We’re not usually big on Valentine’s Day in our house – yes, we’ll do the usual token cards and chocolates but normally it’s not something we go big for like Easter or Halloween. However the past year (almost!) has been unlike any other and since we’re still in a lockdown we’re finding ourselves grasping to holidays and themed days for ways to brighten up the humdrum of every day stuck in the house following the same motions.
We have never been so excited for Valentine’s Day and the option to make and do something with a special theme – a theme which is really important in these tough times – love.
So here are some of the crafts and activities we’ll be getting up to this week as we look to learn about and celebrate St Valentine’s Day:
The obvious one, but still fun. Cards can be as beautiful and creative as your craft drawers allow! Why not go for a personalised touch using finger or thumb prints side-by-side to make hearts? Or if your toddler is still pretty wee, why not try footprint hearts if they fit on the card? There are some great card ideas on Pinterest, including making handprint roses, 3D hearts and much more. I don’t know how much patience T will have for the 3D hearts, but I get the feeling glitter will be involved in our house.
Tissue paper roses
I used to love doing this as a kid, even though my roses often ended up looking like wilted flowers. All you need is some coloured tissue, pipe cleaners and something to stick the two together – although you can often wrap the pipe cleaner around the end of the tissue. Take a rectangular piece of tissue and hold in one corner. Start rolling the tissue into a sort of cone shape whilst keeping hold of the corner; this should start to look like a blooming rose. Then keep your corner and wrap a green pipe cleaner around it, or fix with some glue or tape. Repeat for as many roses as you like!
Love bugs pipe cleaners and loo roll
This is a really cute one to make and doesn’t require too many bits and bobs. As long as you have some toilet roll tubes, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and coloured card to give your bugs some wings and feet. Pipe cleaners make good arms and antennae, whilst card feet on the bottom, wings on the back and googly eyes bring your bugs to life.
Paper heart wreath
These are lovely cute decorations that can help spread the love throughout the house on Valentine’s Day. All you need are various sheets of card (pinks, reds and purples are best), some scissors and some glue. Start by cutting out a large hoop from card as the base of your wreath. Then, using your various coloured sheets, cut out as many hearts as you can. I found that sticking to around 3 heart sizes works best. Take your hearts, and starting with the largest, glue right round the card hoop. Then go over this with the next biggest size and repeat with the smallest hearts. Hang on the door with some blu tack or a pin to upgrade your living room into loving room for the day.
Like a hamper but for valentine’s day. Let your little one pick things for mummy or daddy to put into the love box. Favourite snacks, drinks and films will make for a great Valentine’s Day in and you can add your hand crafted cards and roses into the box too. If you’re feeling sentimental, why not add a favourite photo that you love too.
Footprint hearts – Whether on a card or clay, footprint hearts are a great way to immortalise your toddler’s tiny feet whilst creating a gift or keepsake that nobody else will have. Clay prints can be kept and framed or even turned into key rings or magnets on display every day.
Photo frames – Another great keepsake, hand made photo frames capture a special place in time for loved ones and little ones. Toddlers can decorate frames with paint, glitter and embellishments whilst the memories inside the frame remain priceless.
Heart cookies and biscuits – because every special day calls for a bit of baking doesn’t it? Heart shaped cookies and biscuits are fairly easy to make, (well they are if you cheat and use packet mix like me!) provided you have the right heart shaped cookie cutters.
Pancakes – We might as well get the practice in since shrove Tuesday is just a couple of days later. If you’re feeling fancy you can use cutters or piping bags to create pancakes in heart shapes too, or top your pancakes with heart shaped strawberries or a love note in sauce.
I know it’s not Easter so it’s not traditionally a holiday where you’d expect your child to have to go and find things, but this isn’t an ordinary year. Instead of hunting for eggs filled with sugar and chocolate, the Valentine’s scavenger hunt can be simply finding items your little one loves, dotted around the house. Maybe you’ve hidden a love note, their favourite toy or the story they love the most? Maybe it’s clues to things you love to do – find the items in the kitchen to bake together, or find the football to head to the park. Ours will probably be a mixture of the items our little man loves, with maybe a new treat thrown in for good measure.