Here’s an adorable way to teach even young toddlers about the connection between Valentine’s Day and love (both in terms of the emotion and in terms of things they love).
First, Veronika and I decorated bags for the upcoming love hunt, and I thought edible paint would make the project even more fun (not to mention delicious!). I poured some coconut yogurt into containers and we tinted one pink and one purple.
Veronika was almost too busy eating (she particularly loved the purple!) to paint, but eventually we had smeared three white treat bags with the yogurt paint.
We tried adding glitter in the middle using a heart cookie cutter as a stencil. Veronika requested a butterfly, too!
Unfortunately once I stood the bags upright to dry, the glitter sprinkled right off – whoops! I left them to dry lying down but propped open slightly by old paper towel tubes (newspaper would work, too), since the yogurt paint is so thick and messy.
It became quite clear, though, that this paint was going to take forever to dry. So when Veronika was impatient for the next part of the activity, we quickly made a plan B and decorated a few more treat bags with heart stickers.
No drying time required now! As we put on the heart stickers, I talked to her about how hearts represent love, and we were going to hunt around the house for things she loves. I put in one of her favorite toys as an example. “You love penguin. Penguin goes in the bag!”
I was amazed at how quickly she understood the concept! She filled the bag with favorite toys and began talking about how much she loves them.
This is not a term she normally uses in her play, so I knew she was making the connection for the first time. Don’t be surprised if your toddler wants to add loved items that don’t fit in the bag. That’s just fine, and serves as a quick lesson on relative sizes! Baby doll didn’t fit, but Veronika can still love her.
Once the bag was full, she was delighted with her little bag. “I got anything I love!” she said. And then when I asked her what big brother Travis might put in his bag, she said without any prompting, “Travis will put in all his Lego guys!”
She really understood! Note: Eventually the yogurt painted bags did dry, so we might keep these on hand to fill with Valentine’s goodies as the holiday approaches.