Category Archives: Valentines Day

Gifts That Your Son Will Absolutely Love

As moms, we spend a lot of our lives picking out gifts for our kids. Christmas is barely over by the time you have to start thinking about and saving for birthday gifts! Here are some tips to help you out for ideas…

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Go For Creative Play

As mothers of sons, we spend a lot of our lives thinking about how best to help our sons to grow up into the sort of men that we want them to be – and luckily for us, we are their biggest influences and the people who can mould them into who we want them to be. Obviously, every boy and young man is different – but as mothers it’s our responsibility to show them what being a man really is. And a huge part of that is forgetting about traditional masculinity, about guns and competition and violence – and showing them how important it is to be creative and sensitive too. Not only will you be creating fine young men but you’ll also be forming great husbands and fathers one day. Go for gifts that will help with creativity, from art supplies to dressing up clothes and other items that can encourage imaginative play, from bobbleheads to dolls to stuffed animals. Toys that can teach your son gentleness and creativity will produce traits that will be important for the rest of his life.

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What About Experiences?

Of course it’s great to be able to open some gifts on the morning of your birthday – but as a rule, people remember experiences more than they remember objects. Even if your son is young, he’ll be forming memories every day of his life. Think back to when you were a toddler – your memories are probably hazy but they’re still there! You don’t have to take him to Disneyland to have an incredible time – building his own Build A Bear will be something he’ll remember and treasure forever, and going to see the dinosaur exhibit at your local museum is something that’s bound to produce absolutely rapturous delight. Making precious memories for both of you is one of the most important parts of being a parent.

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Sometimes It’s Okay To Be Part Of The In Crowd

We seem to spend half our lives wanting to wean our kids off the TV, off the common path, away from anything that makes them cool and part of the in crowd – but honestly, it’s absolutely okay to pander to that once in a while. If your kid loves animated movies then that’s great – get him some Toy Story or Zootopia toys to play with. If he can’t tear himself away from Paw Patrol then why not get him a stuffed animal version of his favourite character? It’s easy to be snobby about these things but having the same toys as some of his friends isn’t a bad thing – they’ll have things in common on playdates and topics of conversation – in as far as little kids have conversations! – at school. Plus, can you imagine the smile on your kid’s face when he unwraps his Chase doll? Absolutely priceless.

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NAME-STAMP BLOCK Tutorial #FamilyFunMag

Another fun Winter- time craft, make your own NAME-STAMP BLOCK!  Idea courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine!

Great for new spellers—or anyone who likes to make her mark!

stamp-block

What you’ll need
Paper
Craft foam
Craft glue
2-inch wooden block(s)
Stamp pad & notebooks (optional)

Instructions

  1. Write your recipient’s name in 1¼-inch-high block letters on a piece of paper (you can also use a stencil or print out the letters in a font you like at 100 points). Cut out each letter. You can get six characters onto a block, so if she has a short name, fill in any blank spaces with a fun design like a heart or a star; if she has a long name, use two blocks.
  2. Trace two of each letter onto craft foam; cut out.
  3. Stack the letters and glue them together. Then glue each letter to a side of the block backwards. Repeat for all letters.
  4. If desired, package your blocks with a stamp pad and notebooks.

Fun Family Craft Acitivies For Rainy Days

It can be an extra struggle to keep your children from getting bored and restless when it’s pouring down outside. So, I hope that this post will bring a little sunshine into your lives when it’s miserable outside. Here are my favorite arts and crafts activities that are perfect for keeping the whole family entertained on rainy days.

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Occasion crafts
Occasion crafts are extra fun because they give the whole family a project to work on. I look through my diary to see if there are any birthdays coming up and if there are we all work together on making a handmade card for the birthday girl or boy. Even if there isn’t a family celebration in the immediate future, there is always some event going on around the globe that you can use to structure your craft day. Last time we had an arts and crafts day at home we made outer space-themed paintings to celebrate National Science Fiction Day. This is also a great activity for keeping the kids busy when you have your own things to get on with.

