Retailers may want us to celebrate this month with poetic cards, arrays of chocolates, long-stemmed roses and diamond bracelets, but February is also a time to get creative with the little “love of your life.” While you may grimace at the thought of glue sticks, glitter and scissors, there are actually fun, age-appropriate crafts you can do with your little Valentine. Here are just a few:
- Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin: Sensory activities are great for a child’s development, so put together a Valentine’s bin to explore shapes, sounds, colors and other tactile delights. For items to include, visit any craft shop. You’ll find felt hearts, foam hearts, lacy hearts, heart-shaped doilies, puffy hearts, heart-shaped cookies cutters . . . the list goes on. For a little extra fun – and mess – don’t forget the dry rice! With your baby, touch and feel the different objects, listen to the sound of two puffy hearts rubbing together or the rice pouring from a measuring cup to a bin, the feel of it running between chubby little fingers. Sensory bins are a fun time for babies and adults alike. Just a few notes on the Sensory Bin:
* Choose items that are appropriate for your child’s age, keeping in mind that babies love to put things in their mouths.
* The fun is in engaging your baby – help them discover the various senses that each item provokes.
* Use a plastic tablecloth or floor mat as it lets you get down on the floor with your child and also makes for a quick, efficient clean up.
Colored Rice Recipe: A few hours prior to use, combine a teaspoon of water, several drops of food coloring, then add dry rice in a sealable plastic bag. Use a separate bag for each color of choice (pinks, white and reds are great for Valentine’s Day) and dry out on a lined cookie sheet.
2. Painting with Pudding: This craft may not make it to your bulletin board, but it makes for a yummy afternoon! Again, using food coloring, mix vanilla pudding until you have the various holiday colors you want to use. Depending on the age of your baby, you may just let him finger-paint on his high chair tray for edible creations, or pull out some paper for baby to make artistic keepsakes. Great tip: use a muffin pan for your little Picasso’s pudding paints.
3. Handprint Hearts: This is something that no refrigerator should be without! Using child-safe paint, dip your baby’s hands and make handprints on a piece of paper. Position your child’s hands facing up with thumbs overlapping or downward, fingers on top of each other. Either design makes a precious little heart. Then, use paint or a marker, and with your baby, trace the heart around the hands. Don’t forget to date the back of this keepsake, as you’ll want to look back and remember.
4. Sponge-painting Hearts: Cut out a heart design on a sponge so baby can sponge paint a picture, a coffee mug, a bowl or a picture frame. Make a sponge-painted card, include a photo of your child creating the craft and you’ve got the perfect gift for Dad or grandparents.
Preschool may be a few years off but there’s no reason why you and your baby can get “crafty” now. And remember, it’s not about whether your picture ends up on Pinterest; it’s about fun, quality time spent with the little person who steals your heart, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day of the year!
Happy Valentine’s Day from The Baby Pibu Team!