Nate and I decided we would make Valentine’s Day cards for the cousins this year. I wanted to keep them simple, mainly because my access to crafting supplies here in Germany is very limited. Nathan is also, at three years young, limited in his crafting abilities.
We began by listing out how many cards we would need and thought about what type of animal we wanted to make for each person. Nate decided on a frog, turtle and some lady bugs. This meant we needed green and red material for the bodies. Nate’s job was then to paint some art paper green and red.
Once the artwork was dry, I then sketched and cut out the parts we needed for the bodies. I end up using a light brown foam material for the turtle shells, which I think made them look all the better. The added texture was just what the little guy needed to come to life.
A bit of glue, a few wiggly eyes, several glittery heart stickers and our Valentine’s Day cards were complete. These cute little cards were really fun to make and to give. If you would like to give them a try, here are some templates I made with all the info you need to implement. Enjoy!
Hoppy Valentine’s Day Card
Turtle-y Awesome Valentine’s Day Card
Love Bugs Valentine;s Day Card
Now that Nathan is three years old, he loves the idea of getting mail. So, in preparation of Valentine’s Day, we had to create a Valentine’s Day mailbox.
When I started to gather supplies for this mailbox, I was surprised that I didn’t have any boxes on hand. I can’t stand clutter, but I do hoard items (such as boxes and other reusable cardboard items) for use in crafting with my boy. I did end up finding the perfect container for our mailbox–a Quaker Oats cylinder.
Here is what you need to create this easy-to-make, DIY Valentine’s Day Mailbox for Kids:
1 empty container Quaker Oats
1 large sheet of drawing paper or construction paper (large enough to cover outside)
glue or transparent tape
decorating supplies–we used foam letter stickers, glitter pens and stamps
1 piece red construction paper
1 brad (optional)
Cover outside of container with drawing/construction paper. Glue or tape in place. Cut off excess. Be sure to cover lid as well. Decorate outside of container. Fold lid in half and cut an opening large enough for an envelope to fit through (about 5-6 inches). To add a flag, cut a piece of red construction paper in the shape of an “L”. Tape, glue or use a brad to hold it in place on the side of the mailbox.
“Art takes nature as its model.” – Aristotle
Our fall would not have been complete without some leaf printing. A pile of leaves, a few paints, and a Saturday afternoon was all we needed for a relaxing, yet engaging fall craft. I could not have picked a better fall activity for me and my preschooler. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much Nathan enjoyed this activity. It was so much fun, we even got dad involved for a short period of time!
We first collected our leaves on a leaf hunt. Our inspiration came from the book We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger (you can view more activities to pair with this book on my sister site lessonplansource.com) Once home, I rolled out a long piece of butcher paper (I use that roll from IKEA) across our dining table. With a smock strapped to Nathan, paint and brushes prepped and wet paper towels handy, we spent the better part of an afternoon painting and printing leaves to create this really festive fall banner…
Nathan was so relaxed and focused throughout the printing process. I haven’t seen him work like that before. I loved watching him paint each leaf and notice little details about them (“this one has a bump” “this one has lines”). He is becoming such a big boy and yet quite the little artist.
As the fall season comes to an end, so does our need for fall crafts and activities. I came up with this simple fall activity as a way to solidify concepts about the season for my preschooler. All the details for implementation are on my sister site, Lesson Plan Source. Enjoy!
One of my favorite fall books for kids is We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger. I love the book for many reasons–its simplistic storyline about three friends enjoying nature together, the variety of leaves it introduces children to, and its use of prepositions (yeah, really). It is also a book that lends itself to a variety of activities, including an actual leaf hunt! So, after reading the story to my preschooler, that is exactly what we did.
A leaf hunt is a fun way to spend time outside enjoying the beauty of autumn. It also doesn’t have to be limited to just gathering leaves. On our first leaf hunt, Nate and I found a variety of items (some specific to the autumn season–acorns, chestnuts, pinecones) that we used for a fall sensory table.
The second leaf hunt yielded enough leaves for this Leaf Printing Craft. The banner turned out so beautifully, I couldn’t help but hang it.
Our final leaf hunt resulted in this Autumn Is…Fall Activity for Kids. Fun and decorative, this fall craft is a great way to bring what you have learned about the season to an enriching close.
To find more follow-up activities to the book We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger, visit my sister site lessonplansource.com. Happy hunting!