First up is a yarn hanging. I cut a bunch of heart outlines out of cardboard, and then wrapped a fluffy yarn around and around and in and out of the hearts.
Esmé had pity on me after I’d done most of them and finally did one herself. She didn’t like the brown cardboard showing through, so insisted on lots and lots of yarn. I think I like hers best of all!
I used double-sided tape to attach them all to a ribbon and hang them up. It turned out pretty quaint and sweet, I think…
Next up: A canvas painting – entirely by Esmé this time. I happily provide tempera paint and paper, but am a little stingy on the canvas and acrylic paint, I admit. So this was rather carefully executed.
Esmé’s first assignment was to cover the canvas in light colors of her choice. We let it dry overnight.
Then I cut a sponge heart and, on a sheet of paper, showed her how to make a heart print with dark paint. She copied me on the canvas.
We made some bear bookmarks to give away. One must always be dressed in angel costumes for this project, I understand.
Here’s the finished Esmé-creation:
Then we made some candy airplanes for her preschool group.
I should say: I made some candy airplanes. Esmé played with them. (Pilots must wear LOTS of red lipstick, I understand.)
I cut and glued some valentine cards for her to put with the airplanes. Then Esmé was commissioned to sign and sticker the cards.
Here’s the final product:
In the kitchen, we made some whole-wheat-sesame-cracker-peanut-butter-sandwiches, topped with pink “white” chocolate for her party. Esmé was in charge of sprinkles.
And hearts just seemed to crop up everywhere – torn out, cut out, folded in half, and more.
I really didn’t plan too well for miscellaneous easy Valentine activities, but a fantastic second-hand-store find saved me from total lameness:
I doubt you could find this anywhere in print – the old-timey awesomeness inside was well worth the $0.25: Paper airplane, pinwheel, finger puppets, jokes, a maze, and much much more.
And we can’t forget the books! Here are the Valentine’s books that made our reading list this year – Esmé enjoyed them all:
- If You’ll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant. A sweet rhyming book about the various kinds of Valentines appropriate for all types of people and creatures.
- Be Mine, Be Mine, Sweet Valentine by Sarah Weeks. Another sweet rhyming book, with a bonus of flaps that hide the appropriate type of Valentine for each type of creature.
- Rhyme Time Valentine by Nancy Poydar. A cute story about a little girl who made Valentines for her class, and how things don’t always work out as planned, but can work out just right anyway.
- Happy Valentine’s Day, Dolores by Barbara Samuels. Another story about things working out just right in the end – with a couple of moral issues indirectly addressed, like “borrowing” and trying to cover things up. A little girl is always getting into her sister’s stuff, and discovers a frog necklace there. She ends up borrowing it, losing it, and going through some adventure to buy a replacement.
- Snow Valentines by Karen Gray Ruelle. An easy reader about a brother and sister (kitty) who become very creative in making just the right Valentines for their parents.
- Arthur’s Great Big Valentine by Lillian Hoban. An easy reader about attitude, reconciliation, and friendship.
- Little Mouse’s Big Valentine by Thacher Hurd. A story about a mouse who made a Valentine that nobody wanted, until he stumbled upon just the right recipient, only they modified the Valentine together so they could share with everybody.
- Heart to Heart by George Shannon. About a squirrel who procrastinates and then rushes to make the perfect Valentine for his mole friend, realizing that perfection lies not in the design, but in the friendship and shared memories.
- The Berenstain Bears’ Funny Valentine. A typically-sweet Berenstain book, in which Sister realizes that the boy who keeps making her mad actually likes her. I’m not thrilled with the introduction of special boy-girl relationships at this age, but we both enjoyed the reading.
- Love, Splat by Rob Scotton. I had the same issue with the boy-girl relationship in this book, but it really was a sweet story about how the one who “likes” gets the girl, rather than the one who thinks he’s big stuff. And who wouldn’t love cute furry kittens? They made the book a favorite for Esmé.