Joanna Anastasia

toddler craft

Valentine’s day ideas that you can really make with your kids

Valentine's day ideas that you can really make with your kids: toddlers and preschoolers! Easy a valentine,s card tutorial and other doable ideas! ,

Valentine’s day is just around the corner, and it means that Pinterest is flooded with cute and perfect ideas to keep everyone occupied! If you’re single, you might be organizing a Galentine party, if you’re dating it’s time for a super romantic get-together, and if you’re a mom it means that you’ll be cutting out heart-shaped sandwiches, filling in your kids cards and baking complicated desserts all nigh long!

Or, we can just take it easy.

So while I really want my kids to feel special, and to enjoy the change of the seasons with their distinctive holidays, I thing it’s important to plan activities that they can actually make on their own!

And so these here, are three doable, easy and fun ideas that you can really make at home with toddlers and preschoolers alike:

1. Easy DIY Valentine’s day card

2. Home made Valentine’s day play-dough hearts

3. Simple Valentines day brownie bites

We have actually made all of these more than once, and here is how:

The DIY Valentine’s day card:

Every year we make our own cards (you can see the evolution of our ideas here and here!) This one is equally simple as fun, it leaves space inside for some sweet wishes (or scribbles!) and can be made with pre-cut by mom pieces, or made from start to finish by a bigger kid.

What you’ll need:

– Black pink and purple crafting paper
– Scissors and glue
– Glitter

Cut two long rectangles out of the black crafting paper, and fold them in two, so you have two little square booklets. Cut out 2 different sizes of hearts in two different colors ( I suggest purple and pink) and leave the smaller cut out paper aside (to glue it inside of the card) Let your bigger kid cut hearts out, and prepare it all for the toddler. Glue the bigger heart on the first page, then glue the smaller one on top and decorate with glitter. Inside glue the cut out rectangle with a heart-shaped hole, and write in your wishes on the empty side! ( Or let your toddler scribble something they think looks like a sweet note!) Here’s how my daughters did it:

Valentines days ideas to do with kids, that they can actually make alone!

Valentine's day ideas : easy DIY card that your kids can really make!

Valentine's day ideas

Valentine's day ideas

Valentine’s day home-made play dough:

This is the activity that Lili wants to make every year! Some years we would just play with it as with any other play dough. And some years we would make garlands. Here’s the recipe for my simple salt dough, perfect for cutting out hearts!

And here’s what we did this year: a dough without salt, so it would feel more like a real baking dough, and we pretended to be baking pink cakes for dolls with it!

Play dough that feels like a real dough:

– 1 cup flour
– 1 cup cornstarch
– 1/4 cup warm water
– 1/4 cup oil
– pink food colorant ( or some beet juice)

Mix it all well, if the dough is too sticky, add flour, if it’s too dry, add water and oil. For more sensory fun, you can add some dry pasta like we did!

Valentine's day ideas

easy Valentine's day craft ideas for kids

Valentine's day ideas

This dough keeps well in the fridge for 2 -3 days. Lili wanted to make some hearts and give them as her tokens of love, so we made these and baked just as you would bake any other cookie.

Valentine’s day brownie bites with cream cheese frosting:

Now this is so yummy and looks so festive, while being really simple.
Of course I encourage you to make your own brownies ( you can even find an amazing healthy version here) but you can also use a brownie box mix just like we did!

easy Valentine's day ideas that you can acctuale make: like these cute brownie bites!

What you’ll need:

– baked brownies
– heart shaped cookie cutters
– 1 cup cream cheese
– 1/2 cup icing sugar
– pink food colorant (or beet juice!)

Bake your brownies. Wait a bit until they cool down, and cut out hearts: we found that in order for them not to break it’s best to cut out bigger rectangular pieces, and then cut out the hearts:

Valentine's day ideas

Valentine's day ideas for kids activities

Now prepare your cheese cream frosting ( combine everything in a kitchen-aid mixer and mix well for around a minute) and decorate your brownie bites!

simple valentine's day dessert: brownie bites with cream cheese frosting!

easy to make Valentine's day brownie bites with cheese cream frosting!

Wishing you all a lovely and uncomplicated Valentine’s day!

The series that’ll inspire your kid to craft and create !

When a series is both amusing and educative, then it's a totall win in my books, and when it inspires my kids to sit down and craft, then I call it a success! And I'm sure you'll love swig your kids inspired and creative too!

