We LOVE collaborating with other moms and bloggers to bring you great ideas. This post was contributed by CT blogger, Lauren Fortsch of Simply Lauren. You can follow her on Instagram @laurenfortsch and make sure you check out her beautiful site www.simplylauren.com Thank you, Lauren!!
I love holiday traditions, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. I am so excited to share in special activities with James and our other babies year after year. I’ve compiled a list of 5 fun things to do with your toddler for this red and pink filled holiday that James and I will be doing as well! While there are a million other activities I would like to do with James, he is not old enough to understand or particularly enjoy doing (it would only be for my enjoyment ha!) so I opted out of including those below.
1. Bake A Yummy Treat.
Since I love baking and cooking, it’s fun for me to incorporate it into holidays. I’ve been making these super easy homemade pop tarts for a few years now but they’ll be extra yummy this year sharing with James.
Homemade Pop Tarts
1 box pie crust (I prefer Pillsbury) and softened as directed on box
1 small jar fruit preserves (strawberry or raspberry are our go to’s)
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 teaspoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Unroll both pie crusts. Cut each crust into four rectangles (I am doing heart-shaped pop tarts with a cookie cutter since it’s Valentine’s Day). Place 1 teaspoon of jam in the center of a rectangle or heart and top with another piece of crust. Crimp edges using a fork to seal. Combine dough scraps and roll them out. Repeat until all of the pie crust is used.
- Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until slightly brown.
- Allow the pop tarts to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile prepare glaze by adding milk to the sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Pour glaze over the pop tarts and sprinkle with decorating sugar. Make sure to sprinkle sugar right away, as it will not stick if you wait too long. Serve warm.
Leftover pop tarts can be stored in an airtight container. To serve warm, heat in the microwave, or flat in a toaster oven.
2. Create Homemade Valentines.
When I was in IKEA a few weekends ago, I found a large roll of plain white easel paper. We do not own an easel (no space in our Brooklyn apt!), but I thought it would be fun if I unrolled a large piece of paper to cover our floor and tape down the edges. That way, James had plenty of space to color and (fingers crossed) not make marks on the floor. I had him color with pink and red crayons and he had SO much fun. I then cut up the drawing into tiny squares, wrote Happy Valentine’s Day on the back, sealed them in an envelope, and off James’ first drawings and valentines went! Once James gets older, I plan to add stickers, other writing instruments, and materials in the mix, such as pom poms and glitter.
3. Go On A Lunch Date
There are so many family friendly restaurants in our neighborhood and it always makes for a fun activity to break up our day. We usually go out with another mom and baby pair so we each have a friend! We’re planning on doing lunch together on Valentine’s Day or an afternoon hot chocolate date, depending on the boy’s nap schedule!
4. Read Valentine’s Day Books.
There are not a whole lot to choose from but we did find some keepers that James loves to read, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not! Huggy Kissy by Leslie Patricelli is a really cute take on baby and family member interactions. Romeo & Juliet by Jennifer Adams is a beginner’s counting book incorporating scenes from the famous play.
5. Make Sensory Bottles
James loves playing with water bottles. The noise, the container: why have toys when you can shake a half-filled water bottle? This only requires your recycled water bottles and red and pink materials found around your home. From buttons to glitter to colored paper, you can combine all the goodies in one bottle or put in separate bottles. I plan to place the materials in three different bottles so James has more shaking to do!