Monday, January 20, 2014

Buttons & Hearts Valentine's Day Invitation

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Fall activities for kids

I'm so excited to be showing you the various Valentine's Day activities that I have been setting up for the boys to do, even though I'm not a huge Valentine's Day person.  The boys get so excited about holidays though, so I have decided to embrace Valentine's Day in all its red, pink, and heart-filled glory.  I've even partnered up with Blayne from House of Burke and Devany from Still Playing School for the Show Me the Love series.  That means, for five days, we will each post a new Valentine's Day activity or craft for you to try with your kids.

I've decided to start by showing you this simple and beautiful open-ended art project for kids.

A Valentine's Day invitation to play with buttons, hearts, and a picture frame from And Next Comes L


This activity is a simple invitation to play.  A picture frame, pink and red buttons, and transparent hearts.  The transparent hearts were dollar store Valentine's Day mobiles that I cut apart to originally use on the light table.

A Valentine's Day invitation to play with buttons, hearts, and a picture frame from And Next Comes L

Now, I have been asked before why I use the word invitation and what it means.  Invitations to play simply refer to open-ended explorations for children.  I personally love invitations to play because it allows the boys to be creative in their own ways with no expectations or particular agenda in mind.  I often end up surprised and amazed by what the boys choose to do with particular invitations.  I also often get to see how different my boys' personalities truly are.  This activity is the perfect example of how two children can take the same materials and use them in two entirely different directions.

The preschooler's approach...

J first placed one giant heart in the middle of the picture frame and then used the buttons to follow the picture frame.

Buttons and hearts Valentine's Day invitation to play from And Next Comes L

Next, J placed buttons around the outline of the heart.

Buttons and hearts Valentine's Day invitation to play from And Next Comes L

He then stacked some hearts and filled them with buttons.

Creating with buttons and hearts for Valentine's Day from And Next Comes L

Which lead to some beautiful creations.

Close up of a Valentine's Day invitation to play from And Next Comes L

Now for the toddler's approach...

When K woke up from his nap, which is a very rare moment in this house lately, he saw J's creations on the picture frame.  Since J was done with it, K was happy to explore it on his own terms, completely uninterrupted.  First, K needed to pick up the buttons.

Picking up buttons from And Next Comes L

And sometimes toddler arms aren't quite long enough, so it only makes sense to stretch out on the picture frame to pick up all those buttons.

Picking up buttons from And Next Comes L

After putting all the buttons back into their container, K dumped them out onto the picture frame.  What toddler doesn't enjoy dumping stuff out of containers?!

Dumping buttons from And Next Comes L

Then like a typical toddler, K got temporarily distracted by the empty container.  He just had to put it on his foot, which of course made him giggle like crazy.  

K playing with an empty container from And Next Comes L

The empty container quickly lost its appeal though.  However, K spotted the transparent hearts, which lead to him making heart sunglasses.

K and his heart sunglasses from And Next Comes L

K and his heart sunglasses from And Next Comes L

What a goof!  And won't these picture of K wearing heart sunglasses be a great addition to next year's photo calendar that we will make for the grandparents for Christmas?!

Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in today's edition of the Show Me the Love Valentine's Day series:


Show Me The Love: Valentine's Crafts and Activities for Kids at And Next Comes L

A Valentine's Day invitation to play with buttons, hearts, and a picture frame from And Next Comes L
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Fall activities for kids

8 comments:

  1. Oh, this is so appealing even to me as an adult! I love what each boy chose to do, too! And what a brilliant idea to cut apart the heart mobile for play!

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    1. It is beautiful, right?! It would probably make a great art project on a canvas too.

      And yeah, dollar stores are a gold mine for loose parts play. I will cut anything apart if needed!!

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  2. This activity looks like fun - those transparent hearts are great!

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    Replies
    1. We have been having all sorts of fun with the transparent hearts!

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  3. This is so sweet, Dyan! I was planning on doing Valentine's cards with buttons, but I hadn't thought to make it an actual activity!

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    Replies
    1. Well, when a two year old is constantly playing with the buttons in my craft desk, I just had to do some kind of activity. Even if it's to keep him from rummaging around my desk! ;)

      Thanks for your comment, Jackie!

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  4. I love this invitation to play, and the way that both boys explored it differently! The transparent heart glasses were pretty much my favorite part. Pure awesomeness! :)

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    Replies
    1. Right?! Heart sunglasses are totally awesome!

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