If there is one holiday that sneaks up on me every year, it’s Valentine’s Day. I’d love to say this is because I’m single and wish the day would poof into non-existence fiery furnace “Worst Holiday Ever” status, but truthfully, this day was just as overlooked during my marriage as it will probably be for this first year of lone wolf status (hmmm…maybe that’s saying something…).
My list of Valentine transgressions doesn’t just end with my former spouse. I was most definitely that mom that forgot to bring a valentine for each kid in the class last year. In fact, it didn’t even occur to me to bring them in…is that because I have boys or because I block the day from memory?
As I try to incorporate more purposeful play into our busy days, I’m committing to tackling the big day of love this weekend. Ya know, planning in advance instead of hitting CVS next Friday morning before school. And since I hate to travel all over the interwebz to find what I’m looking for, I’ve built The Ultimate Valentine Resource List. Everything I might need this weekend, all in one happy place. Yup, this is pretty much my virtual to do list for the weekend. Enjoy!
Valentine’s Day Craft List
Valentine’s Day Activity List
Valentine’s Day Recipe List
Have a fun weekend prepping for the Global Day of Love! Even though I’m flying solo this year, I have to admit, I feel more loved now than I’ve ever felt before. I’ll be basking in the love of my kids, grateful for my loving family and loyal friends, and my heart will be full, even as I eye roll the incessant sweetness of this most horrible holiday. Best be sure I will be teaching my sons that while this day is fun, true love lies in making every day special and full of value for those special people in your life that captivate your heart.
DIY Handprint Family Tree
My boys recently turned 4 years old (WHAT?!) and given all of the changes our family has faced over the past year, I wanted their birthday to be extra special. I came up with this DIY Handprint Family Tree to visually capture how loved they are by their family and friends. I wanted them to know that even in the face of a divorce when it feels like your family is broken, your family goes so far beyond just Mommy, Daddy and Sissy. This handprint family tree was “signed” by everyone who attended the birthday party that day…beloved friends, Gramma & Grampa, Mommy, preschool teachers, favorite babysitters, loyal neighbors…all of the people who selflessly love on my children. Our family.
Thanks to my mastermind gal pal at CereusArt, their birthday party theme was “Picasso, Baby!” Hosted at our very own The Studio Hampton Roads, we decorated from top to bottom with little paint cans, brightly colored streamers, artists’ palette lollipops, paint splotch tablecloths and more. We had art projects on hand, along with little art aprons, for our tiny Picassos, who made face masks, applied paint splotch tattoos and got their faces painted by one very special Gramma, who was in absolute heaven doting on so many sweet kiddos.
The DIY handprint family tree was a perfect addition to our art-themed party. The supply list was a breeze:
- Large blank canvas
- Finger paint in several colors
- Makeup sponges
- Colored Sharpie markers
- Baby wipes
- Paper plates
I laid the canvas on a large table (The little drawing of the boys was done by Gramma! She’s the artist behind Rise Woman Rising.) with different color paints poured onto paper plates. Each party guest used makeup sponges to blot paint onto their hand. They then picked a spot and put their hand print on the canvas. They used the baby wipes to clean up and then signed their name or a special message next to their hand print with the Sharpie markers.
The finished product looked just as I had imagined. Each hand was a different size, color, texture. Some families intertwined their hands, some special friends overlapped. We even had a baby smudge for our resident little guy. It was like one giant colorful hug, one happy high five, one strong hand to hold. Our family. This year, we have so much to celebrate. I know my little dudes don’t even realize it, but I do. The gratitude I have for the many people in our lives who have stood by us (in truth, carried us) through the past year…it’s indescribable. Our handprint family tree doesn’t just remind my sons of how loved they are…it reminds me.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Funny Face Planters
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup Painting
I admit, I am super excited about this week’s item. I am a big fan of art projects and am always looking for the next masterpiece to display in my office. So when the Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series challenge popped up with paper cups as the next creative project, I immediately thought it’s time to paint! I present to you, my mini artists-in-the-making, with Paper Cup Painting!
I always like to have canvases on hand to do major art projects a couple of times a year. They’re not always cheap, so I keep an eye out for sales or make sure to clip a Michaels discount coupon. The boys are pretty young, so I generally stick to washable paint for my own sanity, although it doesn’t cover as well and being washable means that I need to take care to not put finished items where they can get wet or otherwise damaged.
Painting is always a big hit for my kids and they’re mostly used to finger painting or using a brush. I was super excited to incorporate shapes and stamping with this project and they just loved seeing what the paper cup could create. They used the tops and bottoms and even started swirling and spreading the cups for different effects. Then somebody went “It’s a caterpillar!” and the project took on a whole new meaning with mommy adding eyes, antennae and legs to their creations. Finish it out with a couple of hand prints and these newest masterpieces are bringing a whole new level of awesome to my office. The boys loved every minute!
|Be sure to spread the paint a bit so it can cover the cup.|
J started out very methodical, and very carefully chose placement for his circles, while B was more creative in his approach and tried different methods to get different results with the cups.
|B – Caterpillar Lover and Texture Explorer|
|J – Methodical Starter and Rogue Smearer|