To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s Day
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your windo
To be your Valentine.
William Shakespeare from Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5
Invitation to Play:
For this week’s invitation I made pink play dough and scented it with a lot of almond extract! I put out little tins of red pony beads a red plastic gems. I filled a basket with different sizes of heart shaped cookie cutters and four wooden rolling pins. There is always something about play dough sitting on a table that is irresistible to children. Squish, smoosh, pat and pound. There were a lot of heart cookies, heart pancakes and muffins served; sculptures created and serendipitous gem mandalas created.
Valentine Wands: I saw the idea for Magical Valentine Wands on a wonderful website called “Painted Paper Art” There are oodles of fantastic art projects for children on this site–always a good thing in my book! For our wands, I cut dowels into 16 inch lengths. I cut hearts and star shapes our of cardboard boxes ( although these are valentine wands, I knew that some of my children would not be super-thrilled with hearts!) I gave them the choice of painting their hearts or stars pink, purple or red. After the paint had dried it was time for glitter, plastic gems and sequins! I like to control the glue application by giving each child a small container of glue and some sturdy paintbrushes that I have designated as “glue brushes”. They painted their heart or star shapes with glue and then added the glitz and sparkle. True magic can only happen if there is an abundance of glitter everywhere!
Heart doily watercolor painting. You will find variations of this idea all around the web. I bought large and small white heart doilies for this project. I had the children arrange one large and two small doilies on a piece of watercolor paper. Then in their palettes I put squirts of purple and magenta liquid watercolor paint. The Littles painted all over the doilies. We let the doilies dry out a bit and then carefully peeled them off of the watercolor paper. They ended up with these vibrant, many-hued doilies and equally wonderful heart prints on the watercolor paper.
Valentine’s Day cards. I firmly believe that there is little sweeter than homemade Valentine’s Day cards. I cut heart shapes out of scrapbook paper and also set out various sized lace doilies; plastic gems; pink, white and red pompoms; cotton balls; snippets of red and pink yarn; butterfly die-cuts; and lots of glitter! I also placed Dot Paints and a variety of gel crayons out for the children to use. (Specifically Crayola Slick Stix, Sparkle Watercolor Gel Crayons, Rainy Dayz Gel Crayons and Prang Color Wands. We call these lipstick crayons!) They were so creative and so purposeful and deliberate in their designs. It was a delight to watch.
Play Silks and Indoor Imaginative Play:
Play silks are the quintessential Waldorf toy because of their versatility in open-ended play. They can become capes and blankets; rivers and meadows; doll slings and fairy wings. I use a silk as a cloth for our seasonal nature table. I made my silks by buying 35″x35″ silk Habatoi scarves from the Dharma trading company. I dyed them using packets of Kool-aid and following the instructions that I found on these, and other, websites: The City School ,Raising Olives, and Rachel Rabbit. I have found that over the years some of the silks have faded as I have washed them, but they are all still beautiful and a favorite toy.