I loved last year’s valentines for my daughter’s preschool class. They were a perfect project to include my daughter, who wasn’t writing yet, in the process. I loved them so much I thought I would be doing them again this year, (and I may still). But now that she’s writing, sort of. I wanted to try a valentine that would let her write her name on it herself; which meant going to a more traditional paper card.
Last year my little one, at 2 ½, was old enough to really get involved with Christmas; beyond decorating the Christmas tree and decorating Christmas cookies. I wanted her to get involved with the Christmas presents, and while I’m sure she will master shopping someday I didn’t want to start that just yet. So I set out to come up with something she could make. Anyone who uses Pinterest knows there are endless options out there and here is one more for you! While spending far too long in the checkout line of my local craft store I couldn’t stop my eyes from wandering about at all the things I might still need. What they landed on was a wall of unfinished Christmas ornaments. They were just screaming potential! At a dollar a piece, in case I miss heard them and they were actually screaming disaster, it was worth a shoot.
This project like most of the projects I do came from things I had laying around the house. I had some extra tissue paper pom-poms from a different project that I didn’t have a plan for. And I had a toddler with idle hands – a match made in heaven!
I used pre-made pom-poms from Michaels, but you could make the pom-poms yourself at home with just folded tissue paper and florist wire.
· Tissue paper pom-poms (pre-made, homemade, big, small, any work)
· Markers (any colors you like, washable is recommended)
· Scotch tape
· Fishing line (or other string or ribbon to hang the pom-pom with)
After having such great success with our Valentine’s Day crafts I thought we would try some for Easter as well. I came up with 2 projects that were perfect for my 3 year old, and could probably be done with her for the next couple of years.
The first is pretty similar to our Valentine’s Day craft. We made little Easter egg pockets to fill with a chocolate Easter egg. I was pretty happy with how they came out, but we needed something new too. The second project was Easter egg garland. She loved this one too, and they were both very different tasks for her. For the Easter egg pockets she practiced her sewing, lacing up the sides of the pockets and for the garland she just got to have fun decorating with stickers. Stickers are always a winner in our house.
You can paint in any area where you have the space- kitchen, office, dining room, outside. The key is to create a way that things can be set up easily, so that it doesn’t take all the fun out of it for you. And, to create a space that lets the toddler have freedom to make a mess so that you can relax and enjoy watching them play or even work on something else of your own (collocated of course).
I try to take advantage of anything that I can either turn into an adventure or a project. This week Valentines day is providing me another opportunity for this.
My daughter’s preschool class invited the children to bring in valentine’s. They should all be the same and just have their name signed on it (not the name of the child receiving the valentine) and the children will be decorating bags to bring them home in. I thought this was a great idea and totally reasonable. My first thought was of those boxes of small, cardboard cards with a cartoon of your choice on it. Of course, there is nothing wrong with those, but I had a hard time getting excited about it. I also couldn’t figure out how to involve my as yet not writing toddler into the process. So I thought this was a perfect opportunity to come up with a project she could do.
I haven’t discussed too many of them on the blog yet, but I’m always trying to keep my toddler busy with projects and activities; many of them are arts or craft projects. This weekend we had some friends over the house that do not have any kids yet, and we were talking about some of the projects I’ve been doing with my little one and she asked “how do you come up with all these ideas? I never could.” To which I responded, “Of course you could. Necessity is the mother of invention and when you are trying to get something done or just keep your sanity- entertainment for a toddler is a necessity”.
I have lots of projects that I have carefully made and assembled with love and care for my little one. But I also have some that had no work required! Woo-Hoo!
Finger Puppets – I got these at Ikea for around $5.00, bagged them and now they are ready when I’m running out the door and know she’ll need some entertainment.