Valentine’s Day Fun for Toddlers and PreschoolersAbigail H. Natenshon
Share the Love
Invite your children to enjoy these fun crafts, games, songs, and food centered on friendship. Your children will love the family fun and you’ll appreciate the skills they’ll learn while completing these Valentine’s Day projects.
Gather together and have a bonding talk about love, friends, and why we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Here are a few questions to ask your children:
- What is a friend? What is the difference between friends and family?
- How do you become a friend to someone?
- How do you show love and kindness? On Valentine’s Day, cards, gifts, and flowers are sent to family and friends. Sharing, helping, saying kind words, doing kind deeds, and becoming considerate of one another can also express love. What are some ways you like to show love and kindness to your friends and family?
Enjoy this holiday as you partake in the following activities…
Valentine’s Day Games
Teach your child about spatial directions as they participate in this fun game. Set a decorated Valentine box on the table. Invite your child to move a Valentine card in relationship to the box according to directions you give. Ask your child to “move the card” under, behind, in front of, to the left side, to the right side of the box. Continue to play as long as your child desires.
Valentine’s Day Creative Movement
Dramatize the following verse together:
Let’s be friends on this Valentine’s Day.
We’ll show love in so many ways.
I’ll blow you a kiss. Catch it in your hand.
Throw it back. Watch it land.
Now, be my partner and let’s dance to the music.
It’s so nice to have a friend like you,
not just for today, but the whole year through!
Sorting Hearts Game
Place several shoeboxes on a table. Fill them with different colored construction paper hearts cut into a variety of sizes. Have your child sort the hearts according to size, color, or both. This game helps your little one learn pre-math skills.
Musical Circle of Hearts Game
Cut matching pairs of hearts from an assortment of colored construction paper. Place one heart of each pair in a box. Tape the remaining hearts to the floor in a circle. Players walk on the circle of hearts to music. When the music stops, each player must stand on one of the hearts. One heart is drawn from the box and the player standing on the matching heart gets a chance to choose a heart from the box for the next walk. Repeat as many times as your kids want to play. This is a great game to play with friends and family members.
Memory Hearts Game
You will need:
- 20 index cards
- Colored hearts (two of each message: “Be Mine,” “I Love You,” and so on)
Glue a different colored heart on 10 index cards and then make a matching set. This game is played like the traditional “concentration” game. Place all the cards heart-side down. The children take turns turning over two cards to find matches. If they don’t get a match, they return the cards, and the next player goes.
Here’s a fun song sung to the tune of “Bingo.”
To show how much you love your friends,
Just sing a valentine heart song.
H-E-A-R-T, H-E-A-R-T, H-E-A-R-T,
each “heart” tells that I love you!
You can change the word “friends” to a specific name, or Mommy and Daddy, and so on.
Sing this song to the tune of “Three Blind Mice.”
Love, love, love,
Love, love, love
See how it grows,
See how it grows.
I love my friends and they love me.
We love each other that’s plain to see.
There’s plenty for a big family.
Love, love, love,
Love, love, love!
Heart-Felt Homemade Crafts
Trace a large heart onto a sheet of construction paper. Have your child cut out the heart with safety scissors. While she’s working, take a Polaroid picture of your child, print one from your digital camera, or use a photo you have stored. Take a paper lace doily and invite your child to glue her picture to the doily with the lace around the photo, then glue the doily to the construction-paper heart. Write a cute verse on the heart (older children may want to write it alone, while a younger child can simply sign her name).
Here are a couple examples—or you can make up your own:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I hope you like this picture
of me to you!
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I made this special Valentine
just for you!
Give your child a short, thick candle (look for pink, white, or red). Pour out a bag of candy conversation hearts on the table. Encourage your child to place thick tacky glue on the backs of the candy pieces and press these onto the bottom half of the candle. (Remind recipients to always place the candle on a safe, stable surface, like a metal dish, and to never leave a burning candle unattended.) Make sure the messages are visible. Continue putting on the hearts, all the way around the lower half of the candle in three or four rows, leaving the top half exposed. This makes a great Valentine’s Day gift. Don’t forget about a clean bowl of candy for munching!
You will need:
- various shades of tissue paper (preferably reds, pinks, and purples)
- white paper
- vinegar or cold water (vinegar will set a deeper color)
Have you child begin by cutting or tearing the tissue paper into small squares. Invite her to paint vinegar or cold water over the entire sheet of white paper. While the paper is still wet, place the different colored squares onto the white paper. Allow this to dry. When the paper is dry, the tissue paper will fall off, showing your little one how the tissue paper bled onto the white paper. Turn this into a holiday project by cutting the dyed paper into a heart or use this paper to make a Valentine’s Day card.
Valentine’s Day Paper Dolls
Do you have a lot of used computer paper or discarded office paper at your house and a bored child? Put them together to have some folding “paper-doll” Valentines.
Show your child how to cut paper into an eight-inch square. Have her fold the paper back and forth into four sections. Draw the outline of a person with hands and feet outstretched to the right and left of the folds. Using safety scissors cut out and pull open the chain of human figures. Have her decorate the paper people, coloring them or adding glitter, cotton, or doilies to make them look like Valentines.
As she works, talk about the different Valentines she is creating. Together make up a story about each Valentine person in the chain and even give each one a name. Talk with your child about this project. Good questions with which to start are: “If one of these dolls was you, who would be on either side of you?” “Who would the other dolls be?”
- 5 strawberries
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup milk
Place the fruit and milk into a blender and mix on high speed till blended. Pour into a plastic cup and serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Makes one serving.
Edible Valentine Cards
- Graham crackers
- Vanilla frosting
- Candy conversation hearts
Use the graham cracker as the base of this tasty, edible card. Invite your children to stick the candy conversation hearts on with the frosting. Help them read their message and then enjoy this treat during snack time.