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Valentine’s Ideas

This year I am putting together a Valentines hunt for my kids each day.  I hide one heart and give them a clue as to where in the house to find it.  On the heart is what we are doing to countdown to Valentine’s Day for that day.  It might be make teacher Valentines, or taste test chocolate, but it is fun activities for us to do together.

I also got each my kids a mailbox (From the Dollar spot at Target! LOVE!) and fill it with something fun.  It might be a bag of popcorn or a new pack of gum.  It gives them something fun to look forward to.

What do you do to anticipate Valentine’s Day?

Family Fun Friday: Chocolate

With Valentine’s Day coming I thought chocolate would be a great theme…plus I am always up for sweets!  Here are some things we will be doing with chocolate.

* Hot chocolate bar: hot chocolate with add in’s like crushed peppermint, caramel, whipped cream, and lots of marshmallows!

* Chocolate taste test: Give them several different pieces of chocolate and have them determine their favorite

* Paint with chocolate pudding

* We will also play hide the Hershey’s Kiss, like hide and seek

* Break a Hershey bar into pieces and put it together like a puzzle

* Stack the thin mint cookies:  See who can build the tallest tower

* Fondue is on the list too, we will dip fruit, marshmallows, pretzels, chips, etc.

I have a feeling after this night we will need lots of healthy foods, and playtime in the yard!

Valentine Gifts for 2011

Here is what I am doing for various gifts this year:

My husband: I made him notes with candy bars attached to them, with words like, “I’d pay 100 grand (the candy bar) to be your wife!”  Cheesy, but very appreciated.  I also printed off lyrics to a song for him that fits our marriage and love and read them to him.

My Kids: They are waking to a trail of Hershey kisses to a small present in the living room.  I also made them coupons like in the past that include things like “extra Wii day” and “No clean up day”.  We are making chocolate chocolate chip waffles in the morning and their favorite spaghetti for dinner.

Teachers: Cake pops in a vase.  This is not a quick and easy task, but yummy and very worth it! This website has some great ideas on how to execute this.

http://oneordinaryday.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/valentines-day-cake-pops/

Bake any kind of cake and then when it has cooled crumble it up. My kids loved doing this!

Add one can of icing of your choice and mix with your fingers...yummy!

After rolling them into balls and freezing them, add the stick and dip them in melted chocolate.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Uses For Conversation Hearts

We have a plethora of conversation hearts in our house so we decided to put them to use.  Here are some ideas of ways to use them.

* Sort them into color piles, or by the words written on them

* count them

*Fill a guessing jar with them and estimate how many

* Graph them

* Adding and Subtracting

*Hide them around the house for the kids or your hubby to find!

* Stack them in a tower, how big can yours get 30 sec.

* Measure: how many long is your hand, a favorite book, the table?

* Transfer them with a straw from plate to plate, see if you can move them all to another plate in 1 minute.

*Use chopsticks to work on fine motor, pick them up and put them in a jar

* Make sentences with them to work on reading

Happy creating and learning!

Chocolate Taste Test

When you think of Valentine’s Day what better thing to think of than chocolate!?!  The kids and I decided to do a chocolate taste test and boy was it indulgent.  We pulled out a bunch of chocolate candy bars from Halloween, Christmas and birthday parties we had saved and cut them into bite size pieces.   We tasted peppermint patties, Hershey kisses with caramel, brownies, plain chocolate, white chocolate chips, and dark chocolate.  The kids loved them all but the favorite was Reeses for Isaiah and Peppermint Patty for Ayla.  Me?  I loved them all.

We used muffin tins to organize our treats.

Count Down to Valentine’s Day

I love count down calendars…Christmas, birthday, first day of school, Valentines Day!  We are making a count down calendar starting for the first day of February.  I decided to incorporate Christ and His deep love for us in the count down by adding love scriptures to the calendar along with a fun activity, game, craft.

Here is what we did:

1. Cut strips of red, pink and white paper

2. Write or type and paste scripture on the inside of the ring and the activity/craft/game on the outside.

3. Tear one off each day beginning with February 1st!

Here are some ideas:

*Make a large heart shaped cookie, or small cookies with icing.

*See who can make the biggest stack of conversation heart candies in 1 minute

* Make a Valentine’s for family members

* Hide the heart.  Use a cut out heart and hide it around the house, give the kids clues to find it.

* Craft: conversation heart wreath.  Cut out pink, purple, red and white hearts.  Have the kids write Love Bug, XOXO, and other love phrases on the hearts.  Glue onto a cardboard circle.

* Treasure Hunt: Roll up small items in crate paper, like a pack of gum, stickers, etc.  Let your child unroll the crate paper ball to find the treasure.

* Go to the library and check out Valentine’s Day books

Have fun spending time with the little one’s you love!

Valentine’s Day

We celebrated Valentine’s Day today!  It truly was a great day.  Once you have kids, Valentine’s Day becomes somewhat about them too, since I deeply love my children.  We woke up this morning and made waffles and sausage, which was a special breakfast, and even more, since the kids has whipped cream and fruit as topping instead of the regular syrup.

I wanted to start the day off in a fun way so next we did a couple of games.  The first game was one I found on-line.  Bascially I got seven small presents from around our house and wrapped them up in crate paper, until it was one big ball of crate paper.  I told the kids to unwrap the ball and see what they could find.  So much fun!  Isaiah and Ayla were so excited about each item they found, and before I knew it, our house was covered with crate paper.  When we cleaned that up we played a scavenger hunt where the kids had to find ten hearts I hid around the house for them.  Each heart had a “coupon” written on it.  They collected them and can turn in the hearts for whatever the coupon says.  They had fun hunting around the house for them, and then finding out what was written on it.

We also made cut out cookies for the kids Sunday School teachers.  Ayla helped me roll and cut them out, but I think decorating them was the favorite, aside from eating the cookies of course.  The used a variety of items to decorate, it was a huge mess, but a lot of fun too.   We made scented Valentine’s cards for their Sunday School teachers as well.  We made a heart out of glue on the paper and then the kids dumped (not sprinkled, dumped) a cherry packet of jello on top of the glue.  Very quick and easy.

I got to be in charge of games for Isaiah’s preschool party, so a couple other ideas would be to use the conversation hearts, jumbo ones work better, and see who can build the tallest tower.  I also played hot potato with the kids by passing around a big box wrapped in Valentines paper and when the music stopped they got to open the box.  When they opened it they found a smaller box, wrapped as well.  There were about eight boxes so we got to play many rounds of hot potato, and at the end, one girl got a small sheet of stickers.

We told the kids they could pick one adventure to go on today, and they picked bowling!  So we are off in just a few minutes to do that as well, making lots of memories today.  After that my husband and I are off on our date!  Have a great Valentine’s Day and have fun celebrating your family.