Hidden Message Valentine Mystery Worksheet

Jacob was such a fan of the Secret Agent Valentine I designed for him, that I thought I’d use a similar concept to come up with an activity for Evan’s class Valentine’s Day party.

I created a series of worksheets where the kids get to tap into their inner Secret Agent and are challenged with the task to find Cupid’s stolen arrows. Using some of our favorite Love/Heart/Valentine’s Day themed books, the kids dive into the stories a bit deeper to investigate clues, decode messages and figure out who the Arrow Thief is.

Supplies needed:

  1. Hidden Message Valentines Mystery Printable Worksheet
  2. Secret Agent Pens
  3. Secret Decoder Screen
  4. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
  5. The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
  6. In My Heart by Jo Witek
    *Check your local library.

What do you think, Secret Agent? Can you solve the Valentine’s mystery?

Like the idea but want to use a different selection of books or make changes to the worksheet? Contact me through my Etsy shop and I’m happy to work with you to create a custom mystery experience.

Have a spy-tastic Valentine’s Day!

“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.”
– Neil Armstrong

Secret Agent Valentine

Secret Agent Valentine Banner

Jacob received an Invisible Ink Secret Agent Pen for Christmas and has been using it all the time (mostly to write the word “poop” and giggle about it). He thought it would be fun to give his classmates one for Valentine’s Day, so we created these spy themed valentines – because who doesn’t love decoding top secret messages?

Secret Agent Valentine - PIP.jpg

Use the Secret Agent Pen‘s UV light to reveal who the valentine is from and decode the mission.

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To create your own, simply print out the Secret Agent Valentine (front and back), attach the Secret Agent Pen (with washi tape or something similar) – Mission Complete!

Related Posts:
DIY Mermaid Valentine Printable - Mermaid Valentine's Day Card

Check out more of my DIY Valentines HERE.

 

New Year’s Eve Activity Sheet

As a simple New Year’s Eve activity for the kids, I created this printable activity sheet. Similar to a restaurant kids menu, I thought they can work on this at dinner. Figured it will give them a holiday themed challenge, as well as some fun topics to discuss. 🙂

New Years Eve Printable Thumbnail

Click on above image or HERE to download free printable.

Happy New Year!

“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” ― Brad Paisley

Magnetic Chore Chart

 

DIY Magnetic Daily and Weekly Chore Chart - projectsinparenting.com

As a parent, I feel it’s an essential part of my job to teach my kids how to help out around the house and learn how to become a productive member of the household. They all attended Montessori Preschool, which I feel really jumpstarted them to recognize most “chores” as “practical life skills”. Whichever term you choose to use, I’ve found that most children enjoy helping out with these daily tasks and it’s a great way to teach them responsibility, independence, and self-sufficiency.

Although my kids have been great at wanting to be involved in household duties, as they’ve gotten older it’s been more of a challenge getting them motivated for regular chores — and nearly impossible to get them enthusiastic about completing them on a daily basis.

We’ve tried a good handful of ways to motivate our kids, but the most successful has definitely been the regular use of a chore chart. It not only provides motivation, but has also begun helping us teach them financial responsibility. One key to being successful has been getting the chores organized in writing – then there’s no question about who’s responsible for what on a given day.

After quite a few trial runs and alterations, below is the Magnetic Chore Chart we now use to keep us organized and help our family life run just a bit smoother.

DIY Magnetic Daily and Weekly Chore Chart - projectsinparenting.com

With the understanding that as the children grow, our household expectations may change and their chores will be reevaluated and tailored to their age level. I designed this chart so it can grow with us – easily being able to change and swap out chores as needed. In the future, perhaps adjust allowance amounts as well.

One of the most important things we are trying to teach them right now is that money comes from work, so rather than freely receiving an allowance, our kids earn their money by completing tasks. After they complete a chore, they simply move the corresponding Magnetic Pin to the jar with their name. On Sundays – payday – the kids trade in their pins for the cash they’ve earned.

They each get ONE daily task and ONE weekly task. Having three children, that has been the most realistic expectation for us, as well as not overwhelming to track (for them and myself). Since they also sometimes ask to help with additional chores, I listed those in the ‘Bonus’ section. These are not expected, but an extra way for them to earn cash.

Magnetic Chore Chart Free Printable - projectsinparenting.com

I have to say, it has been nice to pass some responsibility over to my kids — waking up to an empty dishwasher has been glorious! Most importantly, I love seeing them learn new practical life skills and confidently contribute to the household.

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”  – Denis Waitley

Halloween Party Games

Halloween Party Games with FREE Printables - projectsinparenting.com

I volunteered as Room Parent for the first time this year and found out I’ll be rolling solo. At first I got nervous, realizing a seasoned Room Parent wasn’t going to take me under their wing and show me how to throw a class party. Then I realized it’s probably a great thing because it allows me to get creative and come up with new and fresh ideas!

Since Halloween is my favorite holiday, I couldn’t be happier it’s my first class party to plan. Ghosts, zombies, vampires, mummies and witches – what’s not to love?? In the *spirit* of coming up with unique ideas, I created these spooktacularly fun and simple DIY games…

Zombie Ball

Rules: 2+ players race to knock down a row of zombie-themed water bottles, using only a ball dangling from a stocking on their head.

