“Jesus Loves Me” & Valentines

We did a lot to get ready for Valentine’s Day so I shouldn’t have been surprised when this morning on the actual holiday, the girls wanted to do Valentine’s Day things.  We had the activities from my previous Valentine post, but they wanted something different.  Thinking of the idea of Valentine’s Day, love, I decided to quick go with a Jesus Loves Me theme for today.  We did some quick, easy crafts, and sang the song A LOT.  🙂

Skills: religion, art, music, letter recognition, shape recognition
Prep: low
Supplies: Paper, crayons, glue, ribbon,

We sang “Jesus Loves Me” quite a bit today.  The girls really liked it, especially since they could sing along pretty easily.  You can find lyrics and the tune here.  We also colored mini-books about the song that I found here.

We then made these very easy door decorations that I found at here at DLTK (a great website).  The plan was for Mia and Zoe to color the pieces and add the foam hearts to it.  However, the girls had other ideas.  I had them practice cutting scrap paper with safety scissors while I cut out the craft pieces.  They got so caught up with their scissors and then gluing on the pieces that they refused to do anymore coloring.  Maybe later…  And hopefully yours will look a little brighter and more colorful.

When the girls wake up from their nap, we are doing a heart scavenger hunt that I found here.  I’m having the girls use the hearts they find to make Valentines for each other.

By the way, here is what Mia moved on to after her door hanger, since she just couldn’t get enough pasting paper.  Luckily I had a few things like this on hand so she could keep going.

Valentine’s Day Fun

We love holidays so of course we are celebrating Valentine’s Day!  The girls made Valentines for their friends and yesterday we hosted a party for our playgroup.  In addition to some crafts, we also practiced our letters and counting with some fun Valentine-themed activities.

Skills: art, letter recognition, counting
Prep: Medium

Supplies: Cardstock, stickers, foamies of hearts, pipe cleaners, construction paper, felt, file folder for game

Valentine Boxes Craft

For our playgroup party we made these cute little boxes for the kids to decorate.  My girls love carrying purses and I don’t think they are the only ones–it seems like most little kids love little things they can carry around and tuck treasurers in.  Thank you so much to my friend Kendra who made my idea of a little purse box come to life.  She offered to help cut out the boxes and ended up designing them, as well as doing the folding and cutting.  🙂

Using 12×12 cardstock, fold one side over about a quarter of an inch.  Keeping that piece folded, fold the now shorten paper into fourths.  These will be the four sides of the box.

Fold the bottom right corner in a triangle to make a right angle.  This is to find how deep to cut to make the bottom pieces of the box.  Cut along the fold along the triangle.  Cut the same depth on the other two fold lines that help make the four sides.  This cut should be about 2.75 inches, depending on how your folds work out.

Since we didn’t want the boxes to be 10 inches tall, we cut along the three main fold lines at the top to create pieces that will fold down to shorten the box and strengthen the sides.  We cut 3.25 inches down.  Then fold those flaps down and tape or glue them.
On the last column which also has the small folded piece along it’s edge, you need to cut into that small folded piece so that it meets where you will fold the flap down.  This will allow you to fold and tape the flap while not messing up the folded edge.

Next fold the paper back along those folds when you divided it into fourths and create a rectangular box shape.  That first little flap should connect with the other side of the paper.  Using a low-intensity glue gun, run glue along the edge of the first little quarter inch flap and attach it to the edge of the other side to make a box.

Now we need to seal up the bottom.  Take one of the flaps at the bottom and fold it down to start making the bottom of the box.  Put some glue on top of the flap and fold down the flap next to it.  Keep moving around the sides of the box, applying glue and folding down the piece.

The last step is to use a single hole puncher to punch a hole on either side of the box.  Then run a pipe cleaner through to make a handle.

Valentine Craft

We actually made these cute little Valentine people at the art class we attend through our Parks & Rec department.  They are super easy, just glueing different size hearts together to make a person.  We used paper clasps on the arms so they would twist and move.  And our art teacher hung them with elastic cord instead of a regular ribbon so that the kids could make them bounce.

Making Valentines

Of course we made Valentines.  When it comes to doing Valentines, I prefer the girls to make their own, especially at this age when they can’t write their names so there isn’t much for them to do with the store-bought ones.  But they have to be something easy to do since we make quite a few.  This year, I cut hearts out of pink cardstock (I used my cricut which makes life much easier).  Then Mia and Zoe decorated the hearts with stickers, foamies, and crayons.  They weren’t really into it at first so I showed the girls pictures of Valentines from some of the books we had been reading.  As soon as they looked at Fancy Nancy’s Valentines they got right to work making their own.  (Here’s Mia giving me a cheesy smile while making Valentines).  It was so cute to watch them pass them out at their playgroup party!

Learning Activities

To practice our letters, I made a file folder game found at File Folder Fun.  We are focus on letter recognition for capital letters, so I just printed out the first three pages twice.

We also did this really easy felt board story from A Child’s Place.  I just cut a bunch of hearts out of felt and wrote little Valentine messages on them.

Valentines, valentines, how many do I see?
Valentines, valentines, count them with me.
I have a red one, orange one, yellow one too.
I have a green one, purple one, and one that is blue.
I have a pink one, brown one, and one that is white.
And one last valentine as black as the night
Valentines, valentines, how many do I see?
Valentines, valentines, Count them with me!
Count them once, then we’ll count them again!
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

Valentine’s Books

Here are some of our favorite books to read about Valentine’s Day this year. They really helped the girls get the idea of the holiday–showing those in your life that you appreciate them.

The girls really enjoy the Pinkalicious and Fancy Nancy characters so they have been enjoying the Valentine books from these series. I really like that Fancy Nancy using such great vocabulary and in this book shows sisters being close. Pinkalicious is not always my favorite but the girls love her. This book does a good job showing that while things might not happen exactly as you think they should, sometimes that’s even better.

The Day It Rained Hearts
This book has a small amount of text and you really need to look at the cute pictures to appreciate the story. It tells the story of a girl who collects hearts that rain down and uses them to make Valentines specific to each of her animal friends.

Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink
This is one of my favorite books! Gilbert needs to write nice poems for everyone in his class but instead he chooses to write mean poems to two kids who have been mean to him with consequences for the whole class. This is a longer story that really teaches them to see things from others’ point of view.

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