Valentine's Day Activities for Toddlers

Updated on February 19, 2018
followthestray profile image

Sam is the mother of two young boys, Juju and Blaze. Their family enjoys going on trips, crafting, learning, and exploring.

This card was made by cutting out a construction paper heart, painting it with glue, and letting the little one attach paper scraps, tissue paper, and stickers as he wished.
This card was made by cutting out a construction paper heart, painting it with glue, and letting the little one attach paper scraps, tissue paper, and stickers as he wished. | Source

Valentine's Day is a great time to teach kids about love, kindness, and friendship. It's also a perfect time to make lots of cards and yummy treats. Yay! I've broken down these crafts and activities into specific developmental categories so your kids can get the most out of their play time:

  1. Physical and Social Development
  2. Language Development
  3. Cognitive Development
  4. Physical Development
  5. Creative Development

1. Personal and Social Development

Key Points:

  • Approach to Learning
  • Self-Control
  • Interactions with Others
  • Conflict Resolution

Friendship Goody Bags

Create Valentine's goodie bags with your little one to share with their friends, neighbors, or even people you happen to pass by on the street. Teach them how to give, be generous, caring, and considerate of others. Show them how even the smallest tokens of love and kindness can make people feel happy.

What You'll Need:

  • Party Favor Bags
  • Valentine's Trinkets (suitable for your child's age group if handing out to classmates)
  • Chocolates or Candies (optional)
  • Non-Candy Items (Stickers*, Play Jewelry, Cards, Bubbles, Balls, Crayons, Notebooks, Wind-Up Toys)

* I don't know about everyone else, but my sons go bananas over stickers. It could be the label sticker they peeled off of a piece of fruit—they'd still love it. If it sticks, it's awesome. Ah, to be so easily satisfied.

Instructions

  1. This craft is quite simple. Just put everything together in the bag, and you're done!

All of these items can be found in craft and party stores. I've also had luck finding these items at dollar stores, such as Family Dollar, and Target.

My boys.
My boys.

"What I Like About You" Activity

Sit down with your little one and take turns going back and forth sharing things you like about each other. Use this as an opportunity to compliment them on things other than the external, such as how adorable they are (even though they really really are adorable).

A few examples could be:

  • I like how you are always so excited to help me sweep.
  • I like that you always make me colorful pictures to brighten my day.
  • I like those big hugs you give me when I come home.
  • I like when you help your little brother learn a new game.
  • I like when you sing and dance to your favorite songs.

Focusing on things other than or in addition to what they look like ("I like how cute you are") and even just on how well they behave ("I like when you sit quietly when I'm working") will help your children feel good about doing the things they enjoy. It will also teach them to notice nice things about others too. You'll know when they've started to pick up on the lesson when their compliments change from "I like your hair" to "I like when you read to me when I'm sick."

This can also be used as a discipline method for bickering siblings. Have them sit across from each other and go a few rounds complimenting each other. My little one is still too little to try this out, but this is what's in store for their future, haha.

2. Language Development

Key Points:

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Literature and Reading
  • Writing
  • Alphabet Knowledge

ABC's of Love

Here are some loving words you can teach your little one.

  • A - Adore
  • B - Beloved
  • C - Caring
  • D - Darling
  • E - Everlasting
  • F - Forgiveness
  • G - Gratitude
  • H - Hope
  • I - Integrity
  • J - Jovial
  • K - Kindness
  • L - Laughs
  • M - Merry
  • N - Nice
  • O - Optimistic
  • P - Peace
  • Q - Quality
  • R - Respect
  • S - Sincere
  • T - Trust
  • U - Unconditional
  • V - Values
  • W - Wonderful
  • Y - Young Love
  • Z - Zeal

Valentine's Day ABC's

Valentine's Day and love-inspired words and/or coloring pages.

Candy hearts
Candy hearts | Source

Conversational Heart Cards

What You'll Need:

  • Color paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Cut hearts out of color paper.
  2. Write words (such as the ABC's of Love suggested above).
  3. Talk about the meanings of the words. Practice reading and pronouncing them together.
  4. Post the hearts all over the home for little ones to practice and remember how loved they are.

