alone, or join them in the fun.  Either way, make sure you cover the chosen amount of paper with scribbles.  We used all different colors but that part is up to you.

Once the paper is covered, you want to fold it for faster cutting.  

Make a heart template for the size you want from construction paper or cardboard (an old cereal box is good).  Then trace the amount of Valentines you desire, fitting them as close together as possible.  After that, cut them out.

Once you have them cut, your child (or you) can write their names wherever you choose.  We did the back because we added...


You don't have to add a treat, but if you choose, you can include pretty much anything.  Chocolate Hearts would be delicious and fun.

  1. Easel Paper Roll (so many uses!)
  2. Crayola Crayons (because really, Crayola is the best and I refuse to use any other.  They did not pay me to say that; it's simply the truth)
  3. Scissors
  4. Lollipops, Chocolate candies, Conversation Hearts, or  Mini Nerds Candy (optional)
I hope you enjoy creating these Valentines as much as we did.  Please leave a comment and feel free to share your pictures on my Messy Kids Facebook Page.


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