If you’re looking for easy Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids , then you’re in the right place! Featured here are 14, easy to set up activities, that will help your child (and you) get into the Valentine’s Day spirit.
Whilst it might seem unnecessary create Valentine’s Day ideas for kids, the emphasis here is not on romantic love. Learning about emotions, and how to define them, is an important aspect of early childhood.
The majority of these easy Valentine’s Day ideas for kids take less than 5 minutes to set up and most can be used more than once.
Not only are these activities engaging and fun, but they also have many education benefits too. Read on to find out more about each activity and how it helps your child’s development.
5 Benefits of Easy Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids
As well as being a great way to make connections to the world around them, here are some more reasons why you should try these easy Valentine’s Day ideas for kids.
- Gives children the freedom to explore new materials which in turn fosters curiosity and imagination. There is no right or wrong outcome when it comes to sensory play.
- Helps to develop fine motor skills and hand strength. This is crucial for learning to write later on down the line
- Encourages communication and language development. Play invitations can be a social activity, particularly if you invite friends to join in!
- Helps to develop spatial awareness as children begin to understand the environment around them via exploration of materials.
- Boosts brain development which in turn helps ability to problem solve. Sensory play is a great introduction to STEAM learning.
Most of these easy Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids are suitable for children aged from 3 onwards and are intended to be done under supervision. If your child is at the stage where they put items into their mouths, avoid small objects that might pose a choking hazard – pompoms and small beads, for example.
Get the Guide
Download this free guide for a printable version of the ideas featured. Hurry because the February Play Prompts are only available until February 29th 2024!
14 Easy Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids
All of the ideas featured should simply be used as inspiration for your own play at home. You don’t need to use the exact same resources as I did, but here are some core materials that we use for play all year round.
- A tray – the IKEA Flisat table or a tuff spot tray are great purchase options for sensory play
- wooden serving platter from Amazon
- Learning resources fine motor set
- wooden scoops and tongs
- small craft resources – e.g. buttons, beads and pompoms
- recycling – keep novelty shaped boxes, cardboard tubes, plastic bottles and scraps of wrapping paper for crafts and recycling.
1. Chocolate Box Collage
Chocolate box lids are a brilliant alternative to a canvas when making Valentine’s themed art. They are durable enough to withstand paint and glue, plus the final result can be hung in the play space as a piece of child-made art.
Whilst you might not wish to have child-made art all over your house, selecting pieces for your play space (or their room), helps your child to take ownership over their space.
Use a muffin tray or serving platter to present the art materials so it’s easy for your child to see what’s on offer.
2. Borrow or Buy Valentine’s Themed Books
Display books in a range of locations around your house to encourage reading. Borrow or buy books with a Valentine’s or emotions theme to help your child to get into the spirit of the season.
A full list of books, with links, is available in the February Play Prompts download. Subscribe to my Substack page, ‘How I Drink my Coffee Hot’ to access it.
3. Valentine’s themed sensory rice
The beauty of sensory rice is the fact it lasts for ages when stored correctly. In the photo above, we added dried petals and sequins to a batch of red sensory rice for a Valentine’s theme however it isn’t necessary to theme it!
This activity helps develop important early learning skills and also provides an opportunity for some dramatic play – in this case, making some ‘cakes’!
You can find our rainbow rice recipe here.
4. Valentine’s Themed Play Cafe
Every season, we revamp the play kitchen and theme it for key events that are happening. Just like toy rotations in the rest of the play space, we have found that rotating themes means that the play kitchen gets played in more regularly.
Setting up a role play area or ‘home corner’ in the play space is a fantastic and simple way to encourage speech and language development. Other benefits include, learning social skills (acting as the server or customer); development of fine motor skills, making connections to the world around them.
- heart-shaped decor
- rose or lavender scented playdough
- toy tea set
- sensory bottles
5. Naturally Scented Playdough
Valentines Day can (sometimes) mean receiving a bouquet of flowers. Once they’ve passed their best, try drying them out and saving them to make confetti that can be used in play activities. Our technique couldn’t be easier.
Simply pluck the petals off of the flower head and place on a piece of paper towel to dry. Once dried, the petals can be used: as a replacement for glitter (if you cut the pieces small enough) in play dough invitations – as shown above – as part of an art collage or as part of a play kitchen / mud kitchen invitation within a ‘potion’.
Read this blog post to find out how to make your own naturally scented playdough.
