Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love Birds (Valentine Party)

Quite honestly Valentine’s is not my favorite holiday – all of the pink, chocolates and warm fuzzy words just isn’t for me. So when I was trying to think of what we would do for our February Preschool Playgroup I was a bit stumped until my mom was chatting with me about making heart bird feeders. I then knew that “Love Birds” would be the theme and got quite excited! If you read Gail Gibbons Book Valentine’s Day Is, you will see that some people believe that birds choose their mate this time of year so I thought it was a quite fitting theme for Valentine’s!
*You may want to have the kids start their Birdie Valentine when they arrive so the stamped hearts can dry and they can have time to decorate the rest of their bird.
Check out the ideas for a

Love Birds (Valentine) Event for
Sprouts and Seedlings (toddler/preschool and elementary age)...

Valentine Circle Time
Our Speech Therapist mom, Jen led circle time and always has great ideas!

The Stuff
The FUN!
Heart stickers
Hearts in several sizes and shapes
Valentine’s Day Is.. by Gail Gibbons
1. Jen started off with having the kids separate the sounds of some Valentiney words (l-o-ve, h-u-g, k-i-ss, V-a-l-e-n-t-i-ne) and then blend them into words.

2. Jen had stickers all over her body and asked the kids to name the body part (ankle, forehead, etc) that the stickers was on. If they named it, they got the sticker.

3. Then the kids looked at hearts in various sizes and colors. They compared them by saying what was similar and different.

4. With more hearts getting gradually bigger the kids said that heart is big, bigger, biggest and then small, smaller, smallest. 

5. One of my favorite things Jen did with the kids was discuss the word "compliment". She then had the kiddos give each other compliment - they were a little shaky with this but got better with practice. When they gave a compliment she gave them a bird sticker (to go with the love bird theme). 

6. To finish off circle time and introduce the crafts and snack I read the book Valentine’s Day by Gail Gibbons. I like the book because it discusses the history of Valentine’s and some fun ways to celebrate!

Birdie Valentine
If you don’t want to use paint you can cut out hearts instead of doing heart prints. 
The Stuff
The FUN!
Sponges (cut into hearts – easiest to cut if sponge is damp)
Paint (we had pink, purple and red)
Paint brushes
Paper folded in half or blank cards
Markers (or crayons)
Googly eyes
1. Use paint brushes to paint heart sponges.
2. Stamp heart (see pic) to make bird body and head. Let dry.

3. Cut pieces of paper and glue down for nest. Glue googly eyes down. Color beak (and legs if you want). The beak really turns it into a bird - it kind of looks like a fish until the beak!

Write a message on the inside and give to someone that is loved!

Heart Bird Feeders
I have seen various different versions of this idea but think this is the easiest to do with younger kids.
The Stuff
The FUN!
Bread slice
Heart cookie cutter
Peanut butter
Butter knife
Bird seed
Chop stick or straw
String (we used hemp)
1. Use heart cookie cutter to cut a heart out of a slice of bread.

2. Spread peanut butter on one side of heart.

3. Dip peanut butter side in bird seed.

4. Repeat on other side if you want.

5. Poke hole with chop stick or straw.

6. Put string through hole to hang. Tie knot.

Find a branch outside to hang for the birds to find!

Strawberry Heart Shortcake SNACKYou can't tell from the pic but the shortcake is cut into hearts and their is one little birdie shortcake to the right - can you see it? :)
The Stuff
The FUN!
Shortcake recipe (I used the Bisquick one)
Heart cookie cutter (we also had a tiny bird cookie cutter)
Whip cream
1. Make a batch of shortcake cut into hearts (and birds if you have a cookie cutter)

2. Add strawberries and whip cream!

Yum! I was also going to make berry smoothies but I forgot. Kids were still happy!

More ideas…

Please BRAINSTORM your ideas/suggestions in the COMMENTS below for the Love Birds (Valentine) Event!
Happy Crafting
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