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
Homemade Valentine’s Playdoh
Build Your Own Valentine Robot
Valentine’s Day Recipe List
Easy Valentine’s Cinnamon Roll
Chocolate Cherry Brownies
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.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art
It’s Monday!! You know what that means…it’s time for another Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series challenge! This week…Kool-Aid. Last week, I thought I hit the bottom of the barrel as far as low cost, spending less than $6 on an afternoon of family fun with Paper Bag Maracas, but I blew it out of the water this week! Kool-Aid was on sale at Target for $2. I already had the rest of my supplies, so $2 and we were ready to go! Time to get messy and creative with Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival
10 Sorting Games for Your Math-Loving Child – Sorting Bears by Eureka
When J’s teacher told me he really enjoys math and that sorting toys would be a great idea for Christmas, I ran straight over to Amazon Prime and began the hunt for the perfect toy. I bought about a million puzzles, little projects and a whole slew of other games. But none so far can compare to these bad boys:
Before I get started, here is my only CON for this toy. These bears are a relatively good size and really hard, so they don’t scream “Put me in your mouth!” But, as all mothers know, this means nada. So…while they are awesome, this is a toy that requires some observation on the parent’s part. This is not the toy to busy your kid with while you hop in the shower or run the vacuum.
Now, the good stuff.
The opportunities are endless for free play with these little dudes. Here are the 10 sorting games I play with the boys (and they then play with each other – which is super cute):
1. What color is this? I have them identify the color and then place the bear in its matching cup.
2. Here are 3 bears (different colors). I have them identify each color and count them back to me as they place it in its matching cup.
3. Pick a “red” bear and give it to Mommy. I line up all of the bears (or even dump them in a big pile) and give them a color to pick out and give to me. This can be taken up a notch for more advanced kiddos, by asking them to give you a certain number of bears of certain colors.
4. Count our colors. We separate the bears into piles of their colors and then count them together back into the cups.
5. Clean up the bears. Seriously, they love this one. It’s like 52 pick up with animals instead of cards.
6. Line up your colors. Everybody loves to build a mini army of color-coordinated bear squadrons.
7. Stack and unstack the cups. Tower! When the bears get old, I swap to the cups. Some simple towers always bring a smile.
8. Flip cups – Bears on top. Instead of lining up the bears or grouping them in piles, we switch it up by using the upside down cups as platforms for whatever game we are playing.
9. Color patterns – What’s next? I set up simple patterns and ask them to pick the bear that fits next.
10. Give me “7” bears and count. I give them a number of bears that I want and they get to pick what colors they give back to get to that number.
One final twist that they love…turn the tables! They’re in control and get to ask me the questions. They LOVE to ask “Mommy, what’s this?” or order me to “give them a red bear.” Let them play teacher for a bit and you’ll keep them busy for hours!