The following post is from Kristina of Toddler Approved:
February is the month of love and is filled with giving gifts and passing out valentines. Sometimes when March hits I feel a little depressed.
Over the past few years, we’ve started a simple tradition of giving little “I’m lucky to have a friend like you” cards and treats to neighbors or close friends. This helps to focus more on giving and spreading kindness during the month of March.
This year we decided to take a favorite St. Patrick’s Day crafting activity (potato printing) and use it to create something beautiful for our friends.
My son is four and my daughter is fifteen months old, so we made this project work for both kids and had a lot of fun in the process.
- washable non-toxic kid’s paint in rainbow colors
- 1-2 potatoes
- white cardstock
- plastic or paper plate for a palette
- cutting board
- sandwich baggies
- scissors or paper cutter
- glue or tape
- copy of our “I’m lucky to have a friend like you” printable
- little treats/gifts to go inside the baggies
1. Cut potatoes into easy to hold pieces. You can make different shapes or just keep it simple. We tried ovals, rectangles, and squares.
2. Dip potatoes into the paint and start stamping. I tried to make some actual rainbows with the rectangle potatoes and my son was interested in randomly printing the rainbow colored squares all over his paper.
This activity was a great sensory experience. My daughter loved getting paint on her hands and pounding the potato. I had to remind her to print with the potato and not eat it. She did this project in her high chair. If you want, you can tape the paper to the high chair tray to help it stay secure. This project definitely requires adult supervision at all times (Note: My daughter maybe painted for 2-3 minutes. She had fun, but her attention span was short. I love the prints she made in that small amount of time!).
3. Let the prints dry. If the paper edges start to curl, weigh them down with a few small objects.
4. Once the prints are dry, cut them so that they are the same width as the sandwich baggies (ours were about 5 7/8-inches wide).
5. Fold the prints in half (top to bottom) over the sandwich bag to make the top of the gift bag.
6. Add goodies, small gifts, or notes inside the sandwich bags and seal shut. Try to remove as much air as possible.
7. Staple the folded gift tags to the top of the sandwich bag.
8. Print out our “I’m lucky to have a friend like you” printable or write your own note. Cut it to fit the size of the gift tag and adhere it with glue or double stick tape. I added a little hand drawn rainbow to each gift tag once we were done assembling the bags.
9. Deliver your special gift bags to friends and neighbors!! I had my son create our list of gift bag recipients. He is so excited to start delivering!
Other ideas of items to put inside gift bag (besides candy):
- small play-doh container and a shamrock cookie cutter
- strips of paper with reasons why you love your friend written on them
- favorite little trinkets that you know your friend loves
- toy cars
- gold coins and a mini Leprechaun pot from the dollar store
- festive hair clips or socks
What did we learn? We try to embed a variety of educational concepts into each of our projects. This activity helped us teach about simple shapes, creating patterns, color mixing, printing and learning new vocabulary words (color/shape names, names of objects used during the activity, etc.). It also allowed us to focus on the virtue of kindness and helped us learn about serving friends and neighbors.
Do you have any other favorite rainbow themed craft projects or activities? Do you have any other ways that you help your children serve or show kindness to others?
|Kristina is a mom of 2 and a former Special Ed teacher for children with communication disabilities. She blogs at Toddler Approved as she looks for ways to make life a little more fun and creative with her kids while embedding learning into everything that she does. Kristina tweets as @ToddlerApproved and can be found on FB and Pinterest.|