easy valentines crafts
Activities and crafts

Kid’s Craft: Easy valentine’s clay hearts

This fun and easy Valentine’s craft activity from Nicola at Simply Homemade is one that the kids will love doing – and you get a lovely Valentine’s gift at the end of it all!

You can make individual hearts painted with personalised messages as Valentine’s gifts for mums, dads, siblings, grandparents and even teachers – or this lovely garland as a special single gift.


What you need:

  • 1 Cup/225g Bread Soda
  • 1/2 Cup/55g Cornflour
  • 3/4 Cup/140ml of Warm Water
  • A Saucepan
  • Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter
  • A Straw  to make holes for the twine (or a skewer or knitting needle will work either)
  • Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Paint & brushes
  • Twine


1. Preheat the oven to 100C/80C Fan.

2. Mix the dry ingredients together in your saucepan, then stir through the warm water.

3. Stir over a medium heat. The mixture will start to bubble and come away from the sides of the saucepan.stirring as it starts to bubble and come away from the sides of the pan.

4. When it has started to dry and resemble a soft play dough consistency, take it off the heat and leave it to cool for a few minutes.

5. Turn it out onto a clean surface and knead it for a couple of minutes to make it soft and pliable. It should look and feel like bright white play dough.

6. Roll out the dough and cut out the heart shapes.

7. Stick the straw through the top to make a hole for threading twine through later on.

Easy Valentine’s crafts

8. Place them straight onto the lined baking sheet and dry them in the oven for an hour. (They also dry perfectly if just left out in the air at room temperature for a day or so, depending on the thickness of the dough, I can’t imagine many little people would be that patient however!!)

9. When these were ready, the children got stuck into painting them.

10. When they were dry, we turned them into a lovely garland and some very pretty hanging hearts.

Easy Valentines crafts

 More like this:

Twig candle holder
Play ideas for 5 – 10 year olds
Sock puppets


Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.



Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….