love-filled crafts, treats and reads
monday dispatch no. 8
As February sheds its last chilly days, the allure of Valentine's Day lures us with its warmth and love. In a world where COVID still lingers, nurturing our relationships feels as vital as ever. Tomorrow promises a snow day in the Northeast, which for many of us means an impromptu indoor day with our little ones. But fret not, because I've got you covered with some last-minute ideas to turn your home into the ultimate Valentine's Day sanctuary!
Here are some lovely ideas to connect with your little ones through crafts, treats, and music.
First Things First
Check out my latest ambiance video—a storybook scene perfect for creating a magical and soothing atmosphere in your home for your little valentines.
Glue Guns and Hearts
In my latest ambiance video, I've sneakily placed these two craft ideas. Can you peep them?
Heart Branch Tree: A Valentine’s version of a Scandinavian Christmas branch tree. With little more than pink and red cardstock, string, and some branches, you'll create a super special Valentine craft to decorate your space. Find the tutorial here. You can also shop this super cute Oyoy design vase I drew here.
Paper Fortune Cookies: Fortunately, very simple to follow! All you need is some craft or felt paper, adhesive, plus your scissors. You can find the step-by-step tutorial here and shop for these cute vases here or here.
Jam-Packed with Care
Spread some love with our You Are My Jam card printable. This year, I bought these sweet BFFs bracelets and printed them this paper to give as little gifts for my kids’ schoolmates. The printables are customizable to look like your little one and available for only $5!
After lots of trial and error, this is my favorite recipe for sugar cookies. The dough is super easy to make, not too sticky, and you can save it in the fridge for later use whenever you are in a pickle and need to whip out a quick gift or entertain the kids for an evening. I used these cookie cutter set and these cute sprinkles to make mine last week!
Mrs. Mundo's Book Corner
Jennifer Mundo is a dear friend and a mom whom I deeply admire. She has graciously agreed to share her expertise in literacy every month in this little corner of the internet. As an educator for almost 15 years, Jenn is a champion for literacy in early education. She believes storybook characters become children’s first best friends and greatest teachers.
“Stories equip children with vital skills across social, emotional, academic, and behavioral realms," says Jenn. "To me, storybook characters are children’s first best friends and greatest teachers. The following list of books are some of my favorites, touching on themes of love and kindness.”
📖 Books for Younger Readers:
Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev: In this bestselling and internationally beloved picture book, the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, so he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals.
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold: Discover a school where all young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated.
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller: When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate wants to make her feel better, wondering: What does it mean to be kind?
The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates: In the tradition of Alison McGhee’s Someday, beloved illustrator Amy June Bates makes her authorial debut alongside her eleven-year-old daughter with this timely and timeless picture book about acceptance.
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld: A moving and universal picture book about empathy and kindness, sure to soothe heartaches big and small—now a New York Times bestseller and a perfect gift for any special occasion.
I Am Human: A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds: A colorfully and warmly illustrated book for young children, I Am Human affirms that we can make good choices by acting with compassion and having empathy for others and ourselves.
I Am Love: A Book of Compassion by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds: I Am Love asks readers to look inward when they feel afraid, angry, hurt, or sad. When a storm is brewing inside us and the skies grow dark, the transformative power of love lets the light back in.
📖 Books for Older Readers:
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts and Noah Z. Jones: Jeremy longs for the trendy shoes everyone at school is wearing. Despite his grandma's emphasis on needs over wants, when his old shoes wear out, he's determined to get a pair.
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig: A gentle story that teaches how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish.
The Power of One: Every Act of Kindness Counts by Trudy Ludwig and Mike Curato: One small act of kindness can change the world. From esteemed bullying expert and author of The Invisible Boy, Trudy Ludwig, comes a tale as simple and inspiring as the golden rule.
The Kindest Red: A Story of Hijab and Friendship by Ibtihaj Muhammad: The sequel to the acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Proudest Blue shows the power of friendship and kindness, from Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad.
I hope this broad array of ideas equips you for the weeks ahead. I’ll see you in the next one!
With warmth and all my care,