The outside of the card might not seem like much, but it’s the inside that counts the most! For Father’s Day this year, I’m starting a new tradition. I asked J a few questions about his dad and wrote down his responses. When he made his Father’s Day card (this year was just construction paper, stickers and markers), I made sure he left space for me to include his responses. The plan is to do this every year. Hopefully posting this here will help me remember to keep it up!
We also did this for his Grandpa’s card.
My questions were basically geared towards getting a 3 year old to share his thoughts on dad/grandpa. Here’s how one of our conversations went…
What’s your favorite thing about ___?
What do you like to do with ____?
“I like to play with him.”
How would you describe ____?
“He has a head. He has some eyes. He has a nose and a mouth.”
What do you want to say to ____?
“I love you!” and then he says to me, “Thank you!” And then I say to him, “You’re welcome!” And then he says to me, “I love you.” and I say to him, “Thank you!” And then he say to me, “You’re welcome.”
I personally would love to get a card with my son’s thoughts about me, however simple. I’m hoping dad and grandpa love it too.
Posted in Age Range, Birthday, Childhood (5+ years), Early Preschool (3-4 years), Family, Father's Day, Holidays and Seasons, Homemade Cards, Life Skills, Mother's Day, Preschool (4-5 years), Toddler (2-3 years), Valentines Day
Tagged Homemade Gifts
J made a flower mobile for his grandma as a get well soon gift. It would be a great gift for any girl on any occasion really. I think it turned out really cute and J had a lot of fun creating it. He stuck with it until it was all finished!
What you need: Construction paper, contact paper, scissors, flower magazine, marker; you will also need a hangar, a hole punch, and string if you want to create the mobile
Prep Work: I cut out the borders for each flower, using different colored construction paper. I also cut out two equal sizes of clear contact paper, taping one to the work-table (sticky side up). The other piece of contact paper is saved to place on top after the flowers are completed.
During the activity: J placed the flower-borders onto the contact paper though he needed some help with the larger pieces since they can get tangled easily. He then searched through a flower magazine to find flowers to fill each border, matching the colors accordingly. I just had him tear the pictures out of the magazine rather than using scissors. We then worked together to tear the pictures into small pieces that he could stick inside the corresponding colored flower. After all of the flowers were filled, we added a message for grandma and J signed one of the flowers himself. I then placed the second sheet of contact paper on top. If we were creating a placemat, the activity would basically be done. Just trim the edges of the contact paper to make a more finished look. (My intention was to create a placemat, but I did not plan well. The flowers were so huge that the placemat covered half the table! So I improvised and decided this was going to become a mobile instead.)
For the mobile: I cut apart each flower and punched a hole into the top and bottom. I also cut small pieces of string to attach the flowers together. J helped thread the string through the holes and I tied the knots. We then tied it onto a hangar.
Age attempted: 3 years
Posted in Age Range, Arts and Crafts, Colors, Early Preschool (3-4 years), Early Toddler (18-24 months), Holidays and Seasons, Homemade Gifts, Mother's Day, Preschool (4-5 years), Rainy Day Activities, Spring, Toddler (2-3 years), Valentines Day
Tagged Colors, Homemade Gifts, Rainy Days
Just a little blog business…
Before deleting the Valentine’s Index page permanently, I wanted to save the list for next year’s benefit.
Obviously, not all of these activities will be completed in one year! I wouldn’t even try…. talk about stressful! Hopefully this list will offer you some great ideas to choose from.
•Color mixing – pink
This necklace was a Valentine treat I actually made for my niece. It’s really too intricate for J to do on his own. An older child could manage this activity just fine. I think it would be a cute party favor for a tea party or Valentine’s party.
Of course, I made the necklace too short. I really underestimated the length. The instructions (here) said to make it 36″ long. I guess I should’ve measured! It will have to be a necklace for her baby dolls. I also made a bracelet that should fit her though. And she can always enjoy eating both, even if she can’t actually wear them.
J made these Valentines cards for his cousins.
What you need: Unopened box of candy and a few extra pieces of the candy, construction paper, cardstock, car stickers, marker, and glue
Prep: I precut all the pieces of the truck for him to glue onto the cardstock and already had the “Happy Valentine’s Day” message on the cardstock.
J put the shapes together to create the truck and then added the box of candy at the end.
The front of the card has a little road with some foam car stickers. I thought it turned out pretty cute
This is from Busy Bee Craft Kids.com . Of course, I didn’t plan for the candy box to be glued on at a tilt (in effect, dumping its cargo). Oops!
I saw this idea on Children’s Learning Activities last year and thought the message was so cute. I’ve had it stored away in my mind since.