Today I’d like to share with you my latest discovery, the new interactive Amazon Original Kids series, that’ll inspire your kid to craft and create. Because if you’re anything like me, then probably you love seeing your kids being creative and learning while playing and crafting, right? So I’ll assume, that just like me, you really appreciate series that are both educative as amusing? Oh, and also series that encourage kids to actually get up, play and do something fun, right? I thought so!

So I’m sure that you’ll love looking at your kids crafting and learning while following their favorite characters from the Creative Galaxy series, Arty and his silly side-kick Epiphany, as they travel around the galaxy to solve problems using many different forms of art. And because is a “make-along, create-along” animated art adventure, it really celebrates creative thinking through crafts, story, music, and dance! And each episode highlights a creative medium, like painting, music, sculpting, or cooking, to teach kids that art is all around us and that it exists in many different forms!

And my both my daughters and I , we are really exited for the new season, and so we decided to make one of the crafts featured in it, a tiger mask!

series that inspires kids to craft

Now, you know I’m not about perfection, but experience, fun and creativity! So this mask isn’t perfect. But you know what, it doesn’t have to be. Because what I want my kids to learn, is that creativity is an adventure and that the process is sometimes more important then the result. And that’s exactly what they’ll learning with Creative Galaxy!

If you’d like to make the same one with your kids, you can either print out my imperfect mask or draw your own and follow the instructions, or get creative and make it in a totally different way!

What you’ll need:

Paper
Crayons
Scissors
Pipe cleaners

Mask

1. Print out our imperfect mask / or draw your own.

If you’re crafting with a toddler, help them draw some tiger stripes and a nose!

Series that inspires your kid to craft !

2. Let your kids color and decorate it as they want.

Remember, it’s all about experiencing the creative process, and not necessary following the instructions, so if your child wan’t its tiger mask to be purple and green why not let him?

Series that inspires your kid to craft

3. Cut it out and pierce tiny holes with pipe cleaners and insert one on every edge.

Series that inspires your kid to craft !

4. Put them on and get ready for the all new season of creative ideas and adventures!

Now, next time it’s rainy outside and we can’t play in the garden, we’ll be right here watching our new favorite Creative Galaxy series and crafting along. And I hope you’ll join us too! And remember, the second season will be available starting this Friday, September 16!

When a series is both amusing and educative, then it's a totall win in my books, and when it inspires my kids to sit down and craft, then I call it a success! And I'm sure you'll love swig your kids inspired and creative too!

Disclosure:I was compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience!

Teaching kids how to recycle and reuse

How to show to small kids what's recycling and reusing is really all about.

We all recycle paper and plastic and glass in our homes. We all know how important it is to reduce the waste and reuse old objects. Thanks to my city’s initiative I even do compost. But I realized that my kids don’t really understand the very essence of recycling nor they understand why we do it.

So I decided to show them the meaning of recycling in a way that they can understand, and that’ll look appealing and useful to them: reusing their old and broken crayons!

We took our crayon box and sorted all the broken crayons aside. I asked them first what should we do with these broken crayons, and my older daughter proposed throwing them away. Now, that was a clear signal to me that I should put more effort in teaching her about the importance of reusing things!

So without explaining to her what exactly are we doing, I asked her to help me with taking the papers off the broken crayons. I wanted her to first see for herself how we can recycle broken objects in to something useful, before telling her what will happen.

How to show to small kid what's recycling and reusing is really all about: a simple craft that can help!

We sorted the crayons in to colour groups : yellow with orange, blue with purple, and green with brown. We’ve put every group in to a different silicone cup, and off to the oven set up for 300F for around 15 minutes.

When I took the melted crayons out of the oven, my daughter was very surprised, but she still didn’t understand why are we doing this.

When the melted crayons finally cooled down, and I popped new and funny shaped crayon cups out of the baking sheets, finally she understood: we made something new out of something old! Yes. Instead of creating waste we reused what we already had.And that is recycling and reusing.

She’s still a bit young for learning about the climate change, the polluted oceans and Arctic ice melting. I spread her all the explanations about the dangers of not reusing what we have. I think that simply seeing the utility of this craft made her see why it’s better to reuse then to throw away things.

And then she started drawing with her new crayons, and later in the afternoon she used them as cupcakes for her dolls. And so I think that she understood what it actually means to recycle. And how fun it is, when we can make something new out of something old!

