Valentine Activities for Toddlers
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!
As with my other holiday crafts for kids Hubs, I've broken down these crafts and activities into specific developmental categories so that your kids can get the most out of their play time:
- Physical and Social Development
- Language Development
- Cognitive Development
- Physical Development
- Creative Development
Personal and Social Development
- Approach to Learning
- Interactions with Others
- Conflict Resolution
- Party Favor Bags
- Valentine's Trinkets (suitable for your child's age group if handing out to classmates)
- Chocolates or Candies
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.
Here are some item suggestions. My son can't eat a lot of chocolate, and in general I don't like to give kids a lot of candy, so I've learned ways of beefing up goodie bags, without loading them with sugar. Surprisingly, the price for all of this stuff isn't too different from buying brand-name bags of candy.
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.
Non-Candy Goodie Bag Items:
- Play Jewelry and Gems
- Small Notepads or Coloring Books
- 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 and they love it. If it sticks, it's awesome. Ah, to be so easily satisfied.
For more Valentine's gift bag ideas, check out my hub How to Make a Valentine's Day Bag.
What I Like About You
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, and 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.
- Literature and Reading
- Alphabet Knowledge
ABC's of Love
Here are some loving words you can teach your little one. For more caring words, check out this great list of positive words!
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 and love inspired coloring pages.
A - Arrows
B - Bears
C - Chocolates
D - Dove
E - Empathy
F - Friendship
G - Gift
H - Happy
I - Inclusion
J - Joy
K - Kisses
L - Love
M - Marriage
N - Nurturing
O - Open-minded
P - Polite
Q - Quality Time
R - Roses
S - Serenade
T - Togetherness
U - Understanding
V - Valentine
W - Welcome
X - XOXO
Y - You
Z - Zany
Conversational Heart Cards
Cut hearts out of color paper and write words (such as the ABC's of Love suggested above) then talk about their meaning and practice reading and pronouncing them together. Post the hearts all over for little ones to practice and remember how loved they are.
- Patterns and Relationships
- Number Concept and Operations
- Geometry and Spatial Relations
Practice measuring, baking, and shapes together by baking a heart shaped cake using a square tin, circle tin, and your favorite cake recipe. You can also use food coloring to practice mixing and identifying colors.
For more tips and ideas on making Valentine's cakes check out my hub Valentine's Day Heart Shaped Cake Recipe.
- Black, blue, or some other color paper for penguin's body
- White paper for penguin's belly
- Pink, orange, yellow or a combination of two for penguin's beak and feet.
- Black marker for penguin's eyes.
- (optional) Eye beads for penguin's eyes
Cut out a plump oval shape for the penguin's body.
Cut out two identical teardrop or heart shapes for the penguin's wings and glue them on the body.
Cut out a heart shape from the white paper and glue it on the body.
Cut out three small heart shapes from the beak and feet color paper and glue on card.
Add eye beads or draw eyes on.
Identify the shapes as you go along. Let your little one practice using the scissors to help develop motor skills.
- Gross-Motor Skills
- Fine-Motor Skills
Play Dough Chocolates
This is a fun activity to try after Valentine's is over.
- Empty chocolate box
- Brown play dough
- Plastic knife
- (optional) Clay in various colors
Make clay chocolates by using the empty chocolate tray as a mold for the play dough. Add fillings to your chocolates, play dough decorations, and even hide stickers underneath the clay.
DIY Chocolate Candies
Pretend chocolate too much of a tease? Try this simple fudge recipe.
- 3 1/3 cups chocolate chips
- 1 (14 oz.) can of condensed milk
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- A pan
- Plastic wrap or parchment paper
- A microwave safe bowl
- A mixing spoon
- A microwave
- (optional) Toppings for chocolate; crushed peppermint, walnuts, pecans
- (optional) Festive cookie cutters
- (optional) Chocolate molds
In a mixing bowl have your little one measure and combine the chocolate chips with the condensed milk. Let them stir then microwave for a a minute and a half or until chips or melted then stir or let your little one stir (Gemma notes that if you stir too much your mixture will get oily so beware).
Together pour your mixture in a pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Add desired toppings. This video says let fudge sit overnight or covered for four hours. Similar videos I've seen recommend putting the fudge in the fridge for an hour. Leave chocolate until it's solid.
When the fudge is read cut it into cubes or together with your little one, punch out shapes using cookie cutters.
Valentine Potato Prints
- A Potato
- A knife
- A tray for paint
- Paper, Fabric, or something else to print on
- (optional) Paint Brush
The potato stamp should be prepped by an adult or a teenager. I hadn't considered adding this project to this Hub until much later, so I didn't take photos of the process. Luckily, I'm not the first person to do it, so here's a video by someone else.
When I made the potato stamps, I cut the potato in half so Juju & Blaze sould have their own. Then I cut a large V shape into the potato, and rounded it off.
We did not brush the paint onto our potatoes. I just put some paint in a tray and let the boys have it stamping with it. It was a lot of fun and we got some really cute prints from it.
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. :)
- Cardstock, Watercolor paper, or some other sort of strong paper
- Crayons, Markers, Color Pencils, Watercolors, Paints etc.
- Color Paper
- Whatever else you can imagine!
Create fun and unique cards by cutting out Valentine's shapes from color paper, felt, fabric, repurposed wrapping paper, magazine pages, and whatever else you can imagine.
Embroider your designs with charms, gems, tiny mirrors, and stamps that can be found at most craft stores.
Personalize your cards by adding photo cut outs.
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