If you are looking for some crafty / baking type inspiration for half-term then here are 5 simple Valentine’s themed ideas suitable for kids of all ages.
1. SALT DOUGH HEART DECORATIONS
This was the first time we’ve used salt dough – it was very simple to make and its soft texture made it easy for the kids to roll out and cut shapes out of. We used red gel food dye to make salt dough balls of slightly different shades of pink and mixed them up to to get a marble effect.
The only hard part was Imogen being convinced that they were biscuits, despite being told 5674 times that they were not to eat. Even now they’ve been varnished I still find her trying to nibble on one occasionally! We’ve hung them on the sticks that we keep in a jar in the kitchen and Seren took some to hang in her room too.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 1 cup / 125g plain flour (very important to use plain!)
- 1 cup / 300g salt
- 1 cup / 240 ml warm water
- Food colouring (we used gel colour)
- Glaze / varnish to finish (optional)
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutters
- String / twine / ribbon to hang
- Non-stick baking tray
- Drinking straw or skewer
WHAT TO DO:
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees C
- Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl
- Add a couple of drops of food colouring to the warm water then gradually add the water to the flour / salt mixture stirring it all in
- It should now be a dough consistency but if it’s too sticky then add more flour or if it’s too dry then add more water
- Roll out the dough until it’s around 1cm thick and cut out your shapes
- Place the shapes carefully onto your baking tray
- Make holes toward the top of the heart using a straw / skewer
- Bake for around 3 hours until fully hard
- Leave to cool then glaze or varnish if you want to
- Add string to hang
You can make plain coloured salt dough decorations and paint them before the varnish stage. Or older children could decorate the hearts with marker pens for a further activity!
2. FEED THE BIRDS
We quite often make seed cakes for the birds during winter but this time we made them into heart shapes. We did this for one of the ‘acts of kindness’ that Seren has recently completed for a Rainbows badge, so heart shapes felt appropriate! We melted suet (you can also use lard) and mixed in enough bird seed to form shapes with the mixture. We pressed it into heart shaped cookie cutters, made a hole for string at the top using a skewer and left them to cool. You could also use a cup cake tin or silicone moulds. Our cakes were soon devoured, I suspect in part by the squirrels though hopefully the birds got some!
3. VALENTINE’S COLLAGE
A craft from last year. I helped Imogen (then aged 20 months) to make a collage using paint and bits of scrunched up paper, pompoms and cut up straws. It was a slow process but she was really into it and she got lots of motor skill practice and we talked about colours and shapes as we did it. It’s the type of activity that Seren (aged 5) loves doing now, though she prefers to do her own thing and not follow any direction.
4. STAINED GLASS
Similar to above but make a collage using flat pieces of tissue paper and or coloured cellophane onto clear sticky-back plastic. Add glitter too if you like. Then cut the collage into heart shapes and stick to your windows using invisible glue dots or bright washi tape. We did this 2 years ago when Seren was 3.
5. BISCUIT MAKING
3 years ago Seren and I made Jammie Dodgers for Valentine’s Day. She was 2 and I was pregnant with Imogen and justing coming out of the awful sickness phase. It was really nice to do something together after a lot of fobbing her off with Peppa Pig so I could snooze. They were absolutely delicious too!
Enjoy Valentine’s Day and half-term whatever you get up to!
Linking to Thimble & Twig’s #LittleMakes