Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ruby Valentine and a delightful Valentine Project...

You may remember last week we posted our Top 10 love and friendships books.  Well, today I have an actual Valentine recommendation for you-- make that two, and a fun project too! (Look at that, I just jumped right in and got to the point, no disclaimers, aren't you proud?) Without further ado...

By Laurie Friedman

In these books we meet Ruby Valentine, a little girl who lives for Valentine's Day!  Through her adventures in each book, Ruby learns two important lessons:

1- Any day is a great day to show the people around you that you love them
2- Just being together is one of the best ways to show love. 

They really are cute little stories with a perfect message for Valentine's Day. Ruby's decorating and beautifying reminds me a little of Fancy Nancy.  Ruby's another character who's best intentions don't always turn out as she'd hoped, but she is able to make things right in the end. 

Anyway (maybe because of all the love books) the kiddos have been in a bit of a 'hearts and ribbons, pink explosion' kind of mood lately.  (I'm mean honestly, girls are always a little like this, as least one girl in particular in this house, but I think there's even more pink hype right now.)  So, the kids let a little of their inner Ruby Valentine out and made these fabulous Valentine wreaths. 

Here's what we used: paper plates, tissue paper, foam hearts, that crinkled paper stuff, a few stickers, and doilies--which I somehow forgot to photograph here. The ribbon comes at the end, and obviously you see my little brushes and glue lids there at the bottom.  (I use those so much this blog should probably be called glue lids & picture books.) 

And here's what we did with it...

May I interject here quickly-- you would not have to use any of this.  You could use white plates and cut hearts from construction paper, or cut up red wrapping paper left from Christmas, or cut pink and red stuff out of magazines.  It's totally a project of ease, convenience and fun!  Do it, enjoy it, get on with life (who needs to obsess over a paper plate wreath people, it's not Martha Stewart.  Keep it simple and let the kids have fun!) 

So, as you can see we had three very different schools of thought; meticulous, heart attack,and glue on whatever mom puts in front of me (the littlest one, was especially smitten with the doilies, or doi's as she calls them.) 

Projects like this are so fun for kids because they can just use their imagination how ever they like.  I did ask at the beginning if anyone wanted a hole in their wreath, and as you can see above (its in the middle) we only had one taker.  Turns out they look fantastic both ways!

Really, they glued  and glued until their hearts were content.  The crinkly stuff look really cool, but kind of had to be pressed down to stay on.  We let them dry over night and then punched a small hole in each one and strung them together with the ribbon.  I had the vision of three little wreaths swathed in hearts and ribbons hanging from my door.  And, it happened...

I kind of love these!  We might be making them for every holiday, I know the kids would be good with that. They loved it too!

Happy reading and happy wreathing!
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  PS- I almost forgot to tell you I have had this paper plate wreath idea tucked in the back of my mind ever since Amanda from The Educator's Spin On It won our holiday tree topper giveaway.  Her daughter used one of the plates and some feathers to make a wreath and when I saw it, I thought to myself, "That's a fantastic idea." Amanda, you're raising a project prodigy, please thank her for me!

Also, special shout out to Tricia from Critter and Crayons.  She is receiving this project from me via a Love Books exchange we were involved in.  Please let me know what you thought Tricia.