We don’t really ‘do’ Valentines Day, especially since we have had the kids. I don’t really understand why anybody needs one particular day each year to show how much you love someone – what about the other 364 days? However, it is an excuse to make some really lovely things, so this week we are having a ‘love week’. Harrison has just started to understand love and tells us, Alex, his nanny and grandad, and Bobby (the cat!) that he loves us. We have a little joke where we argue who loves who more, a bit like in the ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ books:
Mummy: I love you Harrison
Harrison: I love you more
Mummy: No I love you more
Harrison: no I love you more
Mummy: I love you to the moon
Harrison: (looks blankly at me) I want fresh milk please
On the wall in our dining room/playroom I have written each letter of their names in hearts, a bit like we did for our Hungry Caterpillar week. It’s on the wall directly opposite where they both sit at the table so they see it all the time, and Harrison loves pointing out the letters he recognises.
Anyway, today we did some little hear decorations which in love because Harrison had a go at ‘sewing’.
I cut out a heart shape from some fairly thick cardboard (toy packaging is great stuff, and a way of recycling!) and used a thick needle to poke hearts all the way round.
The kids had great fun painting them red. Harrison painted his beautifully and took lots of care over making sure there was no cardboard showing through, before knocking the pot of water all over it!! Alex, who is fifteen months old, used a foam paintbrush to dab paint on.
Once the paint had dried we started to ‘sew’ around the edges. We used a fairly large needle (don’t ask what type, I have no idea!) that wasn’t too sharp – although I obviously supervised very closely. We threaded some red wool through the eye and I tied a knot in it. I poked the needle through the first hole and knotted the wool at the back and then demonstrated to Harrison what he needed to do, which he picked up really quickly. I knew he had pretty good fine motor skills but it surprised me just how quickly and well he did it! I know now to make up some more complicated lacing boards, which he could use needle and thread to complete, and adapt it by making holes closer or smaller. It could also be made simpler, by making bigger holes with a hole puncher and using shoe laces. It’s a brilliant activity for fine motor skills development and hand/eye coordination, as well as teaching a really valuable life skill.
Once he had finished the sewing, we got on with decorating it. I had made up a box with ‘love’ themed embellishments in to use this week, rather than digging it out our rather overfilled craft cupboard each time! In the box I’d put (all red, pink and white!) glitter, pompoms, feathers, sequins, buttons, foam shapes, felt, tissue paper, crepe paper, cellophane, pipe cleaners and paper. I wanted them to choose whatever materials they wanted to decorate their hearts. Because Harrison’s painted heart was ruined by the water, he decorated the cardboard one he sewed, and Alex decorated a paper heart. This is how they turned out!