Valentines day fun for kids

February 13, 2013

Valentines Day sort of snuck up on us this year. I feel like we didn't get enough red, white, and pink crafts finished to suit my needs, but we did do a few.

Every year, we make a valentines box out of a cardboard cereal box. Lucia kept hers from last year, so she didn't remake one, but Juliet did make a 2013 version. It might be my favorite yet. You can see our other versions and complete tutorial here.

Since birds are a big interest right now, Juliet wanted to make flamingo valentines. Lucia got in on the fun and made a few as well to give to her teachers. I found the idea on Working Mommy is Redundant,  but it originally appeared in the Feb 2010 edition of Your Big Backyard.

Lastly, I have been working for about 3 weeks trying to learn how to crochet a heart (I am a very slow crochet learner, it seems!) After many, many attempts, I managed to get two that looked somewhat like hearts. I did cheat a bit and hot glued them to finish them off so they wouldn't unravel. I still have no idea how to finish the stitch. 

I hot glued them to some barrettes as valentines for the girls. They look so tiny considering all the time I have put into them, but at this point, it's all I've got! Hopefully, they like them. 

Looking for a few more love stories? We like: 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway! Hope you have a happy valentines day with the ones you love. 

valentines book picks for kids

February 6, 2013

Valentines Day is fast approaching, so I thought I should give you some reading suggestions. In years pasts, I've checked out specific Valentines day books and reviewed them--there are a lot of great ones! But since we've pretty much exhausted our library's stash of Valentines books, I thought I'd just give you some of our favorite love stories.

As an added bonus, these probably won't be checked out already if you are a little late in getting to the Valentines shelf!

Petunia's Christmas-- a goose love story. This might be my new favorite book. It's so cute. 

What to say to Clara--elementary school crush story. (so sweet!)

Chewy Louie--the things one will do (and endure) for the love of a puppy! (Just checked this out from the library and LOVED it.) 

For the Love of Autumn--If I could chose my love story, it would be this one. (The cat is the matchmaker! Yes, I am a crazy cat lady, so I love this one, but even if you are a dog person, I think you'll like it.)

How My Parents Learned to Eat--do your kids know how you fell in love? I love this story because it reminds me of my parents' own love story--they came from two different countries, but ended up together despite differences in language and culture. 

Do you have a favorite love story to recommend to us? Leave a comment--I'd love to hear!

printable valentine paper dolls (joan walsh anglund)

February 13, 2012

If you are still looking for something for your little girl for Valentines, I found these cute printable paper dolls by Joan Walsh Anglund.

I recently picked up this copy of A Child's Year  at goodwill. Most of her books are out of print, so it's fun when I find them in thrift shops.

The February page is full of red hearts and it makes me smile. I hope your week is off to a good start!

whale valentines day craft

February 3, 2012

heart whale craft
You've seen the book My Heart Is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall. It has inspired many a valentines day project. A few years ago, we made a heart fish for our cat. (Yes, count us in the group of crazies who make valentines for their pets.)

Christianne made adorable animal valentines for her daughter's class based on the book and just recently,  Whitney shared her kids' heart project (you have to see the mosquito).
craft hearts
We needed something easy and fun to do, so I cut out some hearts in various sizes one afternoon--just old school style by folding the paper in half and cutting half a heart shape. I wish I had a heart paper punch, but I don't.
heart whale craft
We got out the mod podge and made some heart animals. These are whales--the big heart cut in half. I wish I had a picture of the giraffe Juliet made, but we sent it to her sponsored kid and I forgot to take a picture. It was crazy cute, though.
mod podge hearts
Lucia (15 months) even got in on the action. (Because it's never to early to start them on mod podge.) She had a lot of fun pounding the foam brush onto the paper.

I will say--she got the stuff all over her, so make sure your kids aren't wearing their sunday best. And don't be afraid to use an old cup lid as a glue holder.
holiday crafts for kids vintage highlights book
The unpictured giraffe was 100% Juliet's idea, but the whales we saw in this vintage craft book. This is where people got their ideas before there were blogs. How very quaint. :)

What heart-y things are you up to this week? 

book-ish valentines day card ideas

February 1, 2012

I've been keeping track of some fun bookish valentines day ideas. Here are some of my favorites.