For J, this activity was a ton of finger painting fun. I taped some butcher paper on our kitchen floor and gave him a plate of finger paint. He ended up filling 4 or 5 long sheets of paper. While he was enjoying all the painting, I was sure to get some hand and footprints out of the fun. We ended up having more than enough prints for grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, and some for mom to keep too.
We cut out the prints, glued them down and the wrote the message, “I love you from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes.”
They’re ready for the mailbox!
Age attempted: 33 months
Here’s the card J made one of his cousins for Valentines Day. It was actually a fun way to practice letters. We’ll probably reuse this activity some other time.
What You Need: Pull and Peel Twizzlers, Glue, Cardstock, pencil
Prep: I actually precut for the Twizzlers for him and already had the message written in pencil on the cardstock for him.
He traced the letters with glue and then added the Twizzlers. After awhile he got tired of gluing, so I took over that part. To incorporate some learning, I asked him how many long/short pieces were needed for each letter prior to gluing. We also had lots of opportunities to repeat the words verticle and horizontal. He then added some math practice of his own as he decided to pattern the heart stickers and later the heart twizzler shapes.
I did help him on the spirals since it was a little too intricate for him to do alone. They’re supposed to be flowers, but J thought they looked like lollipops. Either one works!
Age: 34 months
We really haven’t done a ton of things incorporating Valentine’s Day in past years. Most of our activities center around making cards or expressing our love for others (which afterall is the purpose!).
Here’s some homemade cards/artwork we’ve given in combination with Valentine’s Day. Click on the photos to see more about each activity.
(This is not a card, but a fun activity to incorporate into Valentine’s Day. This is a great time to find small mailboxes in the stores for future use too. I recently saw some cute foam mailboxes at Target for $5, a make-your-own mailbox in Target’s dollar section, and metal mailboxes like in the photo below at Michael’s Craft Store)
For a few more ideas, check out our homemade cards and homemade gifts too!
J made these to give to some of our family as a Christmas gift. This was a homemade gift he could feel completely responsible for and KNOW that he created it himself.
Materials: Foam, Magnetic plastic frame (from dollar store), Stickers, Buttons, Googly Eyes, Post-It Notes, Glue
Prep: I cut out the foam frames and gathered materials for J to choose from to create his gifts. **You can also buy prepackaged foam frame crafts and just add the fridge photo magnet on the back yourself.**
We had 4 frames to complete as gifts, so J chose the color for each recipient and the materials to decorate it with. This also meant that one set of materials weren’t used (he didn’t choose the googly eyes this time). I helped make sure he was spelling his name correctly on frames (all except one, which he declared was for Grandpa and would hold a picture of Grandma since he loved her so much… hence no need for J’s name on the frame!). The only other involvement I had in the process was some encouragement to practice creating a pattern with the buttons. He’s all about patterns right now though so not much need to push with that!
He also didn’t complete all the frames at one time. After he finished a couple and chose the materials for the others, I packed some up for him to complete on the plane. This was a great activity to do on a plane, little packing, light-weight and kept him focused.
I was so surprised to see how symmetrical he designed the frame with bubble stickers, maybe he’s finally getting out of that stage where he wants to stack stickers on top of each other!
After everything had dried, I glued a magnetic frame (bought at a dollar store) onto the back so the frames could be placed on a fridge and photos could be traded out easily. **Be sure you don’t glue the frame closed so that photos can be changed out later.**
Age attempted: 33 months
Posted in Age Range, Arts and Crafts, Birthday, Christmas, Holidays and Seasons, Homemade Gifts, Math, Patterns, Subject, Toddler (2-3 years), Travel Activities, Valentines Day
Tagged Homemade Gifts, Patterns, Travel
J made two butterfly birthday cards, one for his grandmother and one for his cousin who both love butterflies. I remembered an adorable card a college roommate made me way back when and decided we would try a toddler version of the same.
I also found these instructions from Enchanted Learning and modeled ours close to that. Basically I cut out two butterfly shapes and then trimmed one about an inch smaller than the other (saving the trimming for our 2nd butterfly). The other supplies we used were googly eyes, glue, a stamp pad, hole puch, and pipe cleaners.
J could do most of the rest really. Though this was J’s first attempt with a hole punch and it was honestly too difficult. Eventually he just pushed the puncher down over the paper and thought he was helping as I gripped the handles and did the work. He found the hole puncher very intriguing!
His favorite part was the fingerprints. I should’ve known red ink last a LONG time on fingers. It’s supposed to be washable… and I guess it technically was, but it tooks LOTS of washing.
I forgot to show the final result when we had the birthday message written on the cards too. I thought they turned out cute. They would work as Valentines, Mother’s Day, or birthday cards or even as decor for springtime. I think it would be pretty to create a few different designs and hang them all together on a mobile.
Age attempted: 33 months