## Let's Do Something With All Those Valentines!

1-2-3 Come Do Some Valentine Party Day Activities With Me

Do your kiddos rip into their valentines and are done with that activity in about 5 minutes, when you were hoping to stretch that out a bit for more sanity-time on party day?

With that in mind, I designed some "Print & Go" easy-peasy valentine worksheets, that students complete using their valentine cards.

There are 4 worksheets to choose from (plus one also has a boy & girl option).

Pick what fits your needs, or do all 4 and simply print back-to-back for a 2-pager.

Your students will enjoy pouring over their valentine cards to complete the quick, easy & fun worksheets, which practice a variety of math & literacy skills, and you'll have some time to yourself to relax a bit before the next activity.

I've included colors, 2D shapes, counting, sorting, sight words, tally marks, greater & less than, graphing, plus a Venn diagram for comparison-contrast writing, and a place to glue their favorite valentine, then tell who it's from & explain why it's their favorite.

Today's FREEBIE is a paper chain craft. It's super simple to make the links look like hearts, and the perfect, "little something different" for pary day.

Younger kiddos can count links and show an AB-AB or ABC-ABC pattern, while older students can write spelling or sight words on the strips, or math equations from the board, then solve the equations on their links.

You can also use the hearts for other things, such as a bouquet for mom.

I've included an owl pencil topper in the packet as well.  Just a little something you can whip together and leave on top of your kiddos' desk as an inexpensive party-day surprise.  You can get a pack of 20, valentine pencils at The Dollar Store.

Well that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by. Today was short & sweet as I just got out of the hospital.

Sigh... some of my friends are zipping off to Florida or taking a cruise; me, I land in the hospital for a 2-day "staycation" because of breathing problems.

Feeling tons better and raring to design some more stuff!

Nothing like a little set-back to really make you appreciate life. Wishing you a healthy, rest of winter and beyond.

"They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything." -Bill Keane

## Dishin' Up With Diane For February

February is all about sweethearts and sweet treats, and lip-smacking delights! I've got some crazy concoctions for you to whip up with your little ones, that will have their sweet tooth more than satisfied.

Fizzy Sweet Treat: A Science Lesson For Young Students

Toss some "fizzies" in a plastic bag and dip a cherry or strawberry lollipop in it and you have one awesome treat for a little kid to experience.  I never really knew what was in my "Sweet Treats" as a child, nor why it sparkled and made my tongue all tingly, but it was great fun.  Your students/children can do this too and have a science lesson at the same time!

The basis of the sweet treat is confectioners' sugar.  50g will make enough for about 6 children.  For that amount you will also need a scant teaspoon each of bicarbonate of soda and citric acid.  You can buy the latter, in the form of white powder,  very cheaply, in small quantities, from the pharmacy.  Children will also enjoy having a lollipop to dip into the powdery confection.  I get the small "dum-dums" at The Dollar Store so that they don't last "forever".

Ingredients:

• 50g icing sugar
• teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• teaspoon citric acid
• lollipops

Directions: Mix all the powders together thoroughly.

Why does it fizz? It's a reaction between the citric acid (the same acid as in lemons) and the bicarbonate of soda, which is an alkali.  In this case the chemical reaction happens on your tongue, as the two dry ingredients mix with water (saliva) they create a gas in the form of lots of tiny little bubbles.  The bubbles provide the tingle in your mouth.  You are creating the same chemical reaction when you drop a bath fizzy bomb into your bath water.  The active dry ingredients-which again include bicarbonate of soda and citric acid-react when they meet the bath water.   Try doing this with vinegar as the liquid and get a real fizzy, bubbling result.  The reaction happens immediately because the vinegar is the liquid.  Combining vinegar and bicarbonate of soda is actually an old-fashioned cleaning recipe, used to help remove suborn stains in the kitchen,  I use this chemical reaction in September during my dinosaur unit and add red food coloring to the vinegar so that it looks like lava.  I put all these ingredients in my students' baby food-jar volcanoes and they have fun watching them erupt!  Keep your "Fizzy Sweet Treats" dry.  Store in little re-sealable plastic bags ready to dip your lollipop in,  or in a plastic food container.  You could also add some red Kool-Aid for a splash of color for Valentine's Day.

Shake It & Make It - Ice Cream In A Bag

If you've got a few minutes, you can make another Sweet Treat with your students and have more science fun in the classroom.

Ingredients:

• Tablespoons sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 cup milk
• 6 tablespoons rock salt
• 1 gallon-sized Ziplock baggie
• 1 pint-sized Ziplock baggie
• 1 bag of ice
• plastic spoons
• Optional: Red, Pink & White sprinkles

Directions:

• Fill the gallon-sized bag 1/2 full with ice.
• Add rock salt to the bag and seal.
• Pour sugar, milk, and vanilla into the small baggie and seal.
• Place the pint-sized bag into the large bag and seal.
• Shake the bag for 5-7 minutes.
• I put on a zippy dance CD and my students "shake it up" and dance with their bags.
• Take the small bag out of the large bag.
• Open the small zip bag and enjoy your ice cream with a spoon!
• Put the other students' small bags into the other large bags and repeat, 'til everyone has made a bag of ice cream.
• Because it's close to Valentine's Day when I'm doing this, I buy some sprinkles and we add this to our ice cream too.

Cinnamon Heart Ornaments:

Ingredients:

• ¾ cup cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon all spice
• 1 tablespoon nutmeg
• 1 cup applesauce
• 1 ½ tablespoons white glue
• 1 drop cinnamon oil added to the white glue to make them really fragrant.

Directions:

• In a bowl, mix ¾ cup of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon all spice, and 1 tablespoon of nutmeg together.
• Slowly stir in 1 cup of applesauce.
• Pour in 1½ tablespoons of white glue.
• Mix well until mixture is stiff.
• Pour the mixture onto some wax paper.
• Press another sheet of wax paper over it and roll it out to ¼-inch thickness.
• Cut out hearts with a cookie cutter.
• (I use a mini copper heart cutter so that I can make more hearts with some to spare in case a child breaks one.
• How many you get out of a batch will entirely depend on how big your cookie cutter is.
• Use the scraps and roll out the "dough" to make more.
• Poke a hole near the top of each heart with a toothpick.
• If you are doing this with only one or two children, use a bigger heart cookie cutter, and poke a hole with a straw.
• Just an FYI don't do this on Valentine’s Day, because it takes about a week to dry (at room temperature).
• When dry, string with a ribbon. These make wonderful Valentine's Day gifts and your home or classroom will smell absolutely fantastic while you're making them!

### Valentine Strawberry-Chocolate Swirl Half 'n Half's

A room mommy brought these cupcakes in for her daughter's February birthday treat. She got the recipe from the Internet and shared it with me.  Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

• 1 package strawberry cake mix (plus ingredients on the box to prepare mix)
• 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
• 4 ounces cream cheese
• 1 cup strawberry frosting
• 1 cup chocolate frosting

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Grease or use paper baking cups in a 24 muffin pan.
3. Melt chocolate chips in microwave for 30 seconds. Let child stir, and microwave for 10 second intervals until melted.
4. Prepare cake mix according to directions, letting your child help with each step depending on age and skill level. Separate half the batter in a different bowl.
5. Combine melted chocolate chips and cream cheese to one batter.
6. Beat with mixer at medium speed until blended.
7. Using chocolate batter first, spoon chocolate and strawberry batter’s side by side in muffin cups about two-thirds full.
8. Bake for 16 minutes or until tooth pick that you insert, comes out clean.
9. Cool cupcakes in pan for 10 minutes before placing them individually on wire wracks to cool completely.
10. Let your child pick which frosting he wants to be in charge of . They spread the frosting on one half of each cupcake.
11. You spread the opposite frosting on the other half.
12. If you want to get fancy, take a Popsicle stick and swirl the center, making a little peak in the middle.

I hope you enjoy these sweet treats with your little sweeties!

May you have a love-filled February!