I am a sucker for beauty. Therefore, these little guys are one of my favorite parts of February. Not to mention the cute little messages of love on each one, I mean…can you get a cuter candy? Valentines Day, you are my favorite holiday (although my husband calls me a holiday floozy because I say that about every single one).
I have been trying to think of a couple fun activities to play with these cute little hearts. I have learned to think of what your kid is already into, and then make the activity with that in mind. This way it will keep him or her captivated for longer than 5 minutes (hopefully).
I have also learned to sneak in numbers and letters (or whatever you are working on with your little) and sensory play into wherever you can.
That is how Valentines Day Toy Picnic was created.
First, choose some of your little one’s favorite toys and set them up like a little picnic.
I did Boston’s “superhero” toys and “bad guy” toys because that is his current obsession.
Also, please note the “bad guys” group includes two of the CUTEST little panda bears from the Little Critters creatures. I adore these toys, and envisioned Boston and I taking them on little train rides and teaching him about families with them. Alas, he always takes the cute little overalls and dresses off them and says “Ok mama, let’s put these big bad pandas in jail!!!” Sorry pandas, I have failed you. #momofboys
Second, hide your little conversational hearts in whatever sensory play item you have available (rice, dry noodles, snow dough, beans, etc.). I also hid some rainbow goldfish so that he could give “fish” to the bad guys, since I didn’t think he would like giving bad guys a treat for the picnic. He is very just when it comes to “bad guy” punishments.
My snow dough has marshmallows in it from a previous activity, and I left them in out of laziness. If you want a recipe for snow dough, you can find it at the bottom of this post.
I have been trying to teach Boston about counting, so I cut out little hearts and fishes with a number on each one and placed it on each little plate in front of each toy.
I counted the number of hearts in each color before I put them in the snow dough, so he would know how much of each color he needed to find.
Put a little digging tool in the sensory bin, and let the fun start. Boston thought it was pretty hilarious to give the bad guys “stinky fish.” He also ate about 60% of the hearts, which is really gross considering this snow dough is old and seen better days. We talked a lot about numbers (which made me feel good as a mom, and Boston just brought everything back to the stinky fish which made him feel good as a little boy).
Get out your cute little hearts, throw them in whatever you got, and set up a little tea party. Make sure to tag @adventuresofourplayfulhome on Instagram if you do because I would love to see your little toy picnics.
Snow or cloud dough: go to this great blog for the recipe http://happyhooligans.ca/cloud-dough
Remember for sensory fun, think like a messy child!! As you place your play set up out spend a moment thinking about clean up. Tessa has her sensory play in the kitchen where she can easily sweep up the inevitable mess. If you don’t have a hard floor somewhere through an old sheet out and place your sensory bin in the middle. When your fun is done just pick up the sheet and shake it outside.