How to show to small kid what's recycling and reusing is really all about: a simple craft that can help!

And hers what you’ll need to make your new crayons:

Broken crayons
Cupcake moulds (I suggest silicone)
Oven

Take the papers off your crayons, place them in a cupcake moulds, and put in the oven heated to 300F for around 15 minutes so they’ll melt completely. Take them out to cool down. Add some glitter. Pop out once they’re cooled down, and have fun!

Recycled cardboard Christmas tree: easy winter craft

Easy winter craft

When the first snow appeared out the window we decided that it was about time for a winter craft. Because homeschooling isn’t only about letters and numbers, but also about fine mother skills, creativity and simply having fun together ( and making mess, just wait and see!).

This little winter craft is really fun for all ages. If you have toddlers on your hand, let them paint the cardboard Christmas tree. If you have preschoolers, they can even cut the tree out and assemble everything all alone. And if you don’t mind cleaning the glitter for days and days to come, then both of them can sprinkle their trees with glitter ! (Yes, I did have glitter for days after.Yes, it did drive me crazy..)

What you’ll need:

Cardboard ( can be old envelopes or a cereal box)
Scissors
Glue
Paint ( green and white)
Glitter

Winter craft

Cut out the Christmas tree. Cut two at the same time, so you have two matching shapes.
It doesn’t need to be perfect! If you’re using a cereal box, or an old cardboard envelope, just glue the printed sides together, and then cut out the tree (this is what we did with one of the pre-assembled-tree-in-making)

Now cut a line from the bottom up in the first one, and from the top down on the second one.

Winter craft

Paint them in green or white, and sprinkle with glitter. Although if you don’t want to have glitter everywhere, just skip this step. Although it’s much more pretty with glitter..

Winter craft

Slide the matching tree sides together, and let it sparkle!

Winter craft

If your kids are older (and I’m assuming more patient then mine are) you could give them some mini pompoms to glue to their trees, or cut out little stars and add them too.

Winter craft

Whatever you decide, I hope you’ll have fun!

Valentines salt dough craft two ways

Valentines day salt dough

You might not know it, but making a valentines salt dough craft is a very satisfying activity. First, the pleasure of making a toy from scratch ( littearaly ), second, playing with it’s soft texture, and third creating vimiscal valentines craft that’ll decorate you or your place :).

You see, I love to show to my daughter that we can make something lovely from nothing. I believe that it teaches her creativity and it gives her the feeling that anything is possible!

But coming back to our salt dought: it’s really fast to prepare, and so versatile! We didn’t make a big quantity, just enough for one kid to play with, so if you have more kids, or if you’d like to make a longer garland, just double this recipe.

And as you see, the creative process took us in two directions: we made one garland, and one small neckless :). I’m not saying I’ll wear it every day, but it’s a great accessory for our dressing out sessions 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons warm water
3 drops of red food colouring

Mix all the dry ingredients, then add water and food colouring, and mix it really well together. Now it’s ready for your imagination 🙂

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Start by cutting your shapes with a cookie cutter. This is a great toddler / kid activity, Lili was all concentrated and amused and it made her calm for more than 30 minutes (bliss).

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Place your shapes on a cooking sheet , and if like me you’re planning to make a neckless or a garland, than poke little holes with a chopstick. Then bake on 350F for around 20 to 25 minutes.

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Now put them on a string, hang on a window, in your kids room, or make a valentines neckless with it! You could also use them as valentines day gift tags ! Have fun :).

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Potato stamped gift tags

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In my attempt of putting the Christmas cheer in to a discusting, gray and cold morning, we made these simple, Scandinavian inspired potato stamped gift tags:). It’s such a simple craft, looks really nice and can be made even with a toddler!

Personally I love this simple black and gray palette, a bit rustic and a bit modern, but I’m pretty sure it would look great with a white cardboard and green or red paint.

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Cardboard gift tags
Potato
Knife
Paint

Stamped gift tags

Cut a shape of your choice from a half of a potato. We opted for a Christmas tree shape, but a star would also be nice! Now let your kid get creative and dirty :). Just remember that these potato stamped gift tags look the best when there isn’t much paint on your potato stamp! It might be difficult to explain this to a toddler, but otherwise you’ll just end up with a black stain on your gift card (what happened to us twice 😉 ).

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When you’re done just write a name with a pretty pen on the othe side, and you’re done !

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