Valentine’s Day Crafts

Who is Ready to Fall in LOVE with a Craft?

As promised, our team is sharing a few great crafts to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Grab your supplies and your loved ones and enjoy a hands on experience!


CRAFT 1: MARBLED HEARTS

There is something special about making marbled art. It’s a favorite with kids of all ages because they get to get their hands messy while making the art. It’s a favorite with mom’s because it’s a fairly easy craft to setup with beautiful results! I use shaving cream – make sure to purchase a can of foam NOT GEL shaving cream. Here are the instructions:

  • SUPPLIES
    • 1 can of foam shaving cream.
    • 8 x 11 Card stock white paper
    • Colored card stock paper (if you want)
    • Food coloring or liquid water color paint (I used food coloring)
    • Butter Knife or scraper
    • Skewer or chopstick
    • Nice sized casserole/cake dish ( 9 x 14 or 9 x 16)
  • INSTRUCTIONS
    • Fold one sheet of your card stock paper in half to make a folding card. On the cover, draw a heart and cut it out. This is your heart template. You want to make sure it will fit onto the cover of a standard 8 x 11 card or whatever sized card you want to end up with. Trace the heart shape onto more card stock as for as many cards as you want to make.
    • Cut out the hearts. This is a great thing to have the kids doing while you prepare the shaving cream!
    • Lay a bunch of newspaper around the table you are using as the food coloring will stain if that is what you are using! Fill half the dish with shaving cream.
    • Using the food coloring, drop 3 drops of each color you want about 2” apart from each other. Remember these will blend so be mindful of what colors you want to end up with!
    • Using the skewer or chopstick, gently swirl the dye. DON’T OVER MIX! You want distinct colors!
    • Get your heart shape and place the paper onto the colored shaving cream. Just lay it on top and then lift it up. We found the color stayed on the card better if we left the shaving cream on the heart for a minute or so.
    • When ready, get the butter knife or scraper, and scrape off the shaving cream from the heart shape. This will leave the color on the card in neat marbled designs.
    • Let your hearts dry for a day and then glue them onto the front of your card. For added fun, paste your marbled heart onto a piece of contrasting card stock and then place on the front of your card. I like putting ours on black to make the marbling really pop!
    • Write your Valentine’s message on the inside and deliver!

      Shaving Cream Art
      The kids had so much fun with this hands on craft!

CRAFT 2: THREAD HEARTS

I found this on Pinterest and had a lot of fun. It was a bit more time consuming than I expected but the results are pretty cool. This is also a great way to get rid of any left over embossing thread or yarn you haven’t used.

  • SUPPLIES
    • Card stock (8x 11 or whatever size you want the cards to be)
    • Embroidery floss or yarn of whatever color you like.
    • An embroidery or yarn needle
    • A pencil

      Fun with thread for Valentines Day.
      Our finished product, beautiful Valentines Day hearts!
  • INSTRUCTIONS
    • Lightly draw a heart in the size you want on the cardstock. A fatter rounder heart works better than a skinny one.
    • Using the needle, poke holes along the line of the heart you drew, placing a few millimeters between each hole you poke with the needle. If children are going to be doing this, make the spaces a bit farther apart. For older kids, place them closer together. Do this all around the heart you have drawn till it is perforated all along the outline of the heart.
    • Thread your needle with your embroidery floss or yarn making a knot at the end.
    • Using the threaded needle, start at one end of the heart placing the needle through one of the holes you made earlier. Span the heart, taking care not to cover the ‘V’ of the heart. I found that when re-entering the heart, use a near-by hole so that you are not threading the back of the heart, only the front.
    • Keep crossing the heart – back and forth until all the holes you made around the heart have been used. Then tie off the thread on the back of the card. This makes a great card to write a simple note onto.
Please follow and like us:

Valentine’s Day 2019

Celebrating Valentine’s Day Today

February has rolled around again, and Valentine’s Day is near. Many of us use this time to create or buy something special for those who are important to us. Cards, candy, and flowers especially! The United States hasn’t always celebrated Valentine’s Day and there has been some debate as to the origins of this modern-day holiday.

