WE SHOULD DO SOME VALENTINES DAY ACTIVITIES!!! (anything to get rid of this Cabin fever!)
But again, if you are like me, this idea did not happen 5 days before Valentines Day where you could have gone to the store to properly prepare for such a great interactive afternoon with your littles. This thought came in the moment! You need activities that you can do NOW! And although I would LOVE to say that I am that mom that has a full stock of foam hearts and paper doilies on hand at all times, I’m lucky if we have milk. Foam hearts definitely didn’t make the cut.
You could load up the kids in the car (which should be an Olympic event all in itself), brave the cold, and go to a store. But… this would also imply that you would have to get out of your “lounge wear” and actually put on a bra and… lets be honest, there is a better chance that Michael Jackson will be raised from the dead then that happening today.
So are you out of luck? Go back to having your kids watch a mini marathon of Daniel Tiger and you can wallow in your parental pool of self pity? NOT TODAY!! Girl, I am here for you! We are all in the same boat. We all want to check off the interactive mom box for the day with as little effort as possible (and in my case… with as little… “support” as possible)
So below I have 5 LAST MINUTE Valentines Day activities that you can do with things from around your house.
5. Valentines Day Paper Hearts
Ahhh, the heart. The signature shape for Valentines Day. For this activity you will need to cut out a bunch of hearts. If you have a child who is 3+ they can help you cut out the hearts. Yes. I know giving a toddler scissors is a scary thing. Being a victim of a sibling hair cutting incident myself, I know this is scary. BUT, allowing toddlers to use scissors (with strong parental supervision) is an AWESOME fine motor skill. They may cut 1 to your 20 hearts but they will love the opportunity to practice. After you have cut out the hearts- Depending on the age and development of your child, the activities are endless they can color on them, use some tape and practice sticking them to the window, and also a few other activities that I will explain below…
Here is Ella practicing putting the hearts on the window. Ella is 15 months old, so she needed a lot of encouragement to understand the concept. She loved playing with the sticky tape. If you have Contact paper you could also put that on the wall to make it easier to stick the hearts on that (sticky side out obviously), or the slacker version (aka my version) you can get some bigger pieces of clear tape and put them on the wall with the sticky stuff facing out. It will work the same. Since I was too lazy to do both of these ideas- I stuck to taping the back and encouraging her to put it on the window.
And then in the end, she would rather stick them on my face then on the window- but we both enjoyed it! (please notice the lounge wear…Stores were not an option)
This is our friend Little B. He was practicing his cutting skills and was so excited when his efforts produced a HEART!! Granted, I was right there helping him guide his scissors but he loved seeing the end product and joyfully exclaimed “it’s a heart!”
4. Heart attack
This activity is for a little bit older. I’d say about 18 months +. Tell your little to close their eyes and take those perfectly cut out hearts and hide them around the room. Once they open their eyes help them look for the hearts. As they find them count out loud how many they have found. This is a great activity to teach patience (waiting for you to hide the hearts without looking), observation, counting, etc.
Little B. diligently searched for the hearts. I would tell him things like “there are 2 in the bathroom” This was to help him understand how many the word “2” represents” I would count with him after he found each one.
He LOVED playing this game and would get SO excited when he would find a heart. We probably could have kept playing this game again and again if I would have let him.
3. Valentines Day Card:
Help your little make a card for someone they love. If they are super little This could be using their feet or hands to make something such as a “love bug” (pictured below), or using their feet make a heart to say “I love you” or drawing out L-O-V-E and use their little hand for the O.
Ella loved getting this Valentine “love Bug” from her future boyfriend.
If your little is older I can’t STRESS enough to allow them creative freedom! I think sometimes we get so fixated on not becoming a “Pinterest fail” that we micromanage our kids when they are playing or “art-ing,” Then in the end their card looks like it was made by Hallmark instead of by a 2 year old discovering themselves through art. Encourage them but don’t get upset when it isn’t EXACTLY what you had in mind.
This is Little B’s card. I tried to encourage him to make a card and have me write things that were sweet and lovely for his parents. He opted out of that. Instead he wanted to draw a circle and color is freshly cut out hearts green. Was it ideal? No. Would I have loved if he would have let ME make his valentines card to his parents- YES. But this activity wasn’t about me. It was about him- and you know what… he loved his card. So his card was PERFECT.
2. Red Sensory Box
Easy peasy! If your children are a little older you could have them go on a red hunt. Have them search around the house for red items and put them in a box. If your kids are little, like my baby finding the red stuff and putting it in an easily accessible box is the next best thing. I’ve kept this box among her play items and every time she starts sifting through it we talk about what is in it and the color red. This is an awesome way to encourage language, and sensory and it took me a totally of 2 minutes. Can I get a Hallelujah!
Please note some of the items that we have found for our sensory bin include (but not limited to) post-it notes, sweater, necklace, some of the hearts we cut out earlier and a chocolate heart. Nothing special. Just things that were red.
1. Valentines Day Stamper
So this is a lot of fun. I went around the house and collected a few odd things that we could stamp with. These things included
- Toilet paper roll
- Apple cut horizontally
Since… of course I am fresh out of paint, or it may be up in the closet, or in junk drawer, or… somewhere real far away I decided to use something that was a little closer in my vicinity. Ketchup and Spaghetti sauce!! PERFECT! Its red AND if they put it in their mouth I am not frantically searching the bottle if it is non- toxic!! Win-Win if you ask me!
For the toilet paper roll I bent it so it made the shape of a heart. The Celery looks like a heart- in a way, and the apple was just fun.
Little B showing off is awesome stamping skills.
Ella working hard on her heart. If you look close you will see lots of it on her face, and she is doing it on a paper towel. I’m pretty sure the paper was also in the “real far away place” with the paint. But she didn’t care, and neither did I.
So to spice things up and since I am SUCH an awesome mom I decided to make a valentines lunch. I know, I know. Pretty darn impressive. So what did we do? Oh ya know, I made a few little cuts in a PB and J sandwich and some apples and VOILA! We have a Valentines Day lunch! Watch out cooking network! Here I come! And look at Little B, He couldn’t be more excited about it!
I hope you all enjoyed these super quick, super easy last minute Valentines Day Activities. As you can see, we are not recreating the Mona Lisa, or sculpting cupid out of butter (although that may be fun for a later day…) These are all really easy and SIMPLE activities. But that is what it is SUPPOSE TO BE! Sometimes as parents we think if I don’t have 2 hours to spend or $50 to burn then I cant be a productive/interactive mom, and that is no further from the truth!! These activities took a little while. Why? Because my child’s attention span is the size of a goldfish (or her mom’s is?!). But in the end, we were together I was interacting with my child and not my phone and we loved it! Am I going to frame her stamping paper towel? No. It went in the trash right after this was over. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is BEING THERE. And the great news is, today- you were.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!
Erin is a guest poster today on “I Love My Kids” Blog.
Hello!! My name is Erin and I am so happy to be hanging out with you all on this blog! I am a mama to one independent sassy girl, wifey to the most amazing man and husband, and just someone who is trying real hard not to screw up her kids. I graduated in Family, Consumer, and Human Development and I have a strong passion to help children and families. Before I became a full time mom I worked with Early Head Start working with toddlers from 0-3 to make sure they were developing correctly and helping them learn and grow! I am a cheerleader for moms and kids alike. Life is messy, lets enjoy it together!