In lieu of a traditional Valentine "party", we celebrated the day of love in our classroom by having a few parent helpers come in and bake "heart tarts" with the children. I am loving these little seasonal activities so much and feel that the children get so much out of the extra one-on-one time with our adult helpers. I think the parents have also enjoyed the opportunity to come in and help without having to plan and organize everything (which was how we did holiday parties previously). I just have everything ready and tell them what to do!!
Today I had four parent helpers and they took the children in groups of four into an adjacent classroom to make "heart tarts". I saw this idea in the February issue of Family Fun magazine and thought it would be an easy and fun cooking activity to do for Valentine's Day. Of course, it would be fun to do at home with your little ones at any time!! CLICK HERE for the recipe on the Family Fun website. The photo below is from that website too. I forgot to take a "finished" photo of our tarts today! However, I did sneak in to snap several photos to show the process the children used to make their tarts. Scroll down to see those photos.
First of all, the children rolled out a little section of pie crust. The recipe called for rolling it a little thinner than it comes in the package.
Then they cut out two hearts with a cookie cutter and spooned some strawberry jam onto one heart.
Then they wet their index finger and traced the outside of the heart to moisten the edge so the top heart would stick to it.
After adding the top heart, they used a fork to "crimp" the edges.
Then they brushed some melted butter on top with a pastry brush.
The final step was to place their tarts onto some parchment paper on a cookie sheet. We just wrote their names right on the paper with a pencil so each child could eat their own tart after the moms baked them.
This was a really fun experience for the children. They were about 50-50 on whether or not they liked the tarts. Nearly everyone took a nibble at least and many had only crumbs left on their plate afterwards!