I may be behind on planning for Valentine’s Day (including making nearly-impossible dinner reservations), but my three-year-old is ready and is counting down the days.
Last week, while shopping, my daughter selected cartoon-themed temporary tattoos for me and a stuffed toy for my husband. While she “gave” these gifts to us, I think she secretly hopes to claim these gifts as her own. Before she selected some other cartoon-related item for our dog and bird, I decided to intervene.
I suggested to my art-loving toddler that we paint a Valentine’s gift for the pets. A nanosecond later, my daughter was on board with the idea. We turned to the ASPCA’s Pet DIY Crafts Pinterest board for some inspiration. The board has a number of great projects, including homemade dog treats, which will be perfect when we are ready to add a different option to our own dog bone recipe.
Of the projects listed, the dog silhouette caught our eye. The color contrast, the simple but sophisticated look and the ease of creation made for a great art project.
Painting with an active toddler and pet is far from as crazy as it sounds. To avoid mishaps of paint everywhere and the “joys” of a meltdown, before any project, I make sure:
1.Everyone had a chance to burn off energy (yes, even the dog, as he can get a bit hyper and can cause a mess);
2.My daughter had a snack; and
3.All craft and clean up supplies are within arm’s reach during the project
One cold afternoon, my toddler and I got to work. Aside from cutting out and taping the pictures on the blank canvas, my three-year-old did most of the heavy lifting with the project. She selected the colors, decided where the pictures should be placed, and did a bulk of the actual painting.
We did make two modifications from the original instructions. First, we used washable paints. Second, we taped the pictures to the canvas while painting. By taping the pictures to the canvas, my daughter could be more independent with her painting without the worry that the silhouette would be destroyed. Keeping those pictures on the canvas had an added bonus, and my daughter’s eyes grew excited as the silhouettes were revealed.
In the end, we had fantastic fun and have two special silhouettes celebrating our pets. Now, we just have to decide where to hang up our new artwork!
Hey there, cute couples! Do you and your pet look smashing together—or maybe you even look alike? Are you the proud pet parent of a charming pair of kitties? Or perhaps your pooch looks too-cute cozied up with his best friend? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then this contest is for you!
The top winner will receive a diamond pendant from Zales Jewelers and an ASPCA Prize Pack. Entries will be accepted now through February 28, and we’ll announce the winner on March 6. We can't wait to see your entries!
January 24 was Change a Pet’s Life Day, and in honor of this special day, we’d like to hear from you! How have you made a difference in your pet’s life?
Whether you’ve adopted a dog or donated your time to a shelter, we’d love to hear how you’ve helped animals in need. Share your story and spread the word on your social media channels using the hashtag #ChangeAPetsLifeDay! We’ll feature our favorite stories on the ASPCA blog, and the top five story entrants will each win an ASPCA gift pack. Best of luck!
They may be too young to vote, but children can still make big impressions on legislators and be voices for animals! With new legislative sessions gearing up in D.C. and in state capitols across the nation, there are plenty of ways you can engage and encourage kids who are interested in government and animal advocacy. Check out these fun and easy tips for helping the little animal lovers in your life make a big difference for our furry friends:
Visit your legislators in their district offices. A great way to help children get familiar with the legislative process is by taking them to meet your lawmakers in person. You can find out here who represents your family in Congress and in your state legislature. Then, schedule meetings to speak with them (or members of their staff) about an animal issue important to your child, whether it’s puppy mills or farm-animal welfare.
Attend an ASPCA “Voices for Animals Day.” Bring your kids to one of our events at your state capitol or meet us online for one of our citizen advocacy training sessions. Not only will your child get an up-close look at how laws are made, but you’ll get to meet other parent advocates and learn tips on how to lobby your legislators for stronger animal welfare laws. Plus, you may even get to hang out with some adorable, adoptable cats and dogs! Make sure you’re signed up to receive our advocacy emails to learn when we’re coming to your area.
Join a campaign in your community. Many campaigns can benefit from all kinds of volunteer help. If there’s an important animal welfare issue going on in your neighborhood, spend a couple of hours with your child handing out flyers, knocking on doors or manning a booth for the cause in your community.
Be an e-advocate. Animal welfare bills need your support all year long. Have your child write a personal email to your member of Congress or use their social media account to ask your state senator to take action on a specific bill. Don’t know where to start? We created an informative, colorful, one-page guide on using your computer or mobile device to fight for strong, animal-friendly laws.
Cold, blustery winter weather isn’t always fun for your kids and pets, but we’ve come up with one way to make the frigid temperatures easier to bear: a fun photo contest! Break out that hideous or hilarious pet sweater and have your kids help dress up your pet for the chance to win our “Cute Pet, Ugly Sweater” Photo Contest.
Submit your photo on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #CutePetUglySweater and tell us about your pet’s favorite winter activity—like whether he loves to fetch snowballs or prefers to curl up the couch for TV time. Only one photo will be accepted per person, so submit your best shot!
*Poco, our canine model, is available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City! Visit her profile page to learn more about this friendly dog.