6. Heart Matching Activity
This simple heart matching activity requires only three resources: post-it notes, white paper and a pen. You can repeat the activity in a number of different ways to work on the skills that are developmentally appropriate for your child.
Here are some ideas to try:
- name match
- alphabetical order (as shown above)
- phonics skills
- numerical order
- basic addition / subtraction
- shape match
- colour match
7. Paint with Flowers
Painting with flowers is a fun way to reuse old flowers whilst engaging in some process art.
Process art is particularly important in the early years. It allows children to experiment and explore with new materials without the added pressure of the finished product needing to look a certain way.
8. Heart Thumbprints
Whilst we absolutely love process art, sometimes it’s also nice to have a keepsake! This simple gift idea will provide a lasting memento and is easy to set up. All you need is a small canvas and non-toxic acrylic paints.
For best results, get your child to practise making the heart shape with their finger or thumb first before moving on to the canvas.
9. Sensory Bottle Exploration
Whilst the majority of the ideas featured in this post, 14 Easy Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids, are intended for children over the age of three, there’s no reason for babies to miss out on all the fun! Sensory bottles are a real staple in the early years and allow very young children to explore items in a safer manner.
You will need:
- Cylindrical bottle (we like Voss)
You can choose to place all of the flowers in one bottle, as above, for a baby to explore during tummy time, or you may wish to separate out flowers into different bottles as part of a scent recognition exercise for older children.
10. Felt Hearts
This invitation can be used as a quiet morning time activity or alternatively, pop the pieces in a resealable sandwich bag and use as an activity whilst you eat in cafes or restaurants.
Cut your selection of felt sheets into heart-shaped pieces, but keep one piece back to use as a background. Once done, invite your child to create pictures with the felt by placing them on the background or layering them on top of one another – the brilliant thing about felt is that it sticks together without needing any glue!
11. Frozen Flowers
Simply freezing flowers is another way to reuse a bouquet. There’s little preparation needed for this activity – simply place the flowers in a bowl and then add water.
However, since the flowers tend to float to the top you might wish to do this in stages to get a layered affect. To achieve this, add a flower or two to the bowl and fill 1/3 up with water, then freeze. Repeat this step another two times.
Get the bowl out of the freezer about 30 minutes before the activity and turn it upside-down on a tray. Once the ice dome has slid out the bowl, you’re good to go!
12. Loose Parts Play
Loose parts play has so many benefits. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read ‘An Introduction to Loose Parts Play in the Toys 101 Class’, I highly recommend you do so.
This particular activity focuses on a skill called ‘crossing the midline.’ That is where the dominant hand crosses over to the other side of the body and back again. Whilst that might seem simple enough to adults, it’s a skill that requires balance and coordination. Later on, your child will use this skill to learn to write.
If your child finds this straightforward, add in a pair of jumbo tweezers or tongs for your child to collect the objects with.
13. 1:1 Correspondence
Understanding one-to-one correspondence is a stepping stone to grasping the real value of numbers. Your child will learn that each item being counted is associated with a unique number and that you can only count each item once. The last number they say in the counting sequence will tell them the total number of items they’ve counted.
The activity above is a Valentine’s themed version of practising 1:1 correspondence. Simply write out the numbers your child is learning onto individual heart-shaped note paper or post its, then provide beads (buttons or pompoms work well too) for them to use.
You can read more about this core mathematical skill here.
14. Heart-shaped road
If you have a Way to Play Road kit (or similar brand), part of the fun of this particular activity is figuring out how to make the heart.
Show your children the picture and see if they can recreate the road themselves.
To make this road we used:
- 4 square pieces
- 8 curved pieces
- 6 rectangular pieces
You don’t have to go out and buy a road specifically for this activity. Instead, try road tape, painters tape or magnetic tiles.
More Sensory Play Activities
If you enjoyed this blog post on Easy Valentine’s Day ideas for kids, you might also enjoy some of our other sensory play ideas too:
Do you need more help with sensory play?
Sensory play is more than just the activity itself. If you are worried about starting sensory play (or you hate it), I have just the course for you!
Head on over to my membership, ‘How I drink my Coffee Hot’, to access the mini course ‘Starting Sensory Play’.
Topics covered include:
- The importance of Sensory Play
- How to plan and prepare for sensory play
- Do you need to use food in sensory play?
- Essential sensory play resources
- Simple Sensory play activities + 80 page guide