If you are hosting a Valentine's Day Party for Children, or if you happen to be a Classroom Mom or Volunteer, I've got a few kid activities that are sure to keep them busy.
The party went off without a hitch, and I will be doing the same activities AGAIN for this year's party (Why mess with a good thing?). I found a great craft via Pinterest and put together a few by myself that I knew the kids would enjoy.
Without further ado:
Crayon melt activity
This is my all-time favorite art activity to do with kids, as I get just as much enjoyment out of it as they do. This craft is easy to put together and costs almost nothing. It's a favorite in our school room, and I like to bring it out on special occassions.
Here's what you need:
Electric Warming Plate. These are a throwback from the sixties and you can find them for a dime a dozen at thrift stores. My girlfriend and I spotted a pile of them in all sizes at Goodwill for just a dollar or two. They usually have only one heat setting so you will also need:
A Hotpad or Folded Towel.
So you're thinking, "You just unleash a bunch of small children around a burning hot plate and expect them not to get burned!?"
Yes, I do. I taught preschool for YEARS before I had my own kids and we never had an issue. With a classroom of twenty something kids ages 3-5, including a few special ones thrown in there to add an element of danger, and still, not one child got burned. Ever. If your warming plate is larger than a piece of paper, you place the towel or hotpad on the exposed surface and you show the child how to rest their other non-dominant hand on the hot pad while they are coloring. Kids are smart, they figure it out.
This activity is excellent for all
You can purchase a coloring book and separate the pages or you can find free printables online. I have a black and white laser printer, so I chose to print my own. I found a few great kiddo designs from doing a Google image search of "Valentines Day Coloring Sheets." Many early education websites have free printable coloring sheets and you can find them for any theme or holiday to suit your desire. Simple pics for younger kids or more elaborate designs for older kids. Trust me, the older kids (and I mean teenagers) love this one too!
I found this fun print from Vanessa at Tried and True. Her FREE printables are beautifully done and warm my heart just by looking at them. Something about coloring "You Are My Sunshine" on this dreary winter day just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She even has a great one that's perfect for Valentine's Day:
Place your coloring sheet on the warming plate, hotpad in place to cover the exposed portion, hold the crayon upright, and begin coloring. That's my six year old coloring, by the way.
The heat from the warming plate melts the crayon onto the paper in the most awesome way. It is like magic! Kids and adults will "Oooh" and "Ahhh" in delight. This is such a satisfying activity, super relaxing, and a little therapeutic too. In no time at all, the smell of melted crayon will create a memory association so strong, you will always go back to this calming place! It's your new "center."
Once you are finished, hold it up to the window! The wax melting into the paper makes it semi-transparent, creating a stained glass effect. So cool. You'll be fighting the kids for your turn on the warming plate!
The next activity we had was a "Valentine Makin' Station."
The kids already had their pre-made valentines to hand out, but this gave them a chance to put a personal touch on things and make a few while they were at the party. They loved making them for their friends while they attended the party!
You will need:
Cardstock in several colors or patterns
Paper Doilies (heart-shaped are great)
Stickers and/or Washi Tape
Mini Stamps and Ink pads (optional)
Glitter Glue (totally optional. This will take the mess level up a notch. But what's a Valentine without glitter?)
Markers, crayons, or pencils
I found a great little divider tray in the dollar spot at Target to organize all the little accouterments for the Valentine Makin' Station. A couple of these little trays were all that I needed for the table. Many of the supplies were dollar store finds.
Then, I used my Cricut to cut out some fun designs. Lacy hearts, sparrows, floral motifs, flourishes, just whatever cartridges I had on hand that fit the theme (Storybook, Lacy Labels, Botanical). I love how the Cricut Craft Room program lets me do them all at once. It goes quick. These were favorites, so if you don't have an electronic cutter, find someone who does!
Right now you can purchase the Cricut Valentine's Day Image sets for 20% off through February 12th, 2014! Check them out, there are some cool designs!
Stickers, sequined hearts, and other little do-dads filled the compartments.Throw in glue and it's ready for decorating.
Next craft we did were these fun Valentine Bling Rings made from a Hershey kiss and pipe cleaners.
Super easy and the boys loved their "Power Rings" just as much as the girls liked their sparkly jewels. I found metallic pipe cleaners on clearance from Christmas and they worked out perfect for this Valentine's Day craft. You can find the tutorial at Mom On Timeout.
Finally, I threw together a photobooth for the occasion. This was as simple as throwing a pink curtain over a shelf for a backdrop, taping paper mustaches and lips onto bendy straws, and putting my camera on a tripod.
Don't you just want to eat him?! Soooo cute, and the giant band-aid just adds to the cuteness!
See what you can find for props; hats, boas, fancy sunglasses. The kids really had fun with this and the photos were priceless. I forgot to share them with the other moms last year- whoops! I better print some out!
These are a few ideas to get the ball rolling. Every party needs punch and treats too. Keri at Shaken together has the best looking punch recipe that I want to try for this year's party. It comes in two versions- blended for a few, or punch for a crowd. YUM!
And a treat? I've got you covered on that too:
Easy-peasy popcorn deliciousness from Jacque at The DIY Village that I just know is going to be highly addictive. So glad I stocked up on vanilla candy coating after Christmas!
Happy Valentine's Day!