I’ve been busy the last week or so planning and prepping activities for my older kiddos.
They love activity time and I’m finding that having my ducks in a row (i.e. activity thought out and prepped as well as dinner mostly made) so that we can climb up to the table and get started minutes after hitting the door in the evening just makes the whole night run smoother.
I don’t always have the help that I need in the evenings. Trying to keep three littles adequately entertained – and the older two from killing each other with the baby potentially getting caught up in the cross-fire – while I’m also trying to make and get dinner on the table is an absolute cluster most of the time.
An added element of difficulty is the struggle my older two have with transitions. If we’re already at the table, and there isn’t a gigantic toy mess to clean up, getting to the table for dinner is easy peasy!
And so…I’ve been busy prepping activities.
By prepping I mean having all the necessary materials together so all I have to do is pull out a bag and we are off to the races.
The activities I’ve prepped recently range from “quite a bit of assistance needed” to “they’ve totally got this, mom” and pending how much finishing work is needed on dinner I can easily pick and choose what the best project will be for that evening.
Some of our activities are basically prepped for the long haul (i.e. play doh, puzzles, etc.) while others are a single shot and entirely new ideas will have to come into the mix. But that’s what keeps it fresh and fun, right?
February is a perfect time for Valentine’s Themed projects.
I planned three projects specific to Valentine’s Day. Only three because V-day is in the middle of the month and once a holiday passes…I’m kind of over it. PLUS, I wanted to get some other projects in the mix like a Bible study series we will soon be starting with projects centering around the seven days of creation (<— more to come on this!) as well as some tried and true favorites like Play Doh and occasionally allowing them to play an educational game on their tablets.
These three projects are simple enough that older toddlers (mine are 3 and 4) ought to be able to mostly handle them on their own, and having them work at the table means keeping the mess centralized.
Today I share with you Valentine’s Day Super Simple Sun Catchers!
Sun Catcher Hearts:
Materials Needed (affiliate links included for ease of ordering):
1. Self laminating sheets
3. Painters tape
4. Pink, red and white tissue paper cut into small’ish pieces (if your children are a little older, this could be one of the steps they complete)
I just searched my wrapping supplies to find the tissue paper.
5. Hole punch
6. String for hanging
Ribbon, thread, yarn…whatever you have will work!
7. Suction cup(s) for window
**Give your supplies on hand a good look-through. You may discover you have many of these items already in your home and they don’t need to be purchased.
1. Take one of your laminating sheets and cut in to a heart shape. In my case, I needed two hearts so used one sheet and cut out the two hearts needed for the project.
2. Peel the paper backing off laminating sheet and use painters tape to stick down to table (sticky side of laminating sheet up!).
3. Allow the kids to stick the tissue paper to the hearts
4. Once finished, remove the painter’s tape and peel the paper backing off another laminating sheet.
5. Carefully lay laminating sheet over your child’s creation (sticky side to the tissue paper!) and trim edges.
6. Punch hole, thread string through and tie in a loop.
7. Proudly display in window.
The mess factor for this project is minimal so clean-up should be a breeze!
We are also taking the opportunity to educate our children on LOVE: where it originated and why it’s important (<— Biblical Truths Here) because what we don’t want is for them to get caught up in Valentine’s Day becoming a day that defines their worth. It doesn’t matter how many Valentine’s Day cards they receive, or from whom. Or <as they age> whether or not they have a boy/girlfriend, etc.
Valentine’s Day may have been commercially created to sell more candies, flowers and Hallmark cards but LOVE is for everyone…every day!
Kick off your activity by reading this book teaching that God made us specifically so He can love us:
Little One, God Loves you by Amy Warren Hilliker
Use this Bible verse to accompany the activity (and to be repeated often – perhaps a memory verse if your kiddos are old enough.)
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.1 John 4:7 (NIV)
Need a meal idea that can be 95% ready, allowing you to sit down with the kiddos while they learn where LOVE came from and exercise their creative juices making heart shaped sun catchers?
White Chicken Chili to the rescue!
Have you planned any fun Valentine’s Day activities with your kiddos? Share them below (I’m always looking for inspiration and there’s always next year!).