Lovely Ways to Enjoy Valentine's Day

We love to love Valentine's Day at Believe in Me!  We love to make valentines, we love to give chocolates, and we LOVE to spend time with our friends!  We are big fans of any day that celebrates love and thought we'd share some of our favorite ideas for activity options with you!

1.  Matching/Fixing Broken Hearts

This fun-filled movement game is super easy to prep and can lead to all sorts of learning opportunities.  We have two levels of play for this one - matching hearts for the little ones and fixing broken hearts for older children.

What you'll need:

- Red, purple, pink, white construction paper

- Scissors

- Tape

- Printed photos of items your child likes - favorite characters, animals, cars, etc.

(you'll need doubles of all photos)

- Laminator and laminating sheets (optional - we laminated ours because we have a borderline unhealthy obsession with our laminators)

What to do:

Cut out hearts from your colored construction paper.  For the little ones you'll have two of each color so they can match their hearts.  For the older kids, you'll have at least one heart of each color that you'll cut in half.

Cut out your printed items and tape them to your hearts.  For the little ones you'll tape one photo to each of the same colored heart so they match.  For the older children you would tape matching photos to each side of one previously-cut heart.  

Laminate (if your heart so desires) and cut the hearts out again.

Spread out your hearts or heart halves.  You can either split them up and place them on opposite ends of the room or scatter them around to make more of a scavenger hunt.  

Time to play!  Have your child choose one heart/heart half to start with and help them to match it or fix the broken heart.  To make things more challenging you can give them an action to do as they locate the other piece (i.e. jump, spin, crawl, run, walk slowly, run).  Have fun hiding the hearts or adding on actions to extend your play.

What it works on:

- Following directions

- Visual scanning

- Matching

- Staying on task

- Retaining information

 

2.  Create Valentine's Day Votive Holders

We found this very adorable craft at Homemade Serenity (click here for the blog post) and just had to share it!

What you need:

- A glass jar (bonus points for using a recycled one!)

- Colored tissue paper (white, red, pink, purple)

- Liquid starch

- Paint brushes

- Newspaper or plastic covering

- A bowl/container to hold the liquid starch

What to do:

Lay out some newspaper or plastic to protect your workspace.  Working on the floor is always a good idea!

Rip up the white tissue paper into little squares.

Under supervision, have your kiddo place the tissue paper onto their jar and paint over it with liquid starch.  Keep going until the whole jar is covered.

Cut out some hearts from the other colored tissue paper.  While the starch is still wet, lay the hearts over the white tissue paper.  If you need to, you can always use some extra liquid starch.

Allow the jar to dry overnight and voila!  Add a tea light or votive (or battery operated votive in case you have safety concerns) and you now have a lovely Valentine's Day votive holder worthy of the highest praise!

What it works on:

- Fine motor control

- Using two hands at midline

- Sequencing

- Following directions

 

3.  Heart Shaped Chocolates

Valentine's Day is largely about chocolates, don't you think?  Here's a way to make your own and have fun at the same time!

What you'll need:

- Chocolate candy melt (we used pink but any color will do)

- Heart shaped molds

- A bowl for your candy melt

- A spoon

What to do:

Place your candy melt into a bowl and heat as per the package instructions.  We made ours melty enough to pour but not too hot in case we had any spills.

Help your kiddo spoon the melty chocolate into the heart molds, filling each up one and removing the excess chocolate as you go.

Pop the molds into the fridge and once they've cooled, enjoy!

What it works on:

- Fine motor control

- Hand-eye coordination

- Waiting (who doesn't want to eat chocolate as soon as they see it?)

 

Bonus Fun:  SENSORY BIN!

You know we love a great themed sensory bin and Valentine's Day is no exception!

For the bin you see above, we used rice that we dyed pink (for more information on how to dye rice for sensory play check out this post by Little Bins for Little Hands here) and added some rose-scented essential oils. We tossed in fabric rose petals, conversation hearts, and jeweled hearts we found at the dollar store (being thrifty never hurt anyone!).  You can also use heart stickers, valentines, wrapped chocolates, or any other Valentine's Day-themed objects you'd like!  Let your little one play and explore independently or make this a joint activity by giving them directions on what objects to look for.

 

We hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!!!

 

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