Ooooooo I just love Valentines Day and all the love love love that goes with it!!! the clashing of reds and pinks, the flowers, and the absolute need to just slow down and really appreciate your loved ones, big and small.

I have collected a few of my favourite Valentine theme ideas for children, but I thought I’d start by sharing this sweet little cooking recipe, which leads to such a fun little dream adventure.

what you need…

  • 100g unsalted soft butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 275g plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • red ready to roll icing
  • black ready to roll icing
  • white ready to roll icing
  • icing sugar
  • weighing scales
  • bowl
  • electric whisk
  • spoon
  • teaspoon
  • rolling pin
  • heart cutter
  • baking paper
  • baking tray

what you do…

  1. preheat the oven to 190c and line your baking tray with greaseproof paper
  2. cream the butter, sugar and egg together with the electric whisk
  3. add the vanilla extract and stir in
  4. stir in the flour until the mixture comes together to form a dough
  5. flour the surface well!!! and roll the dough out
  6. using the heart cookie cutter, cut out the biscuits and place on baking tray
  7. bake the biscuits for 10 minutes until pale golden
  8. remove from oven and leave to cool
  9. sprinkle your surface with icing sugar and roll out the red icing
  10. using the heart cookie cutter cut out some heart shapes
  11. dampen with a little water and place on top of the biscuits
  12. then with your black icing, roll out some tiny dots, a line and head and place on the red icing to create the lady bird (love bug) effect
  13. with your white icing roll two tiny white dots for the eyes (obviously, this being a child lead activity be prepared for triple eyed, one spotted love bugs!!!)

into a little dream adventure…

  • the great thing about making dough is you’re always going to have some left over once the biscuits are in the oven,. This gives the child the freedom to create whatever it is they wish too…rolling, manipulating, squishing, squashing…whatever it is they feel they want to get out of the dough they can!!! This is when the real internal learning starts for the child, as although it may just look like they’re creating a complete mess, they are actually learning early mathematical concepts and ideas, problem solving, working with quantity, dividing, adding, taking away, making more etc etc.
  • we always love making ‘worms.’ These worms can be rolled into snails, disguised as snakes, transformed into sausages, made fat or thin, short or long, counted, lined up, spiralled…it’s endless!!!
  • worms can be sung about, ‘There’s a worm at the bottom of my garden’ is one very sweet child’s song
  • it can also be recognised that worms have no legs and that they wiggle, so this is almost definitely the opportunity to have a wiggle race across the kitchen floor…