Thursday, 12 February 2015

Leave a Valentine-Making Station

Ever since Ladybug Girl turned old enough to understand Valentines day, we've made cards.  Just cards.  You would think that with all the craze and craft ideas out there, I would cook up something fancy.  

Nope, I've stuck with cards.  Here's why.

Materials are cheap and plenty:  

paper, stickers and pens.  bam.

 It makes for great no-brainer floor time together after work:
Doing it together models the practice, and the value of thoughtfulness

And best of all - you've got an instant high-interest activity tray for leave-behind play!  If you didn't know this yet, I love a good activity that Ladybug Girl can have fun learning with while I'm at the office.  There's a whole gallery built on this here.

In our early years, I started leaving behind super-simple card-making prompts like this:

that started out as a blank card, pink and red pencils, and cool stickers

A year older, I began to leave a box for letter-making.  Which she later filled with her finished cards and marked for the occasion:

The "Val(entine's) Day Box" : so special, she wrote in real letters instead of her then-usual scribbles.

Growing collection inside the box.
You can tell she wasn't big on handwriting then, but she brought the box to school and handed valentines out to her classmates

This year, to encourage her to actually write words on the cards, our card-making station looks like this:
We had all these materials in her art shelf, just now repurposed for Valentines

The top reason I've stuck with card-making year after year?  I see how she's grown better at it.
First her handwriting:

But best of all, her thoughtfulness.
This year I'm amazed how she had personal insight into each person she chose.

Raj gets the minecraft card; Allie gets her favourite cookies all over hers; and so on.

Sometimes the simplest traditions are the best, don't you think?

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