Toddler Valentine's Gifts and Cards - and Recycling Puzzle Pieces!

These ideas could be used for any loving holiday:

Mother's Day, Father's Day, Birthdays or Valentine's Day!

Glue random puzzle pieces to a picture frame - Can be painted or left as is.

Glue a few pieces to front of a card and write "I love you to Pieces!"

Draw a heart shape on paper and cut out. Let toddler glue the puzzle pieces inside the shape. Paint red. Glue onto front of card.

Glue puzzle pieces to a small flower pot or container.


Airplane Birthday Party for my 1 year old

Earlier I had posted about having a Letter "A" Birthday Party but I think that has now changed to an AIRPLANE PARTY for my sons first birthday.

**this is just a list of the ideas I found, I will be picking and choosing from the list so dont think everything listed needs to be done or purchase!**

*watch for an updated post near the end of April!*

NAME OF AIRPORT: You really need a name such as: Alex Airways ~ Smith Airline ~ AJS Airport ~ Thompson Air - just incorporate your child's first or last name into something fun!

LOCATION: Our party will be in our home but here are some other suggestions:
  • a park located under the flight path of your local airport

  • at a beach near a water airbase

ATTIRE: Birthday Boy will be wearing a shirt with an Airplane applique ironed on.


Envelopes made from old maps

There are so many wonderful ideas on the internet for airplane invitations, I was overwhelmed when I started looking into this theme.

A regular invitation decorated with airplane stickers

Invitation shaped like a cloud.

Boarding Pass made to look very realistic with the party details

Wording such as:

  • Up, Up and Away, It's Alex's 1st Birthday!
  • Come Fly With Me!
  • Fly On Over to Alex's Birthday!
  • Taking off Saturday April 28th at 10am from Alex Airways
  • Please confirm flight with Alex Airways ticket agent at 555-1234

  • This ticket is non-transferable. You are allowed 1-2 carryon parent(s).
  • Check in Time (time party starts)
  • Departure Time (time party ends)
  • Confirmation Number (Your phone number to rsvp)

  • Captain Alex of Smith Airways

so many ideas out there, these are just a few I found.

- Sheet cake decorated like a runway with a toy airplane sitting atop.

- Sheet cake frosted blue with cotton candy clouds and a toy airplane.

-Mini airplanes (using airplane cake mould) in various colours

- One mini airplane for the smash cake and then cupcakes with toppers (use airplane clipart pasted on circles with a toothpick) for the guests.

- Cupcakes frosted with fluffy icing (or Cool Whip & Pudding combo) for clouds and then toppers that are little airplanes (either paper or plastic toys)


  • Airplane Posters
  • Maps

  • Paper or foam airplanes hanging from ceiling
  • Clouds hanging from ceiling (cloud shaped paper glued with cotton balls or bunches of cotton batting) from string or fishing line.
  • Posters like LAVATORY (bathroom), BAGGAGE CLAIM (loot bags), WELCOME TO ALEX AIRWAYS at entrance, FLIGHT CREW ONLY for adult only areas,
  • Blue and White helium balloons in bunches tied to a toy airplane.
  • Red, White, and Blue colour scheme works great. If you live in the US, pick up some sale items after July4th! (such as streamers, ballooms, dishes, etc)

  • also going to look around the house for what we already have that could be used. For instance my son's quilt has a big airplane on it so it will be hung up. This Christmas my kids received a foam play mat of the world - perfect for this! I also have some fabric baskets for my sons toys that have airplanes on them, they will be incorporated into the decor. Since we dont have many, I will see about borrowing toy airplanes from friends or ask the guests to each bring a airplane!
  • Silverwear wrapped in a napkin with a paper label

  • Food served in clear plastic boxes like you would get baking in (ask at a bakery or deli for some)

  • Food cut with airplane cookie cutter (sandwiches, cheese, rice krispie squares, cookies)

Im a firm believer in keeping the food simple for small kids parties. Most of them will hardly eat in all the excitement and they dont want to eat new or unusual things. Plus you already have enough work, try to stay away from things you have to make or bake during the party. You will have other things going on plus you'll want to take photos!


  • Make Paper Airplanes & decorate and then FLY!

  • Foam or Wooden Airplanes to decorate and then FLY!

you could see who's airplane flys the farthest or see who can get their airplane to fly through a hula hoop that someone could hold up high.

  • Colouring Pages of Airplanes: http://www.alfy.com/arts_crafts/coloring_pages/?CategoryID=16&name=Transportation

  • Musical Chairs set up in a row like airplane seats.

  • Pin the pilot on the airplane (using a poster of an airplane, have the blindfolded children stick a pilot picture on)

  • Airplane Craft = cut from construction paper. Have kids decorate with markers and then glue on people's faces cut from magazines or catalogues.

  • TOYS - Im going to empty our livingroom of the majority of the toys and just keep a big suitcase filled with airplane toys (Im borrowing some from my parents that were mine as a child, some from friends, and those that we already had). In my experience at playdates, kids just empty every bin of toys out without really playing with many of them and what a MESS!

  • This Candy Airplane could be a craft that would go home in the loot bag

    LOOT BAG / FAVOURS: have these at "Baggage Claim" sitting in an opened suitcase!!

