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Over a decade ago I wrote a post with ideas for a love themed tot school lesson and it’s been one of the most visited Valentine’s Day posts on my blog since then. Now that my third child is two I’m doing tot school all over again so I’m sharing about the activities I’m doing with my daughter. In January we did a snow theme with lots of snowman themed activities and winter themed sensory play. We started with Valentine’s themed activities last week and will focus on the holiday for a couple more weeks before moving on to a new theme.
To prepare for the new month, I changed up her learning table area for the month of February. I took out the books about winter and added books for Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. I put together a small Valentine’s Day themed sensory bin with red, white, and pink pom poms and Xs & Os erasers and then added in some heart shaped containers and a scoop. I also made a sensory squishy bag with some clear gel and heart shaped confetti. The other activity I set out is what I’m calling a heart drop. I put some fabric hearts in a bin and then provided a mailbox and large plastic tweezers. The intention was she’d pick up the hearts with the tweezers and drop them into the hole in the mailbox but she just liked putting them in her sensory bin instead. She also greatly enjoyed dumping her sensory bin which will make me rethink the tiniest of the pom poms I included in any future bins I do lol. Oh well! Anyone with a toddler knows they play how they want to play :)
We also did some easy “art” activities including a couple dot marker heart pages and made a collage with sticky foam heart shapes. We sang some songs about love including ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and Barney’s ‘I Love You’ song, and we read some Valentine’s Day books (I curated a list here). Last week was really busy with work and this week is even more so with projects and a tv appearance (eek!) so I’m keeping everything super simple for right now and then next week I’ll do some of the more time consuming activities. Here are some other activities we will be doing over the next couple of weeks:
Heart suncatcher – Last month we used contact paper to make a snowman suncatcher and this month we will use contact paper and tissue paper to make a heart one.
Shaving cream hearts – I think my daughter will mostly just love stirring the shaving cream around and playing in it but this sensory play will lead to some beautiful artwork!
Heart shaped pancakes for breakfast – I have a bunch of Valentine’s Day themed breakfast ideas for kids here but I love the idea of giving Emma a plate full of hearts with heart shaped pancakes and strawberries for breakfast on Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day foam sensory bin with rose petals – I love this sensory bin from Happy Toddler Playtime! Since I currently have fillers in our sensory tables I’m thinking about trying this in the bathtub but I also might just use a giant clear storage bin.
Valentine’s playdough invitation to play – Emma loved creating playdough snowmen (with these little build-a-snowman pieces) so I think she will like this Valentine’s Day themed invitation to play from Pre-K Pages.
Color with heart shaped crayons – I have a DIY to make colorful heart shaped crayons here.
Heart shaped stampers – If you are looking for a craft to use up all those toilet paper rolls you now find yourself hoarding, these heart shaped stampers are the perfect diy craft to make for your child so they can easily stamp heart shapes onto paper.
Heart hopscotch – As I write this post it’s 10 degrees here in Chicago so we will be staying inside and this looks like the perfect large motor activity to get some of the toddler wiggles out. I’m not sure if my daughter will understand the concept of hopscotch but she likes to jump so we will just practice our counting while she jumps around.
We may do a few more activities but these are the main ones I want to do over the next couple weeks. If you have any Valentine’s activities or crafts for toddlers or preschoolers I’d love to hear about them so come chat with me on Twitter or Facebook!