I loooove Valentine’s Day! I pink-puffy-heart Valentine’s Day!
And I love the excuse to put together pink and red and sparkly crafts and activities for Calvin and Henry!
With V-day two weeks away, James pulled out our box of Valentine odds and ends leftover from our activities last year, and I went through pics of those activities to share here.
These little toys and things mostly came from the dollar section or Valentine party favors at Target, but you could pick up similar items from a dollar store or craft store. I looked for little toys with fun textures for sensory play, and craft items like buttons, sticketrs, sequins & glitter. I did not buy pink and purple paint. I keep 4 basic colors of tempera pants on hand: red, yellow, blue, and white, and I mix up my own colors each time we paint. I find it’s cheaper and easier than storing a big assortment of paints, and more fun it you like to create interesting shades!
So here we go: 6 Toddler Play Ideas for Valentine’s Day!
These bottles are reused bottles from baking sprinkles! You can reuse any clear bottles or jars for sensory bottles, just keep an eye on kids with glass jars and glue the tops on with super glue if your kiddo is likely to uncap it. To glue the lids on, put a few dots of super glue around the threads of the bottle and screw the cap on. I had originally made these Valentine bottles in baby food jars, but I didn’t trust Henry with the glass and it’s actually hard to get those pop button lids back on tightly. So I emptied the sprinkles from these two bottles into the baby food jars and then used the sprinkle bottles for play. I filled them with water, pink glitter, and heart buttons in one, heart sequins in the other. The kids are still loving these this year!
Here’s where I just threw all those fun little Valentine toys together in a tray to create an invitation for sensory play! For Henry, I pulled out just a few toys at a time and I had to keep a close eye on him to make sure he didn’t put any of them all the way into his mouth. (P.S. Look at his adorable mop of curly hair last year!! This was just days before his first hair cut!)
All these little toys came from Target, either from the dollar section or the Valentine party favors section, and I saved them to reuse this year.
This was from our letter-of-the-week activities last year. V is for Valentine! In addition to being pink and pretty, this activity works on letter-shape recognition and fine motor skills. I freehand cut a letter V out of construction paper and gave Calvin some Valentine stickers to decorate with. He also had fun decorating himself with the stickers.
We made painted Valentine cards for Calvin and Henry’s grandparents last year. I mixed up a few shades of pink and purple from our primary colored tempera paints and let Calvin do the painting with Q-tips.
Calvin LOVES gel clings. And these were great because they spelled out “Be Mine” in all caps – convenient for working with a toddler on recognizing capital letters! I wrote the phrase on our tabletop white board and gave him the gel clings all mixed up so that he had to look through them and find each letter and match it to the letters I had written. It was also some fine motor work for him to place the gel heart letters in the correct spots.
This mini mailbox activity is great fine motor practice, plus it’s so adorable! You could cut out little paper hearts, or find little foam hearts like these as well as a mailbox coin bank, and let your little one push the teeny Valentines into the teeny mail slot. You could really do this with any coin bank, or make a mini mailbox out of a small reused cardboard box (cracker/snack packaging, mini cereal boxes, small milk carton, etc.), or cut a slit into the lid of a plastic tub (like a yogurt container or oatmeal can). This would be an easy DIY, but I have to say the little plastic mailbox is pretty darn cute 🙂
Looking back at these pics from last year makes me feel excited about doing some Valentine’s crafts and play this year! Luckily I saved most of this stuff to reuse.
I hope these ideas are inspiring for you!
What kinds of Valentine’s activities are you doing with your kids this year?