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