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Baking
Baking is an old favorite among many families and is effective way to keep everyone entertained on a rainy day. It gives the kids an opportunity to be creative, learn about different ingredients and the science of baking. There are many family-friendly recipes out there so have a good look online for inspiration. We love to make mini pizzas that we decorate like faces and cookies. If you’ve never experienced baking with kids before – do be prepared for the mess!

Toilet roll crafts
Okay, I know it sounds like a weird one, but my kids absolutely adore this activity! It’s incredible how many creative things you can make out of cardboard toilet roll tubes. If you don’t believe me; google it. We have made minions, pencil and pen holders, Christmas decorations and plant holders, to name just a few. All you need is a stash of toilet roll tubes and a good box of art supplies. We usually use paints, east of India ribbon, tissue paper, scissors, etc. They make excellent ornaments for the mantelpiece or gifts for family and friends.

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Handmade puppet show

One of my children suggested creating handmade puppets and putting on a puppet show one rainy day. It ended up being such a laugh for the whole family that it has now become a recurring activity (even on sunny days). It doesn’t take a lot of effort or materials to make the puppets. We used a couple of gloves that were passed it and painted them with funny faces. You could also use cut up old material and secure it around your wrist using an elastic band or scrunchie. The real creativity comes in creating and acting out the personality of your puppet. A lot of improvisation is involved, but that’s what makes it so entertaining.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share some of your family’s favorite rainy day activities.

The Minion Valentine’s Day Box

I am LOVING that Colton can tell me what he wants and can help out with making things now.  We had been discussing the Valentine’s Day Box thing and first he said he wanted a Rescue Bot, but after seeing his cousin’s Minion Valentine’s Day Box he decided he wanted a minion.  Well I was fine with that because it really did look easy to make.

Well…. after we looked at some photos of several other Minion crafts Colton picked out what he liked about each of them and we kind of went with the flow to see how it came out.  I am actually really happy with it and he is super excited and can’t wait for his friends to all see!

Minion-Valentines-Day-Box

Now– I did not take step by step photos (Ya… I know) But I tried to remember to take photos a long the way.  If you want to recreate this and have questions, PLEASE comment, I will get back to you and try to explain it :-)

So to the best of my ability and with what photos I took along the way.  Here is how you can make your own Minion Valentines Day Box.

Step 1.  I started off with a small box.  The box was tall and skinny, to represent the shape of the Minion.

Step 2: Find an old pair of overalls.  I lucked out because I had a pair that Colton recently outgrew that were stained so I couldn’t donate them.  The first thing I did was make sure the Overalls would go well with the Box.  The first box I selected was actually too big for the overalls to even fit around, so make sure you check this first.

Step 3:  Cut a large square in the box right around the middle.  Since I wasn’t sure exactly where the mouth would fall, I took out about 6 inches just to be safe.  It is MUCH easier to cut the hole before you have the poster board on the box.

Step 4.  Take yellow poster board and measure the length of your box.  Draw a line across the poster board to mark this area.  On the opposite side of the line cut down the poster board in lines, leaving about 2 inches between each line.  (This will help you create the round head).

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Step 5: Tape or Glue the Poster board to your box.  Just wrap it around, leaving the strips at the top attached.

Step 6:  Make your rounded Head.  Pull the strips together and staple when you get the shape you are wanting.  I did mine in 3 groups, trimmed the excess on the very top and then glued the three groups together with just a dot from the hot glue gun between each group.

Step 7: THE EYES.  I made the eyes with Paper Drink Cups.  I cut the tops off, leaving about 1-1.5 inches left of the cup.  Then sliced the cup down the side to get rid of the flair, and wrapped paper around them.  When I wrapped the paper I left a little extra, I used the extra on the ends to tuck under so I could easily hot glue the eyes on the head.  Minion Dave has brown eyes, so we cut brown and then a smaller black circle and glued these onto the white part of the cup.  Viola!  Minion Eyes!

