Shaken Painted Hearts

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Veronika recently enjoyed painting with a ball dipped in paint, an idea from her Zoom Tinkergarten class. So today we put a simple Valentine’s Day twist on the activity!

I cut out a few heart shapes from construction paper, choosing pink, red, and purple as our background colors. I taped two of them at a time into the bottom of a shoebox with a lid, and added a few drops of pink paint. Make sure the paint is near the hearts, but not directly on them.

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Next, add any toys that can shake around! These don’t need to be round balls; in fact Veronika thought it was silly to put in some of her plastic vegetable toys. Anything plastic that can be rinsed and cleaned easily will work just fine.

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Close the lid and shake shake shake!

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We opened up the lid for the pretty reveal, with the hearts now splattered in paint.

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Repeat as many times as your toddler desires! These make great Valentine’s Day cards for relatives or friends, with the bonus that you can make quite a few in a short amount of time.

Jell-O Play for Valentine’s Day

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Kids love painting with Jell-o (or vegan alternatives like the jel desserts from Simply Delish), and today we gave the activity a Valentine’s Day spin!

Instead of preparing the jel dessert, I simply stirred a packet of red powder (strawberry flavored) into a dish with a little water. We instantly had a gorgeous red paint that smelled incredible!

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It’s hard to say which Veronika enjoyed more: smelling the paint or smearing it all over the white heart shape I had cut out!

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The paint sets and dries nicely, and Veronika kept trotting over to this holiday decoration to say, “It smells really good!” She’ll display this one with pride until Valentine’s Day is over.

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Meanwhile, I also prepared two more batches of the jel dessert (in yellow and orange) according to the true directions. That meant we had nice blobs to “paint” with, too.

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You can set down dollops of it for a toddler on a large sheet of paper (or right on a high chair tray for a baby!) and simply let the smashing and painting fun begin. Don’t be surprised if the play tempts older kids, too; my 6-year-old came running over, because Lego figures trapped in Jell-o are decidedly good fun.

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