Valentine Hearts, Two Ways

Valentine Heart (5)

The heart crafts with Veronika continue, a great way to teach toddlers about the connection between Valentine’s Day and love… and messy crafts! Today we used hearts in our painting, but in two very different ways.

For the first, I cut heart shapes from pink construction paper and placed these on a tray. Dribble on a little red and white paint, then fold the heart in half.

Valentine Heart (1)

I encouraged Veronika to flatten out the heart! She could either use her hands or roll over it with a small rolling pin. Because we’d used too much paint, this turned out to be a very smooshy messy process!

Valentine Heart (4)

Open the heart up for the big reveal!

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Let dry, then write a Valentine message on the back for someone special.

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The second method is one I did with Travis when he was not much older than Veronika is now (!), making it one of the earliest posts from this blog. It’s fun to repeat activities with my kids and see how they differ across the years. All you need is an empty toilet paper tube; push in one edge slightly to form a heart shape.

Stamped Heart (1)

I showed Veronika how to dip this “stamp” in red paint and print!

Stamped Heart (2)

Make as many heart prints as your child desires. I remember Travis wanted to cover his whole paper, but Veronika tired out about half way through.

Stamped Heart (5)

If you try both of these heart crafts, please share in the comments which one your toddler liked best!


Counting Block Towers

Counting BLock Towers (6)

I recently purchased a new rug for the playroom featuring a hopscotch board. I can envision so many ways we’ll use this in the future, including obviously as an indoor hopscotch mat. But as Veronika was playing with blocks today, I realized the mat will also be great for teaching numbers and counting practice with my toddler!

We’ve used her dump truck to clean up blocks before; now it was time to use the truck to bring them out for play. I ferried the blocks from where she’d been playing with them in the living room and she loved dumping them out atop the hopscotch rug.

Counting BLock Towers (1)

Once we had enough blocks, I sat down with her at the beginning, next to number 1.

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For each number, I named it and pointed to the symbol, and then built a block tower with the corresponding number of blocks. This was fun for her to watch because…

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…the towers kept getting taller!

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At first she helped build. Then she lost interest and wanted to play her own way with the blocks, which was fine. I kept naming the numbers and counting each tower of blocks out loud, knowing she was listening and absorbing.

Counting BLock Towers (5)

As I neared the end with the towering skyscrapers of 8, 9, and 10, she suddenly was mesmerized.

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As soon as 10 was finished, she trotted over and my baby Godzilla knocked down the whole block city!

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This was a great way to introduce the notion that numbers get successively bigger as you count up 1 through 10. We’ll be building on our hopscotch mat again soon!