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Step 8:  The band around the glasses.  I did not have thin enough black ribbon or anything I could use.  So I took thick, 2 inch Black with White dots ribbon (But is just black on the back side) and folded it over to make the band.  Add a little hot glue to keep it folded over and then more to attach it to the box and it worked out perfectly for us.

Step 9: Attach your overalls.  This is going to be the tricky part because every box and every set of overalls is different.  What I did was wrapped the overalls around the box to see how they fit and where I could fold to make them fit better. Lots of cutting and hot gluing to get It in place, but I don’t think I could have asked for a better fit.

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Step 10: The Legs.  When you attach your overalls you will most likely be cutting off the shorts or pants part of them.  I Used this excess denim to create legs for our minion.  Take a Paper Towel roll and cut it in half, or use two TP rolls.  Leave a little extra at the top because you will want to snip this extra so you can easily attach them to the base.  Measure and wrap your denim around the rolls.  Use Hot Glue to hold in place… and You’ve got legs!

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Step 11:  Now that you know where your mouth will be.  Cut a hole for the mouth in the poster board.  There are many different mouth shapes.  We went with a round one.

Step 12: Attach Teeth.  I used Foam Sheets to cut the teeth out and just glued them with hot glue to the inside of the box.

Step 13:  Shoes!  Your minion will have a hard time standing if you don’t put shoes on him.  Ideally we would have magically had Black boots or shoes laying around, but we didn’t.  We went on a hunt for what might work and found a pair of Build A Bear shoes.  Not the best fit for the box… but it works!

Step 14: Hair.  There are many different options of hair for the Minions.  Colton wanted hair that lays down.  I simply took black yarn and glued it down on the Minion’s Head.  If you want hair that stands up, you’ll want to use a pipe cleaner or dip the yarn in glue so when it dries it is hard and you can shape it to stand up.

Step 15:  Arms.  You really can use just about anything for the arms.  I had foam sheets.  I took these, rolled them and glued them for arms.  I sliced a 1/2 inch in the top of the arm and spread the excess created by the slice to attach the arm and point it where I wanted.  For the hands I traced and cut 4 of a 3 fingered hand that I drew onto a black foam sheet.  Put two hands on each arm and glued them together with hot glue.

When you are all finished you will have a Cute and UNIQUE Minion Valentine’s Day Box :-)
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Printable Bowling Valentines

Valentines Examples

Last Year Colton was all into Bowling. When I asked him what kind of Valentine’s Day Box he wanted, he said, “A Bowling Pin”.  And when I asked his what kind of Valentine’s he wanted he said, “Bowling Valentines”.  As I am sure you know- these are not valentines that you can buy in the store.  So I decided to get crafty and create him one-of-a-kind bowling Valentines.  For his Valentines I had his name printed on them and his picture on the back, but for this printable I removed Colton’s name and put a line so your child can sign it.

Click Here to Print your very own Printable Bowling Valentines (PDF)

Printable Bowling Valentines

Circle of Love Wreath #ValentinesDay

Circle of Love

This easy and inexpensive Heart Wreath is the perfect addition to any Valentine’s Day décor.

Description: Pretty paper and glue dots are all you need to make a heartwarming wreath to hang anywhere that needs a little love.

Materials:
Double-sided scrapbook paper
Scissors
Glue
Ribbon

 

Directions:
1. Cut a sheet of double-sided scrapbook paper (ours is a 12 inch square) into 1-inch-wide strips.
2. Make five hearts as follows:

a. fold a paper strip in half, sandwiching two glue dots about an inch down from the fold to create the top of the heart.
b. Bend the loose ends away from the center and use two more dots to join them at the point.
c. Next, make the two hearts that anchor the hanging ribbon.
d. Sandwich one end of a 12-inch-long ribbon in the center fold of one heart, then form the heart’s point.
e. Secure the other end of the ribbon in a second heart.

3. Use glue dots to adhere the sides of the seven hearts in a circle, as shown.

Special thanks for Family Fun Magazine for sharing this idea and images with me.