What could be easier than twisting two pipe cleaners together? I like simple stuff like this.

These are so sweet.

Source: via Vanessa on Pinterest

I like the idea of doing a "10 things I love about you" list on a library card.

Juliet would go nuts for this.

I like the bookmark take on the old paint chip valentine idea. And that punched out heart is a perfect detail.

These don't exactly look easy to make, but they are beautiful and I could see myself keeping it forever. 

valentines books for preschoolers: library booklist

January 27, 2012

image from The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Jan Brett

The key to getting holiday books at the library is to request them early! (Took me about 2 years to learn that lesson.)

So, hopefully, I am early enough in sharing this with you today that you can get a jump on a few of these titles.
fox valentine book

The Best Valentine in the World by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat (illustrated by Lilian Obligado)
This was my favorite this year, but it looks like it is out of print. So hopefully, your library has a copy. Lilian Obligado is one of my favorite illustrators, so that may be why I loved it so much, but the story itself is a good one, too--sweet and a little bit old-fashioned. It also doesn't hurt that the foxes are named Ferdinand and Florette which makes me want to adopt some baby fox cubs just so I can name them after the characters in the book. Don't worry, Ben will stop me. This is why I married him.

The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Jan Brett

I've always loved Bunting and Brett on their own, but combined? They are a superpower. And since learning from Whitney what Jan Brett's shoes look like, I like her books even more than I already did. This is a sweet tale about Mr. and Mrs. Bear who wake up early to celebrate Valentines day together for the first time. (Usually, they are hibernating on Feb. 14.)

Queen of Hearts  by Mary Engelbreit
I can relate to Anne Estelle's quest for the most beautiful valentines box ever. I'm also loving the heart garland she has on the front cover. Maybe we'll make that this week.

The Valentine Express by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
This gives a good preschool-sized dose of the history of Valentines day--not too much, but just enough. Also, it lists some valentine-y cities in the US such as Valentine, Nebraska; Loveland, CO; Lovejoy, GA; Lovelady, TX, etc.

(Side note, one of the kids in the class is named "Vanessa", so that was more than a little bit exciting as we read it together--there are also a Minna, Lindsey, Pip and Tyrone--in case one of those is your name.)

The story part is really sweet. Minna and Pip wonder if grown-ups get Valentines anymore, and decide to make some for their neighbors. They make personalized ones for all the older people on their street and then deliver them via the "Valentine Express"--Pip's wagon. I like how it focuses on showing neighbors love and that kids can do big things all on their own. Good inspiration for kids to see.

If You'll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant
This is a sweet rhyming book about a little boy who finds ways to show all the people in his life just how much he loves them.

Love, Ruby Valentine  by Laurie Friedman
This was Juliet's favorite. Little Ruby loves Valentines day so much, she spends weeks preparing for it by making cards and gifts for all the people of Heartland. The night before she falls asleep and sleeps through Valentines Day--when she wakes up she is disappointed and thinks she has to wait until next year, but her pet lovebird tells her to give her gifts today. She does and realizes that every day is a good day to tell someone you love them.

The Ballad of Valentine  by Alison Jackson
I always like finding books you can sing--this one is a remake of Oh My Darling Clementine. It's easy to sing and it will make your kids laugh at you. Well, maybe just if you can't sing--which I can't. If you can sing, they will probably stare at you in wonder and amazement. Either way--it's good stuff.

The Very Special Valentine  by Maggie Keen
It's hard to find good toddler friendly books at our library, but this one has flaps and Lucia is into flaps right now. Juliet is still into flaps--do they ever get over flaps? I think I am still into them as well. It's full of forest friends which are good since we are in the "we don't read the words just talk and point at pictures and make animal noises whenever possible" phase with Lucia. Juliet loved this book too--we read the words with her. It also has a lot of shiny things in it--which are exceedingly enticing to my two little magpies.

Here are books we loved in years past:

What valentines books do you suggest to me? There's still time for me to make another library run before they are all gone!

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