  • Airplane Stickers

  • Airplane shaped SOAP or CRAYONS

  • drawstring or tote bag made from Airplane fabric

  • Toy Airplane

  • crayon roll made from Airplane fabric

  • Trail Mix in mini ziploc bag with airline logo sticker

  • Pilot Sunglasses

  • Thank You Card - shaped & decorated like a Passport

  • Passport Notebook - create a notebook of white paper folded with a patterned paper on the outside and stapled to be a notebook. Write "Official Passport" on outside. You could leave blank for them to colour (maybe include a 3 crayon pk) or for older kids, have things they need to fill in like: Favourite travelling food, Favourite Colour, Places Ive always wanted to go, etc. If wanting to get really detailed, get a picture of the child and make a page with their picture, name, etc. similar to a real passport. Stickers could be included also.

  • LUGGAGE TAG - either a purchased one or create your own with a rectangular piece of paper with a hole punched on the end and string threaded through!
** I am an addict of Etsy.com - check them out for a variety of vendors that sell a lot of fabulous items for all types of things related to this post - invitations, stickers, loot bag favors, decorations, tshirt appliques, etc. **
When the party is for a one year old, give someone the job of keeping track of your child. I found that Im so busy getting everything done that its hard to keep track of the mischievious little monster.
You may also want to give your camera to someone with instructions of what specifically you want pictures taken of.


Flying with a Preschooler & Baby - things to pack to occupy the time

My daughter is 3 1/2 now, has she now advanced from toddler to preschooler? Im not sure but anyhow, we have a flight to Mexico in the near future and I have been planning what to bring to occupy her time. She also has a brother that will be 10 months old when we fly that will need a lot of effort to occupy on my lap.

These are some items Im thinking of packing and have already set aside. By setting the items aside now, they should seem 'new' again when we fly in a couple months. Of course, once I actually begin the packing there will be items that dont make the cut.

The Preschooler Carry On:
A preschool book with learning letters, numbers, tracing, etc.
Crayons (Im going to stay away from markers and their mess unless they were the Crayola Wonders but then I would only be able to use those with the special paper)
Notebook - i love a brand new notebook full of crisp white blank pages!
Stickers (vacation & beach themed)
Books - some small ones that she can 'read' or have read to her
A Princess book similar to "Where's Waldo?"
Snacks - crackers, cheese, raisens, cookies (going to avoid the super sweet treats)
Laptop - the kid style that is full of activities and games

The 10m Baby Carry On:
A Soother and his special blanket
Snacks - cheerios, cheese, crackers
Sippy Cup or Bottle w/ formula
Musical Book with lots of buttons to push and slide
Teething ring
Ziploc Bag w/ couple diapers and small pack of wipes
Spare Onesie & Pants
Musical Phone
* Ive attached a small diaper bag (kind used for strollers) to my carryon. This way I wont need to dig through my bag for whichever necessities I decide to keep in it - perhaps toys or snacks.

Packed in our luggage, I am also bringing some
Toys (small dolls, baby rattles, etc) that the kids very rarely play with. They will be staying in Mexico when we leave which should free up some room for souvenirs!
Plastic Ball - can be used in pool, outside, or inside
Stacking Cups (my daughter loves filling these up in the bath or pool and my baby loves having a tower built for him to knock over so a great toy that takes up little space for both their enjoyment)

Craft Kit - random construction paper shapes, glue stick, stickers, and paper.

Other ideas for on the plane would be songs like Pat A Cake, Skinny Marinky, Twinkle Little Star, and any other action song (that won't harm your seat neighbour) that you can think of.

*Pull one item out at a time and get its full enjoyment before bringing out a new item. Treat snacks the same.

Other Ideas Ive found:

If breast feeding, bring some safety pins to pin a baby blanket between the seat in front of you and your seat to give you some privacy

Babies like to drop their toys - both by accident and intentionally! - I like to tie a ribbon to them so that I can hang on to that while they play with the toy and sometimes the ribbon is fun to chew on too :-)

Toddler & Preschoolers love to unwrap gifts - wrap both new or old (but havent seen in awhile) toys in some gift wrap. Pick up some new toys at the dollar store. They will be fun to play with for awhile but if lost or broken it's no big deal.

Put items in different containers - I like to organize the toys and small items into different types of containers. This is something we use to normally store our toys but also works for travel. If they are fun looking containers it makes the contents seem new! Containers such as:
Peanut Butter jars (a small one for travel) - keep the lid from getting lost by drilling a hole in lid & side of jar and then threading a ribbon through both.
Cappucino Tins (my addiction creates many of these empty tins!). Ive painted the outsides or covered in pretty paper. They are great for little figurines, marbles, etc.
Drawstring Bags - easy to make (or purchase). I use for dolls with their accessories, crayons, blocks, etc.
Hot Chocolate Containers - (the cardboard cylinder containers with plastic lids). Decorate the outside (bring some stickers on the plane and the kids can do that in their seat!) and fill with whatever fits. Perhaps that is the snack bin.
Ziploc bags of various sizes - especially if you have a child in diapers in case you need to put a used one in your bag until you find a garbage. Or for a soiled shirt, variety of snacks, art supplies, etc.