 

 

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Preparation: Using these FREE Printable Plants vs. Zombies inspired labels –  I wrapped them around the water bottles (sized to Ice Mountain), adhered them over the existing labels using double sided tape, and sealed the two ends together with packaging tape (which happened to be the perfect width for the seam). To knock down the zombies, I used these black stockings stuffed with an old tennis ball.

CLICK HERE for FREE Printable Zombie Water Bottle Labels.

Frankenstein Fishing

Rules: Players take turns catching Frankenstein Fish. Each fish has a letter on the back, which the players use to work together and come up with as many Halloween themed words as possible.

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Preparation: I used this Frankenstein Fishing Printable, cut out the rows of fish and attached a paperclip to each tail. I then used contact paper to laminate them for extra durability, and cut out the shape of each fish. For catching the fish, I used a magnetic fishing pole I happened to have.

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CLICK HERE for FREE Printable Frankenstein Fishing Word Scramble.

Skull Toss

Rules: Players toss mini skulls into 3 black jack-‘o-lantern buckets, each containing a prize. I used spider rings in the 1st, vampire fangs in the 2nd, and glow in the dark bouncy balls in the 3rd (each player receives only one from each bucket).

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Halloween How-to-Draw

This will be a drawing station where each student receives a pumpkin drawing pad and skeleton pens (Thank you Target Dollar Spot!) along with a packet of Halloween themed How-to-Draw sheets – like this easy to follow Haunted House from Art Projects for Kids. Google and Pinterest are great for more resources!

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Now that my planning and game creation is complete – I have 2 days till the Halloween Party… Wish me luck!

Related: Room on the Broom Inspired Scavenger Hunt

“Zombies – They love you for what’s on the inside.”

 

Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book

Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book Banner.jpg

We recently invested in a full-size digital piano and expanded our song list from my original post: Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Sheets. I also switched the orientation of the pages (from horizontal to vertical). Doing so allowed me to create a beginner piano music book that sits nicely in the sheet stand. All I had to do was print them out, slide them into page protectors and insert the sheets into a 3-ring binder. To label our keys, I created these Removable Color Coded Piano Key Labels. Another option that coordinates exactly and are the perfect size for full-sized piano keys / keyboards are these Color Coding Dot Labels (they just don’t remove as nicely).

Simple enough for my 4 year old to catch on quickly – this color coded piano music book has been such a confidence booster in my children’s ability to start reading sheet music.  Watching their faces and sense of accomplishment after completing a song is absolutely priceless. The best part – they are having so much fun learning!  🙂

To create your own Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book, including ALL NINE SONGS, click here.
Color Coded Piano Song Pack Banner

If you are simply looking to add to your collection from my previous post – below are the new songs…

Row Row Row Your Boat – FREE Download:
Row Row Row Your Boat

Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday Banner

You Are My Sunshine and Baa Baa Black Sheep
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Are You Sleeping? (Frère Jacques)
Are You Sleeping Banner

And just in time for the holidays, I added Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

Christmas Music Music Banner

Hope you enjoy these music sheets as much as we have!

“Music is what feelings sound like.”

Related Posts:

Color-Coded Beginner Piano Sheet Music for Kids - Star Wars The Imperial March - projectsinparenting.com  DIY Darth Vader Star Wars Costume for Girls with Free printable chest plate iron-on - projectsinparenting.com  DIY Disney Autograph Memory Book - Multiple Colors

Super Simple Snowflake Sticker Craft

Super Simple Snowflake Sticker Craft - projectsinparenting.com

Last year I hosted a Christmas party with 12 kids. How did I keep that many little ones occupied with a craft that didn’t end up with a huge mess?? — STICKERS!

Using only these cute foam snowflakes and rhinestone gems from Amazon, each kid was able to create their own shimmering piece of art! (Individual gem packs are usually available at your local craft store)

This year, I still had left over snowflakes and rhinestone stickers, so we combined them with some glitter glue for a little extra sparkle!

Super Simple Snowflake Sticker Craft - projectsinparenting.com

With a little bit of water, these snowflakes also stick great on glass / windows. The kids love wetting them down the back and playing with them on our sliding glass patio door. 🙂

“We are like a snowflake all different in our own beautiful way”

The Imperial March Beginner Piano Sheet Music

Color Coded Beginner Piano Sheet Music Banner - projectsinparenting.jpg

The boys have mastered the Color-Coded Beginner Piano Sheet Music I created for them, so I thought I’d put together another song. They are super into Star Wars right now, so The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s theme) seemed like the perfect option. Simple, yet dramatically fun – and perfect to get in the mood for our upcoming trip to Disney World!

All I had to do was add a few more color-coded note stickers to our keyboard. POST UPDATE: I originally cut down circle dot labels I had on-hand (as seen in my photo), but once we upgraded from our Fisher-Price Keyboard to an electronic piano, I wanted to use more gentle sticker adhesive so created these Removable Piano / Keyboard Stickers. The colors coordinate exactly and they are the perfect size for full-sized piano keys / keyboards.

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Click on below image to download FREE printable color-coded sheet music…

Star Wars - The Imperial March Color-Coded Beginner Piano Sheet Music - projectsinparenting.com

…And may the force be with you.

For more song selections and removable color-coded piano stickers, please visit my Etsy Shop.