Many scholars attribute the name Valentine’s Day to a Roman priest named Valentine. Roman Emperor Claudius II felt that married men made bad soldiers and forbade those in his army to marry. Valentine felt this was an unjust ruling, so he married couples in secret. When Emperor Claudius II found out, he had the priest thrown in jail and killed. The legend continues that while in jail, before he was killed, Valentine fell in love with the daughter of one of the jailers, and prior to his death he sent her a love note saying, “from your Valentine.”

There are various other holidays that were celebrated long ago during the month of February that have been associated with Valentine’s Day including a pagan Roman holiday called Lupercalia. At the end of the 5th century, the Catholic Church banned Lupercalia and named February 14th St. Valentine’s Day, however love sentiments were not exchanged as a part of that date for some time. Great Britain was probably the first country to celebrate our modern Valentine’s Day, exchanging cards and letters in the early 1700’s. Today Valentine’s Day celebrated in the US, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia.

Vintage Valentine Inspiration
a vintage valentine with lace and a picture.

Our current practice of exchanging cards and gifts in the US can probably be traced to a woman named Esther A. Howland and a man from Great Britain named Richard Cadbury. Howland began selling the first mass produced Valentine’s Day cards in America. She used real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures called ‘scrap’ in her cards and placed messages of love inside. She is known as the ‘Mother of the Valentine.’ Cadbury came up with the idea of selling bite-sized chocolates packaged in heart shaped boxes. Candy and cards remain the biggest Valentine’s Day gifts to this day.

 

 

Box of Chocolates
Cadbury with Love

Our other favorite Valentine candy, the candy hearts, were made in the early 1900’s. Made by a company called Necco in Massachusetts, candy hearts have evolved from fairly large heart shaped candies with longer sayings like, “Married in White, you have chosen right” to the small candies we are familiar with today. With less space, the sayings had to become shorter as well to things like “Miss You” or “Love U.”

Necco Hearts
Classic Necco Conversation Hearts

However you celebrate Valentine’s Day, we can all agree that a day devoted to expressing our love for one another can only be a good thing. Later this week we will be sharing some of our favorite Valentine’s crafts for you to try with your family or to make that special card for your loved one.

Make sure that you are subscribed or following us on Facebook or Twitter!

Would you like to guest post for #GLD2019? We’d love to talk with you! Fill out the Join the Voyage form and a Crew Member will contact you.

Please follow and like us:
Winter Celebrations

Celebrate Winter Holidays!

Let’s Keep Celebrating Winter Holidays!

Learning about Hanukkah was so much fun, but there are so many more holidays to experience!

Next, we will learn about St. Lucia Day and Sweden! Another festival of light, St. Lucia is a woman who wore candles on her head so that her hands would be free to hand out food to the poor and starving. Originally, this holiday was celebrated using the old Julian calendar which meant Dec. 13th coincided with the Winter Solstice.

Today young girls are selected to represent St. Lucia by wearing crowns of lingonberry branches, with structure to support 7 candles. Battery powered candles are fine to substitute! Boys can dress up as Stjärngossar or Star Boys. Both the girls as St. Lucia and the Star Boys wear white but the girls also wear a red sash around their waist. The Star Boys have instead of a crown, a tall pointed hat (without a brim) decorated with stars. On the morning of the 13th, the girl who is acting as St. Lucia should wake everyone up early with St. Lucia buns, called lussekatters and coffee or hot cocoa. We encourage you to try out the recipe for your learning experience! Cooking helps with math and is fun!

The day should be spent singing St. Lucia songs and eating traditional Swedish foods like meat balls, St. Lucia crown cake and glogg. Once the sun has gone down, the spectators light and hold a vigil candle. All other light sources should be off. Then St. Lucia and her procession of maidens and star boys walk through with their costumes and candles lit singing a St. Lucia song. This symbolizes the suns return – light emerging from the darkness. This is a great holiday that I am excited to celebrate! You might want to purchase a book sharing this experience. One fictional story is available here.

