Valentine 

Valentine's day

    Button is a big romantic. We have had a few weddings where she has been a bridesmaid plus all the disney films she watches. She loves the idea of love and romance. The last few years, we have let her celebrate Valentine's with her first love, her Daddy. This year was the best by far. She went all out picking and planning a three course dinner; She went to the poundshop to choose decorations for the table; She planned her evening of dinner and dancing; She even bought him a plastic rose for him to hold in his teeth while they danced. Daddy dressed up for her and bought her roses, a card and some chocolate roses. Button loved every second of her evening with Daddy. 
  We hope these sort of experiences will help her when shes older and looking for a partner. We want to instil in her now, the importance of love and friendship. How a man should treat a women and how doing things for each other is important. We also want to use these opportunities to have one on one time with her. Since the twins have joined us we try as often as possible to spend one on one time with Button or even better just the three of us as well as the great times we have all five of us. This is important for her, to be able to express herself and get anything off her chest. Also, to have some time with us like it was before the twins came so she does not feel cheated. It was a lovely evening and she deserved the time  Daddy gave her. It was magical for Daddy as well although a little scary at how grown up Button was.

Sight word game 

For this you will need pink plates. If u cant get pink plates, like me, then I painted mine the night before.

You will need:

Pink paper plates or plates and pink paint,
Straws,
Pink red and purple card (or any colours you like),
A glue gun,
A pen,
Scissors,
Sellotape,

Step one. 
1. If you need to, paint the plates
2. Cut out love hearts and the flights for the arrows, each arrow needs 2 of each.
3. Sellotape three straws together to give them strength
4. Now hot glue gun the hearts to one end so they sandwich the straws and the flights to the other end, again sandwiching the straws. 
5. Cut a few slits into the sides of the fights. Thats your arrows made.
6. Now you can just write your words on to the plates but we had more words than plates so i cut out more hearts and wrote the words on to the both sides of the hearts.

To play
Lay the plates on the floor with a love heart word on each plate. 
Take it in turns to throw the arrows and when it lands on a plate shout out the word that its landed on. 
Change the word each time they get it right, till all the words run out.

Button loved this game, she loved throwing the arrows and shouting out the word, she made us take turns but shouted out the words I landed on as well as her own. She couldnt wait to change the words over and read all 28 words. I was really proud of her for really getting into the spirit of this game and really taking ownership of how we played and changing the words. She didnt want to stop playing and we will definitely play this one again. 
  This is a great fun way to reinforce the sight words that they know and to introduce new ones. We introduced one new one, I  told her it once and when she landed on it she remembered it.

Love potion

This was a great sensory/messy play which you can adapt to many themes. 

You will need:
Water,
Food colouring (pink or red),
Glitter,
Sequins,
Love hearts and diamonds,
Rose petals,
Different spoons, twisors, pipettes etc

Mix the food colouring and water, lay everything out and leave ur children to play and experiment. 

Button loved this activity, she sat there for over an hour making up spells and stories. Sometimes getting me to pretend to drink it, other times making me use it like perfume. Everytime I had to fall in love with her after using it. It was great to watch her concentrating on what she was doing: using the tweezers to try and pick bits up; using the syringe and the pipette. So really working on her fine motor skills as well as her gross motor skills. The only reason we stopped in the end was because she accidentally spilt it, luckily it was on the tuff tray.

Paper towel painting placemats

This was a fun art activity and helped with Button's fine motor skills and her hand eye coordination. We had done this last Valentine's but needed more so I thought we could re visit it. Ayla loves playing with her pipettes so wasnt hard to persuade her. 

You will need:
Paper towels,
Watered down acrylic paint,
Pipettes,
Glitter (optional),
Laminator and pouches 

Method 
1. Cut your paper towel into the desired shape. (We did love hearts) 
2. Water down your paints and give each one a pipette. 
3. Let your child create beautiful art
4. Before they dry add glitter
5. Once dry laminate them

Button loved this activity as she loves new ways to paint and be creative. She also loves her pipettes so she was happy to just keep making them. As we were  doing Valentine's and love we went for pinks and reds with some blue and purple in then for Daddy. She noticed how it would spread as it dripped onto the paper towel and I was explaining that paper towels are used to soak up water so the water travels up the paper towel. As she found this interesting I am going to come back to it at a later date and try and explain it in more detail.

Bingo

We played bingo to help Button with her bigger numbers. She's finally cracked what each number is called, we now building her confidence in saying them. Any bingo will do but we found a Valentine one with love hearts to cover your numbers. 


Button enjoyed this game and won. Its one we can keep playing to build her confidence. She loves numbers and maths so this was a great game for her. We found a bingo caller app on the tablet so we could all play, if you do this, make sure its on a slow setting to give the children time to find their number.

Frozen fizzing hearts 

This is another way of using vineger and baking soda to see the reaction. It wasnt as dramatic as I thought it would be but Button still loved it. 

You will need:
Moulds,
Water,
Vinegar,
Baking soda,
Food colouring (optional),
Love heart sprinkles (optional),
A tub

1. Pour half water and half vinegar and a few drops of food colouring in to the mould add sprinkles and freeze. We added red for Valentine's. Annoyingly I couldn't get hold of love heart moulds but she was happy with the colour and some love heart sprinkles. 
2. Mix baking soda with water into a tray. 
3. When ready to play add the moulds to the solution and watch the reaction. I gave Button more baking soda and water and left her to discover what would happen. 

Button loves any type of water play and she loved the fact she could add extra stuff to find out what would happen. She said she was a scientist making a potion. I gave her spoons as well and watched as she added baking soda to the top of her mould then water. The reaction was disappointing to me but I gave Button some extra vinegar to finish it all off and then it really fizzed, so I think I didnt add enough when freezing. It was interesting to see the difference between the frozen and just adding vinegar and baking soda. Freezing the vinegar definitely produced a different reaction.

Poetry

I told Button the poem
Rose's are red,
Violets are blue.
Sugar is sweet,
And so are you.

I wanted her to write her own for Daddy in his card, so we broke it down. I said we need to keep blue and you in those places to make it rhyme. I explained an easy way to do it is to think of something red you like, something blue, something else and then a good describing word. She has to think of a good describing word for God in her prayers each night, so I got her to name some and we wrote them down. Then we mucked about making a few poems before picking her favourite. She loved this activity because she loves poems and rhymes. So it was a lot of fun to see her making up her own that 1. Made sense and 2. Actually rhymed. 

Her favourite which we couldn't use was Christmas  based:

Baubles are red,
Snowflakes are blue.
Presents are fun,
Just like you.

Rock candies

This is a fun experiment to do with slightly older children. Younger ones can watch. 

You will need:
3 cups of sugar,
1 cup of water,
Food colouring (optional),
Jars (2 per rock),
A pencil,
Pipe cleaners (2 per rock),
A saucepan.

1. Pour your sugar and water into the saucepan and put it on the heat.
2. Stir until all is dissolved. 
3. Take off the heat and add the food colour.
4. Let it cool. While cooling shape one of your pipe cleaners. As it is Valentine's we did a love heart shape. 
5. Attach it to the other pipe cleaner and the other end to the pencil. 
6. Place the pencil across the top of the jar to hang your pipe cleaner and adjust the pipe cleaner to get the desired length. The shaped pipe cleaner must not touch the bottom or sides of the jar.  
7. Remove the pencil and pour in the sugar solutions then add the pencil back so the whole pipe cleaner is submerged. 
8. Leave for 5 to 7 days swapping between the two jars every few days. 

Button loved this science activity. She was able to dissolve the sugar herself, add the food colouring and stirred. I shaped the pipe cleaners and did the pouring. If we were using one colour I could have used a funnel and let her pour but she wanted a red for her and a blue for Daddy and I did not want mix colours. She will serve them on Valentine's day as part of the dessert. So come Valentine's day we dried them by hanging them in an empty jar before placing them on the plate. We did not get as many crystals as we had hoped but Button loved them anyway.

Peacock card

This was a lovely way to explain about sending cards on Valentine's and about secret admirers. 

You will need:
A sheet of white card,
Pink, blue and purple paper,
Glue,
Googly eyes.

Step 1. Prepare your paper: you will need a circle, a handful of different size and colour love hearts and a body. For the body cut some paper into the shape of a bowling pin.

Step 2. Get your child to glue the hearts onto the circle, that will be the peacocks tail.

Step 3. Glue the body on to the tail and then the eyes onto the body.  

Step 4. Glue the peacock onto the card and write inside. 

Button started off negative but soon realised how easy it was and soon got into spacing the different colour hearts out. She got excited about talking about secret admirers and cant wait to give it to Daddy on Valentine's day. She came away saying it was fun to do. We also spoke about how other countries celebrate Valentine's and decided that with her card we would do it the scandinavia way. The men send cards to their admirers and sign it with a dot for each letter of their name. If they guess correctly who sent it then the man buys the lady an egg at Easter, if they guess incorrectly the women buys the man one. So she will sign her card with the dots and hope that Daddy guesses incorrectly.

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