Valentines is just around the corner! I was excited to come up with a variety of activities to try with Asher. I wanted to come up with lots of different things so that there was something different for every type of kid. Bellow you will find activities involving, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, crafts, an easy treat, and a couple sensory plays. Most of these you could set up with stuff you likely have lying around the house. Lets jump in love bugs!
This super simple activity is great for kids who LOVE to move!! I cut large hearts out of felt, but you could also use paper. I used painters tape to stick them to the floor so they didn’t move around. Have your little on practice jumping from heart to heart. Move them around into different patterns. Practice going fast and slow. Let your little one run wild!
Candy Heart Sort
This simple activity is great for practicing fine motor skills! I used magnet tiles to make the color matching boxes, but you can use whatever works best for you. We also used little tweezers that came with our water beads, but you could also use kitchen tongs. They often have kids sized tongs at the dollar store. I demonstrated this for Asher and he picked it up right away. If you watch the video, he is so proud of himself after he drops on in. 😍
Sponge Heart Stamp
For this you need sponges, washable paint, and some paper. I cut a couple sponges into hearts, and dipped them into different colors. I always tape Asher’s paper down so it doesn’t slide all over, but this is totally optional. Asher thought the sponges were really fun painting tools. If you wanted to make this a bit more complicated you could do a “love tree” using your child’s handprint including the forearm for a tree trunk.
Fancy Dipped Pretzels
This treat could not be easier to make! Only 3 ingredients, pretzel rods, white chocolate, and sprinkles. Simply dip the pretzel rod in melted white chocolate, then coat in sprinkles. Let the chocolate set up and BAM! You have a very cute Valentines treat. Another great thing about this treat, is you can make just a couple. So you don’t end up with a whole batch of cookies to deal with for days to come.
Valentines Ice Rescue
You honestly can’t go wrong with water activities. To create this I froze little felt hearts and pompoms in dyed water. We have lots of ice cube molds but you could use a muffin tin, or sand castle mold, a bowl, whatever you have on hand. I made the felt hearts, but right now there are tons of little heart shaped things you could use at craft stores or the dollar store. When the time came I gave Asher some warm water and different scoops to play with. There are a few variations you could do with this.
- Do this in the bathtub or kitchen sink! No cleanup, same level of fun.
- Make a big ice block instead of cubes. Provide smashing hammers, salt, and warm water to melt it.
Valentines Sensory Bin
Another thing you can’t go wrong with is a sensory bin! I decided to make some dyed rice and beans. When I first saw sensory bins made with dyed pasta, rice, or beans, I thought it was really daunting. Honestly, it is very easy to do, and you can use it over and over again. Just store it in an air tight container. I will post the recipe bellow. I took the time to make this look very “instagram-able”, but in all honesty your child would enjoy it just the same if you just dumped it all in there. I added some more felt hearts, and Asher’s favorite scooping tool…a digger. Any scoops and containers are great.
- White rice, dried beans, or pasta
- Food coloring
- Cookie sheet
- Ziplock(or other sealable container)
- Parchment paper(optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees. (Baking this is optional, but it speeds up the drying process significantly)
- Put your rice, beans, or pasta (I used about 1.5 cups for each color. This made a lot! The recipe stays the same regardless of how much grain you use.) into your sealable container. Add about 2 tsp of vinegar and food coloring. Shake it up until everything is coated. Add more food coloring until you reach your desired color.
- Dump out the mixture onto your parchment lined cookie sheet and put into the oven for 15 minutes. TURN OFF the oven. Check the dryness at this point. If it is still wet, give it a mix and and put it back in the oven while it cools down. Checking occasionally.
- As soon as it is dried and cool it is ready to play with!
Happy Valentines my friends! I hope you enjoy these loved up activities with your little one. If you try them out I’d love to hear about it! Please like, share and enjoy.
Activities inspired by the following posts:
*https://www.andnextcomesl.com/2016/01/valentines-gross-motor-game-for-kids.html *https://www.swaddlesnbottles.com/toddler-valentines-day-activity-dipped-pretzels/ *https://activelittles.com/valentines-day-activities-for-toddlers-and-preschool/ *https://busytoddler.com/2016/02/valentines-day-sorting-activity/