The trick is finding a craft that will take up an appropriate amount of time, be easy enough for 4 year olds to do with little assistance, and not create a huge mess for the teachers. My find:
Pony Bead & Pipe Cleaner Heart Necklace.
I came across the tutorial on the Women's Day website via One Pretty Thing. I modified it a bit to make it even simpler:
What you'll need:
- 1 red pipe cleaner
- 24 red, white, and pink pony beads
- white ribbon
2. Have the child thread the beads onto each side of pipe cleaner in whatever pattern they choose.
3. Thread the last bead onto both pipe cleaners and twist down to shape into a heart.
4. Wrap the ends of the pipe cleaner around that final bead and trim, tucking extra into two neighboring beads.
5. Loop a ribbon around the heart to create a necklace.
Voila! A pretty heart necklace the girls can wear and the boys can
For storytime, I'm reading my new favorite book: My Heart is Like a Zoo. But if you haven't run out and bought it yet, here are a few others that might work...
Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton
All the Boynton books are cute, but this one is pretty adorable. Read to your own little snuggle puppy (or to a class of precocious 4 year olds) and enjoy a silly but sweet song of love.
Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff
So it's getting obvious that this franchise is going to milk every holiday for every last cent, but that doesn't mean it's not a cute read. I mean, c'mon, that's one adorable little mouse!