Hooray! Valentine’s Day is almost here! Young children eagerly anticipate the excitement of sending and receiving valentines. Making cards offer ample opportunities for young children to practice fine motor skills like cutting, gluing, writing names, and peeling off stickers for those special people in their lives. Decorating valentines is by and large one of the main activities during this calendar day. However, if your child would rather not sit down at a table and address individual cards, below are four other easy ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Valentine Bird Feeder. This activity needs pipecleaners, cereal shaped like O’s (Cheerios, Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, etc), and some string. First, have your child loop cereal onto a pipe cleaner strand. You can encourage him/her to make a pattern with the different cereal, sizes, and colors. After the pipe cleaner is full of cereal, manipulate the pipe cleaner into the shape of a heart. You can use the string to hang it outside on a tree branch.
Crown of Hearts. There are many ways to make a crown of hearts. One way is to have various sizes of hearts pre-cut out of construction paper. Using glue, children can have free choice on how they will stick the hearts onto a longer rectangular strip of construction paper that will eventually wrap around their heads. Children can make a pattern and/or glue the hearts upside-down to have the “points” on top. Make sure to include markers and stickers for added decoration. Once the child is done decorating the strip of construction paper with hearts, you can carefully staple the ends to form a circle big enough for the child’s head. Another crown of heart can be made out of using a plain paper plate. This type of crown, however, involves careful cutting where you will want to supervise little ones with scissors.
Red Snack Day. The color red is most popular during Valentine’s Day. One way to celebrate the color is by sharing a valentine of “Red Snack Day.” Use a muffin tin or small dishes to serve up different snacks that are naturally red. Children will be drawn to the different shades of red and be excited to taste test the samples. Some yummy red snacks include: raspberries, strawberries, slices of red pepper, sliced watermelon, slices of pepperoni, cherries, dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, red grapes, red delicious apples, goji berries, cherry or grape tomatoes, etc. The possibilities are endless!
Valentine’s Day Snack Mix. Quaker Whole Hearts is a nutritious cereal for little tummies and perfect for munching by the handful. You can spice it up to a Valentine theme by adding dried strawberries, and a light sprinkle of Valentine mini M&M’s. When dehydrated, the strawberries hold the shape of a heart and the teeny sprinkle of mini M&M’s is a forgivable amount sugar for the once-a-year occasion.
The Parenting Hub would love to hear about other fun ways you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your young children. Please send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Valentine Bird Feeder
Valentine’s Day Craft for Kids
Crown of Hearts
Red Snack Day
Valentine’s Snack Mix