M&Ms Tic-Tac-Toe Game Valentine

M&Ms Game Valentine

Check this cute idea for a Tic-Tac-Toe Valentine using M&Ms for X’s and O’s.  (You can also use buttons or stickers for a sugar free version of this game)

Materials:
M&M’s
Card stock
Markers
Scissors
Clear treat bags
Tape

Directions:
1. Trim card stock into a 4- by 6-inch rectangle.
2. Use a marker to draw a tic-tac-toe board in the center and add a message at the top, such as “U R A winner” or “I’m game to be your friend!”
3. Slide the card into a 4- by 9-inch clear treat bag (available at craft stores).
4. Add several M&M’s, providing an equal number of two colors.
5. Fold the top of the bag behind the card and seal it with tape.

Special thanks for Family Fun Magazine for sharing this idea and images with me.

Sweet Mice Valentines #ValentinesDay

Valentines Day Sweet Mice

Description:
Made of two Hershey’s Kisses and a heart-shaped set of ears, these tiny critters are almost too cute to eat.

Materials:
Ear and foot template (from familyfunmag.com)
Card stock paper
Hershey’s kisses
Tacky glue
Gray yarn
Googly eyes
Markers

Directions:
1. Print the ear and foot templates on cardstock and cut out the shapes.
2. Remove the paper flags from two Hershey’s Kisses.
3. Fold the feet where shown on the template, then use tacky glue to sandwhich the feet and ears between the Kisses.
4. Glue a 4-inch length of gray yarn to the underside of the back kiss.
5. Add googly eyes.
6. Attach the mouse a cheese-shaped piece of card stock with a glue dot
7. Write a note.

Suggested messages: Mice to Know You! You’re Really Mice!

Special Thanks to Family Fun Magazine for sharing this Valentine’s Day Craft with me!

 

Valentines Day Chocolate Frogs

Looking for a Cute Treat to make for an upcoming Valentine’s Day Celebration?  My friend posted this idea to Facebook and I decided to give it try.  Here is a Basic How To Make these Yummy Valentine’s Day Chocolate Frogs.  Also, if you are hosting a #DisneySide Party with a “Princess and the Frog” theme this definitely fits well with that.

Valentine's Day Frogs

What you will need:
Mini Pretzels
Double Stuffed Oreos
Wilton Green Chocolate (or White Chocolate with some green food coloring)
Candy Eyes (Wilton makes them and you can find them at Walmart)
Red Candy for the tongue (I tried a variety, the best I found were licorice or sour patch kids)
Wax Paper
Crisco (optional)

Chocolate Covered Frogs

Step 1: Melt the chocolate and if you used white add the food coloring.  I was lucky to find one pack of green Wilton Candy Melts at Walmart.  I had to use white and food dye for half since I ran out.  I like the color of the Wilton Candy Melts- they were a more fun green than when I added the food dye.

Optional- If your chocolate is not thin enough to dip in, add some Crisco!  I did not do this with mine and I am slightly disappointed in the way mine turned out.  But if the chocolate were a tad thinner, I would have LOVED them :-)

Step 2: Dip one pretzel in the chocolate and set on wax paper.  Chocolate Covered Frog 1Step 3: Dip another pretzel in chocolate and set on wax paper next to the first one.  Make sure they are touching.  These will be your frog’s feet.
Chocolate Covered FrogsStep 4: Dip your Oreo in chocolate and put on top of the pretzels.
Valentines Day FrogsStep 5: Add your Tongue.  This can be any red or pink candy.  I used Sour Patch Kids because I had a few.  I also used Twizzlers, those worked well.  I cut a point to make it look like a tongue and stuck it in the chocolate.  You may need to hold it in place for a few seconds :-)
Valentine's Day FrogsStep 6: Add the eyes.  There are a variety of eyes.  I went with basic.
Valentine's Day FrogsThey would have turned out a bit better if I thinned out the chocolate more FOR SURE.  (Learn from my mistakes!)  But I do think they turned out cute.  You can put them in little baggies and make baggie toppers like these:
Frog Bag Tags