Monday, February 2, 2009

Valentine's Day/ Hearts

Book Ideas:1, 2, 3 Valentine’s Day by Jeanne Modesitt
In this rhyming counting book, Mister Mouse goes house to house distributing valentines to his animal friends ("Three big badgers, whistling a tune,/ Open the door and get a balloon). Each house has one more inhabitant than the last.

Sweet Hearts by Jan Carr
A young girl celebrates Valentine's Day by making and hiding paper hearts around the house for her family to discover. (Short rhymes great for toddlers).

Valentine Foxes by Clyde Watson
Mama Fox wants this Valentine’s Day to be a special one, so she sets her for cubs to making cards for each other, while she bakes a valentine cake for supper. But one thing after another goes wrong, soon it’s late and nothing is ready. Disaster looms, until Little Dilly fox wakes up—and saves the day. (There is a cake recipe included in the back that is really yummy!!!)

Heart to Heart by George Shannon
Oh no! It's Valentine's Day and Squirrel forgot to get a card for his best friend, Mole. Run for paper, glitter, lace, and lights! But as he searches for the scissors, Squirrel discovers much more and makes Mole a gift that only Squirrel could create.

Valentine Surprise by Corinne Demas
It’s only a week until Valentine’s Day, and Lily wants to make the perfect heart-shaped valentine for Mommy. But every time she cuts out a heart, it’s either too pointy, too round, or too skinny. As the days go by, Lily tries again and again, and when Valentine’s Day finally arrives, she has a heart for each day of the week! Which one will be the perfect valentine surprise for Mommy?

Queen of Hearts by Mary Engelbreit
Ann Estelle is so busy creating the most beautiful Valentine mailbox in class, she forgets to make cards for her classmates.

Activity Ideas:

Idea #1: Wax Paper Hearts

Read one of the books and then make some colorful hearts to decorate a window.
You will need: wax paper, crayons, pencil sharpener, old cereal box, newspaper, scissors, iron and ironing board, and some string.

The first step is to make a bunch of crayon shavings using some old crayons and a handheld pencil sharpener. (Depending on the age of your child, you may want to do this part in advance).

Then, let your child sprinkle the crayon shavings on a large piece of wax paper.
(In the photo, our shavings were sprinkled a little too thick in the middle of our wax paper. It works better if you sprinkle the crayons sparsely, without getting too close to the edge of the wax paper.)
Then, carefully take the wax paper over to the ironing board that is covered in newspaper (to protect it from any leaks that might occur during the melting process).

Keeping your kids at a distance from the iron, put a 2nd piece of wax paper sandwiched over the top of the crayon shavings and layer another piece of newspaper over the top of that. Heat your iron on the lowest heat setting and iron over the top of the newspaper for literally 2 seconds. The crayons will melt quickly. If the melted crayon is thick in certain spots, rub your iron over the newspapered surface again and spread the melted crayon in the direction you want it to go.

This is how it will look when the shavings are melted. Set the wax paper aside to let the melted crayon cool for a minute or two.

While the melted crayon is cooling, grab your cereal box and cut out two sizes of heart shapes to use as stencils.

Place your heart stencil on the cooled wax paper and then have your child draw around the stencils. (For toddlers, help them hold the heart in place and let them draw around it.) Cut out as many heart shapes as you can.

Have your child cut out the hearts, punch a whole in the top, and then tie on a string.

Make a window garland by stringing all your hearts together on a long string and hanging it in window.

Idea #2: Heart Animal Collages
Read one of the stories and then let your child's creativity go wild by making as many animals as they can out of various sizes of hearts.
Cut out various sized hearts from a cereal box to use as stencils.

Trace a bunch of hearts onto colored paper and cut out. This can take a little while, so you may want to have the hearts ready to go before you start the activity. You will need lots of hearts in different sizes and even different colors.
Below are some ideas of animals you can make. Let your child be creative and do whatever they want. if they are having a hard time getting started then you could say "Do you think you could make a butterfly?" ...and then proceed to talk them through what they could use for the wings etc... Once they do one they will have an easier time thinking up more.

Idea #3: Heart Math Game
Read on of the stories and then play this beginners addition and subtraction game that will introduce the plus and minus signs to your preschooler.
First you will need to make a couple of these heart game boards for each player. Just copy and paste the heart image into a word document, resize it, and copy and paste the image over and over to fill the page with hearts. Print it out on cardstock or heavy construction paper.

You will also need to make some home-made paper dice. Print off two copies of the dice templates on heavy paper and cut out, fold, and glue the cube together.

On one dice, draw on 3 plus signs and 3 minus signs covering each side. On the other dice you can either write the actual numerals 1-6 or draw dots representing the numbers (as seen in the photo).

You will also need uncooked beans to use as markers, or small scrapes of colored paper etc...

To play the game, each player gets a playing card of hearts. Take turns rolling the dice. So if you roll a plus sign and a 3, then you would cover three hearts with beans. If you were to roll a minus sign and a 5, then you would have to remove 5 beans from your card. The first person to cover all their hearts on their card is the winner.

Idea #4: Heart Counting
Read one of the books and then practice identifying numbers and then counting out that many hearts.
You will need to place small pieces of paper in the bottom of a muffin tin and then number each hole.

If you want to save time and don't want to cut out small circles, then just use paper cupcake liners and write numbers on the bottom of each.

Then, give your child a bunch of candy hearts and have them count out and place the right amount of hearts in each circle.

1 comment:

Me said...

You have TERRIFIC ideas! Thank you. One suggestion - I wish you had labels on your posts so people can find what they are looking for easily.

Thanks for all the time you put into this blog.