Fun side note – in Sweden, the Tomten, or Christmas gnome is the one who delivers presents. He goes around with his with his goat to deliver the  presents to all the girls and boys, who leave porridge outside for them to eat instead of milk and cookies.

After St. Lucia Day, we rush into the celebration of Las Posadas! Las Posadas is a Mexican tradition that is observed from Dec. 16th – 24th. It recreates the story of the baby Jesus when Mary and Joseph were trying to find shelter. Generally there is a procession where people recreate the journey of the pregnant Mary and Joseph as they ask for shelter by walking down a street and knocking on doors asking for entry. Finally, someone grants them shelter. Children carry poinsettias and at the end of each evenings march, there is singing and celebration. Star shaped clay piñatas are filled with treats and then broken apart by celebrants wearing blindfolds. In many areas, local churches offer a Las Posadas celebration. You might be able to find one near you!

Consider joining our voyage so that you can participate with Global Learn Day all year long!

Please follow and like us:
Winter Celebrations

Celebrating Winter Holidays – Part 1

Celebrate Winter by Exploring Cultures around the World!

Fall winds are blowing and here in my house we are eagerly looking forward to the coming Winter and all excitement of the holidays. As a homeschool parent, this of course screams ‘learning opportunity’ so this year, I am going to go all out! We have chosen 12 different holidays/cultures to learn about. I am prepping materials to help us learn how the various cultures celebrate the many different Winter holidays.

We will explore Kwanza, Hanukah, and Yule/Winter Solstice. We will discover La Befona in Italy, Pere Noel in France, Christkind in Germany and Los Pasadas in Mexico. We are excited to learn about the Tomten and celebrate St. Lucia Day in Sweden (This is one of my sons’ favorite countries because of the Sami people. They keep huge herds of reindeer and live in the far northern parts of the country.). We are going to find out how they celebrate Christmas in Australia and Russia. Then we will finish our studies with a virtual adventure in China where we will learn all about the Chinese New Year which is one of the last holidays of the Winter!

We are going to have so much fun! I am excited that I am learning just as much as my son. He is 8 and will be the perfect age to really get into these activities. I have a giant inflatable planet with the political boundaries labeled on the continents, so we will be using that as a reference point and using tape and string to demonstrate how far away each place is from us in our cozy home in Eastern Washington. At the very end, we will measure the strings and see which country was furthest away!

Over the next two weeks I will be providing you, via these blog posts, with an opportunity to follow along and participate on our Winter Adventure!

Our Winter adventure will begin with Hanukkah. This year (2018) Hanukkah is celebrated on December 2nd and ends on December 10th. It is a beautiful festival of light that uses candles and a special candle holder called a menorah. The candles may only be lit after sundown and in a specific order. One candle the first night, and then two the following night until 8 days later all the candles are lit. Each family member is encouraged to have their own menorah, or a communal menorah can be used in which all the family members, including the children take part in the lighting of the menorah candles. The candles or lights must be on for at least 30 minutes and during that time, all attention should be on the candle flame with no other sources of light. Prayers are said over each candle as it is lit. You are encouraged to tell stories about the holiday and enjoy traditional food like potato latkes and sufganoit (doughnuts).

Menorah
Lit Menorah during Hanukkah

It is also customary to gift children with gelt after the candles have been lit to reward them for good behavior. The children are usually encouraged to use part of their received money to donate to a charity. Children will often play games with dreidels (spinning tops). The dreidels have four sides. On each side there is a symbol. Nun, Gimel, Hay and Shin. Nun stands for nes or miracle. Gimel stands for gadol or great. Hay stands for haya or was. And finally Shin stands for sham or there. The game that is played with the dreidel is a bit of a gambling game but lots of fun. If you roll Nun – nothing happens. If you roll a Gimel – you win everything! If you roll Hay, you win half of whatever was bet. If you roll Shin, you lose everything! You can imagine how exciting this game would be to play with little ones that have just been gifted with their gelt (money – often the golden chocolate coins that come in a bag).

Check out these Dreidels and get ready to celebrate with your children this year!

We’d love to hear what holidays you celebrate during this Winter Season! Reach out to us and be sure to Join the Voyage today!

 

Please follow and like us: