baking with a toddler

valentine's cookies

in our quest to stay sane while waiting for baby and being virtually snowed in i decided we would try to make some valentine cookies. eleanor helped by measuring the ingredients and pouring them into the bowl. she loved watching the kitchenaid turn and she stood there turning the nob on the front as though she was controlling the machine. baking with a toddler is fun and messy and a lesson in patience. it takes a lot longer and there is always flour all over the place but it's an opportunity for her to practice pouring and to learn about process and reward. when it came time to roll out the dough i learned that it is helpful to reserve a piece of dough for her to do what she wishes with. she used her rolling pin to roll it out, cut hearts (sometimes on top of each other), and dug her fingers into it (another sensory activity). as we stood there in the kitchen together, in our aprons, i remembered these words written two years ago on valentine's day:

"happy valentines day little bird! this is the day when we take extra care to celebrate the love we have in our lives. as i was making cupcakes for your papa and i (because your mama always celebrates with food) i couldn’t help but daydream about the day when you will stand in the kitchen with me and we will bake together."

remembering back to those words written when she was just a kidney bean inside of me i felt an overwhelming amount of gratitude for this life that walks along side of me daily. she is such a joy and these moments together are more special than i ever imagined. i can't wait to share similar moments with our son and to watch my daughter teach her baby brother the things she's learned in her 18 months of senority.

making valentines

valentine crafting

i'm not sure what i was thinking when i decided that crafting valentines with paint with a toddler was a good idea but... oh and how about i don't put her smock on her before we start? needless to say our crafting turned out to be a bit messy and yes, there was red and pink paint on her shirt and in her hair. but boy did we have fun!

crafting with a toddler is a lesson in patience for me. it's so hard to not want to control the outcome and just to let her explore and figure it out. but it is worth it, to see her face light up, her eyes get really big, and to hear her say "ooh" as she dipped the tp roll into the paint and stamped it on the paper. after we were done making a few valentines for a few family members it was a paint free for all. i let her go to town with her hands in the paint mixing the colors and making art. i think she was pretty proud of her work!

valentine crafting

valentine crafting

instructions for heart stamped valentines here