- 10-13 year olds
- 5-9 year olds
- All ages.
- Birthday party ideas
- Cooking with kids.
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- Make Believe
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- The Basics
- Valentine's Day
- Wearable art
- Heart-shaped baking tin
- Plastic bowl or container that is wider than your baking tin and about 2″ deep.
- One cup sand
- One-half cup water
- Candle wick
- Small metal washer
- Candle dyes or crayons for color
- Candle scent (optional)
- Double boiler (Note: You can melt wax in the microwave or in a tin can in a shallow pan of water over low heat. Add color and scent after wax is melted.)
Fill bowl with sand and water. Press bottom of heart tin into wet sand. Pull out leaving a heart shape. If the sides fall in, press tin in again and add some more water to sand. Tie wick to washer and place in center of the sand-shaped heart. Tie other end of wick onto a pencil and set on top of container. Make sure wick is taut. Pour melted wax into the heart-shaped hole in the sand. Position wick so it is in the center. Let wax harden and cool, about 45 minutes. Carefully lift heart candle from container and place on newspapers. Trim wick with scissors.
- Construction paper or copy paper
- Markers, crayons or gel pens
- Optional: Stickers or other decorations
Take a regular-sized piece of paper and place it vertically flat in front of you. Turn one corner down to line up with the opposite side of the paper. Tear or cut off the excess. You now have a perfect square. Fold one corner to the opposite corner to form a triangle. Fold again to form an even smaller triangle. Open up the paper. Take each corner and fold it into the center point so that when you are finished all four corners folded make another square. Flip entire piece over and repeat the previous procedure. You should see eight small triangles. Number each of these. Flip up the flaps and write romantic messages underneath. When you flip it over you will have four squares that act as “pockets” for your thumb and index fingers. Number these too. Place your fingers inside and start playing. Have your child hold the Cootie Catcher and ask her Valentine to pick a number. She then opens and closes the Cootie Catcher that many times. The Valentine child then picks an inside number and when you lift up that flap you will find your special Valentine message.
This is a quick and easy fun project you can do with all those extra buttons you have lying around the house. If you need more, you can always buy them in bulk at craft stores like and Beverly’s. This project is also a perfect birthday party activity. Can be adjusted for a seasonal activity using season themed buttons like heart shapes or Christmas trees.
You will need:
- 1-inch wide elastic
- Strong needle and sewing thread
- Assorted buttons in various shapes and colors
Cut a piece of elastic about 2 inches longer than your wrist. Before you start, think about a design or theme idea. You may want buttons of similar colors like all primary colors, all pastels or just black and white. Buttons in the shapes of flowers or bugs could be a garden theme. Try all square or all round buttons. You get the idea. When you have a plan, start sewing the buttons onto the elastic leaving an inch blank on either end. Overlap the edges of the elastic and sew the ends together. Make sure you use a lot of stitches so your bracelet is secure. When you are finished, sew on more buttons to cover the stitches.
Note: You can use 2 or 4 holed buttons as well as shank. Sew the holed buttons on first and then fill in the blank areas with the shank buttons.
Homemade Valentines are much better than the store-bought kind and these butterflies are truly unique.
Red or pink construction paper
Red string licorice
A stick of gum
Valentine stickers and heart shaped sequins
Markers or crayons.
Cut heart shapes from the construction paper and place on either side to the gum to form wings. Secure with tape or a heart-shaped sticker. Using two pieces of string licorice, fashion antennae and tape in place at the top of the stick of gum. Decorate the “face” of the butterfly with mini heart stickers or sequins. Have your child write a Valentine message and sign her name on the wings.
You won’t need a special heart-shaped muffin tin to make these muffins.
Your favorite muffin recipe
Muffin or cupcake liners
Marbles or marble-sized rolled up balls of foil.
Line the muffin tins with the liners and prepare your favorite muffin or cupcake recipe. Fill the liners with the batters. Place the marble or foil between the liner and the edge of the muffin tin. Bake as usual. As the muffin bakes the batter will pull away from the sides and form a heart shape.
Pretzels are fun snack to make with your children. Why not fashion them into heart shapes as a healthy alternative to the traditional Valentine chocolates?
1 cup warm water
2 T sugar
2 pkgs. fast acting yeast
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
Stir the yeast, water and sugar together in a large bowl until the yeast is dissolved. Set aside for about 15 minutes or until the yeast gets foamy. This is called “proofing”. Afterward, stir in the flour a little at a time until the dough is stiff. Remove dough from bowl and knead on a floured surface for five minutes. Shape dough into a large ball and place in a buttered bowl. Cover with a dish towel and set in a warm place to rise until it is doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, punch it down. On a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a rectangle. Cut fat strips and shape into heart shaped pretzels and place on a baking sheet. Beat the egg with a fork and brush onto the pretzels. Sprinkle on some kosher salt and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
This makes a great Valentine room decoration. Use extra long yarn and hang them from your child’s bedroom ceiling.
6 pieces of construction paper, 3 pink and 3 red
3″ piece of yarn
Cut 5 identical hearts from the pink paper. You can draw then free hand or trace a cookie cutter. Just make sure they are all the same size. Stack them one on top of the other; then glue the yarn along the center fold of the top heart, leaving the extra yarn on the top for hanging. Staple along the center fold of all five hearts. The staples should be in line with the string. Fold over half of each heart so that the hearts fan out. Next, from the red paper, cut out 5 smaller hearts about half the size of the larger hearts. Glue them inside each of the “pages” of the larger hearts.
If your child wants to exchange valentines at school and you don’t want to give candy, here are some simple alternatives that are quick and easy to make.
Materials for crayons:
- Heart-shaped candy molds available at craft stores.
- Old, broken crayons
- Small glass jars like baby food to melt crayons in microwave. You can also place jars in pans of water on stove over low heat.
A few hours before you begin, place crayons in a bucket of cool water. Left to soak, the crayons should be easy to peel. Small children love this task. Sort crayons by color and place in glass jars. Melt in microwave or on stove. Let cool slightly and pour into molds. Once completely cooled, the heart-shaped crayons should pop right out. You may want to attach a note to the recipients letting them know the hearts are not candy.
To make the heart-shaped soaps follow the above instructions substituting glycerin soap for the crayons. I purchase inexpensive glycerin soaps at the grocery store and melt them in the microwave.
This is a great gift idea for friends or relatives who live far away. We plan to make two this year to send back East to both sets of grandparents.
Small store-bought picture frame. (Dollar stores and drugstores sell ones very inexpensively.)
Conversation hearts, little heart-shaped candies available at drugstores.
Modge Podge (optional)
Lay conversation hearts on frame to decide which way you want them arranged. Glue onto frame. Let glue dry. You can cover with a Modge Podge glaze if you like. Place picture in frame and present or send to your loved ones.
Pipe cleaners in variety of colors cut in 6″and 2″ lengths
1″ and 1 1/2″ pom poms and tiny ones for noses
Cardboard or paper plate for backing
Sequins, beads or small buttons
Magnetic tape(available at craft stores)
Glue pom poms to cardboard and trace around them. Cut out tracing to form a backing. Scrunch up pipe cleaners like an accordion, to forms legs and glue onto the cardboard backing at the bottom of the bug. Take two 2″ pipe cleaners, bend slightly at the top to form antennae and glue to the cardboard backing at the top of the bug. Glue on wiggly eyes and nose and decorate. Affix a magnetic strip to the back.