3. Cognitive Development

Key Points:

  • Patterns and Relationships
  • Number Concept and Operations
  • Geometry and Spatial Relations
  • Measurement

How to make a heart-shaped cake.
How to make a heart-shaped cake. | Source
Finished Penguin Card
Finished Penguin Card | Source

Penguin Cards

What You'll Need:

  • Black, blue, or some other color paper (penguin's body)
  • White paper (penguin's belly)
  • Pink, orange, yellow, or a combination of two (penguin's beak and feet)
  • Black marker (penguin's eyes)
  • Eye beads (optional, penguin's eyes)

Instructions

  1. Cut out a plump oval shape for the penguin's body.
  2. Cut out two identical teardrop or heart shapes for the penguin's wings and glue them on the body.
  3. Cut out a heart shape from the white paper and glue it on the body.
  4. Cut out three small heart shapes from the beak and feet color paper and glue them on the card.
  5. Add eye beads or draw eyes on the penguin.
  6. Identify the shapes as you go along. Let your little one practice using the scissors to help develop motor skills.

4. Physical Development

Key Points:

  • Gross-Motor Skills
  • Fine-Motor Skills

Play Dough Chocolates

This is a fun activity to try after Valentine's Day is over.

What You'll Need:

  • Empty chocolate box
  • Brown play dough
  • Plastic knife
  • Clay in various colors (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make clay chocolates by using an empty chocolate tray as a mold for the play dough.
  2. Add fillings to your chocolates, play dough decorations, and even hide stickers underneath the clay!

DIY Chocolate Candies

Is pretend chocolate too much of a tease? Try this simple fudge recipe!

What You'll Need:

  • 3 1/3 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 oz.) can condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Pan
  • Plastic wrap/parchment paper
  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Microwave
  • Chocolate toppings (optional): crushed peppermint, walnuts, pecans
  • Festive cookie cutters (optional)
  • Chocolate molds (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, have your little one measure and combine the chocolate chips with the condensed milk. Let them stir it and then microwave the mixture for 90 seconds, or until the chips are melted. Stir it (but not too much).
  2. Together, pour the mixture into a pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Add the desired toppings. Let the fudge sit overnight or covered for four hours. Similar videos I've seen recommend putting the fudge in the fridge for an hour. Leave the chocolate until it's solid.
  3. When the fudge is ready, cut it into cubes or, together with your little one, punch out shapes using cookie cutters.


5. Creative Development

Key Points:

  • Art
  • Music/Dance
  • Dramatics

Heart print made from a potato stamp.
Heart print made from a potato stamp. | Source

Valentine Potato Prints

What You'll Need:

  • Potato
  • Knife
  • Paint
  • Tray
  • Paper/Fabric/Something to Print on
  • Paintbrush (optional)

Instructions

  1. The potato stamp should be prepped by an adult or a teenager. When I made the potato stamps, I cut the potato in half so Juju & Blaze could have their own. Next, I cut a large V shape into the potato and rounded it off.
  2. We did not brush the paint onto our potatoes. I just put some paint on a tray and let the boys have at it. It was a lot of fun, and we got some cute prints from it.
  3. I even took a sheet of one of my prints, cut out all the hearts, and stuck them all around the house. Then I told my family when they see them, they should remember that I love them very much. :)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source

Valentine's Day Cards

What You'll Need:

  • Cardstock, Watercolor paper, or some other sort of strong paper
  • Crayons, Markers, Color Pencils, Watercolors, Paints etc.
  • Color Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Whatever else you can imagine!

Instructions

  1. Create fun and unique cards by cutting out Valentine's Day-inspired shapes from color paper, felt, fabric, repurposed wrapping paper, magazine pages, and whatever else you can imagine.
  2. Embroider your designs with charms, gems, tiny mirrors, and stamps.
  3. Personalize your cards by adding photo cutouts.

Valentine's Day Sing-A-Long

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • followthestray profile imageAUTHOR

        Samantha Harris 

        3 years ago from New York

        Thank you!

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        3 years ago from The Caribbean

        Creative, educational and fun. You obviously invested much time and thought into this article and it is worth a read by every parent and teacher who wants to help the children enjoy and benefit from activities on Valentine Day.

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