The countdown is on! I only have one more week left at my current job, where I work with toddlers and preschoolers at an early childhood center. I have really enjoyed being with the kids there, but what I’ve loved most of all is that I have been able to bring my daughter, Clare, to work with me! She has absolutely loved it and has grown so much during her time there.
The highlight of this week has been doing lots of fun Valentine’s Day crafts with the kids. Some of my favorites have been the Heart Suncatcher, the Sparkly, Feathery Mask, and the Hand/Feet Love painting. They have all been a hit with the parents!
We made these using my all-time favorite craft supply for toddlers: Contact Paper! I feel like contact paper is an adhesive that is easy for young toddlers to understand because it is a one-step process rather than a two-step process, like glue sticks or white glue.
They are easy to make, but do take some preparation: 1) Cut out the heart shapes from construction paper, 2) Stick them on the contact paper, 3) Cut the contact paper around the heart, 4) Give them to your kiddos with tissue paper or other materials and let them go wild!
I finished them by sticking the back to contact paper and cutting out the whole shape and then adding a pipe cleaner for hanging.
Sparkly, Feathery Mask
The kids loved these! They played with them all afternoon and some of the girls even went to the dress-up cabinet to find gowns to match. These would be a fun craft for kids of all ages, not just toddlers.
To make: 1) Cut paper plates in half and cut out holes for the eyes. 2) Give the kids lots of collage-type materials and glue sticks and let them use their creativity! I put out feathers, jewels, and paper hearts. 3) Attach a craft stick to the back with glue or tape.
Hand/Feet Love Painting
These were definitely the most time consuming, (due to hand/foot washing), but also the most popular with parents. They are definitely frame-worthy and an adorable keepsake.
Some tips and tricks I figured out: 1) Do one child at a time! This is definitely not a group-friendly activity. 2) Keep a bucket of soapy water and a bunch of washcloths right nearby so that you can immediately wash the child’s painted foot.