Get inspired to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your child by making some easy, simple, and fun Valentine-themed activities. Included below are some of my favorite creations I’ve made with my littles at home. I hope these ideas help your child and you celebrate, play, and learn simultaneously.
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Favorite Valentine Books to Read Aloud With Your Preschooler
You will love reading stories the books described below to your child for Valentine’s Day. There are few things better than watching a child smile and giggle while reading a good story! I can’t wait for your child to treasure these books as much as my little ones do!
Reading this book at bedtime will be a great addition to your nightly routine. I dare you NOT to cry the first time you read it to your child! Our board book copy of this book has been read every single night for over four years. It will be a family treasure in your household. The story is all about a child asking their mom if they will still be loved no matter what they are, even if they become a dinosaur, one-eyed monster, or even a sticky face skunk. After reading this book, for a simple follow-up activity, allow your child to create their own creature to make their Stinky Face addition to this book. They can then use various craft supplies to make illustrations for their ideas.
Llama Llama I love you by Anna Dewdney
This book is a simple, sweet board book that is ideal for preschoolers and toddlers to get excited about Valentine’s Day cards and gifts. It’s a quick book to read before making cards or gifts for others.
The illustrations on the cover of this book were too precious to pass at Barnes N Noble. The story is a rhyme about all the ways we can show our love and care for others. It is the perfect book to brainstorm ways to show we love our family on Valentine’s Day and every day! As a family, this book is a great discussion starter on how to be more loving with one another. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I’m so happy I judged a book by the cover this time!
Your child will love this story! My daughter was captivated by the illustrations and loved the emotions from the main character Zuri. The father and daughter relationship in Hair Love is enchanting. The feelings expressed by the little girl mirror the words in the story perfectly. Your child will feel connected on the journey with this duo as the story grows.
The neon colors in this book’s illustrations will energize your child and have them flipping the pages wanting more. The rhyme in this story gives your child strategies to use with their feelings. After reading the story, try making a sensory bin with colored sand to make a rose garden scene from the end of the book. I’ll write another blog soon with step by step instructions for this activity.
You might love this book even more than your child! This book is not a Valentine-themed book, but it is a book about love, making it a great story to read during Valentine’s Day and every day. The message in this story is so beautifully written. My dearest friend gave this book to me, and now I gift a copy of it to all the future mamas in my life. This book is another excellent bedtime story. Another one of our favorite books by the same author is Dream Animals.
The simple, creative, and powerful message about love in this book makes it the ideal book to read with your little one for Valentine’s Day. Try melting down different color crayons after reading this book to create a rainbow crayon related to the end of the book. Michael’s has $1 silicone mini molds that are great for this project. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and bake your crayons in the mold for 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
This rhyming, interactive book will have your child trace their finger along the maze to help find pairs of animals on each page. This board book is perfect for bedtime stories throughout the year, but especially around Valentine’s Day.
While reading this book, pause as the monster is thinking to himself and ask your child what they would feel if they were the main character. This simple question will build reading comprehension skills for your young reader. If your child cannot communicate these thoughts, try modeling your child’s ideas as you read. This book is also perfectly paired for predicting and inferencing questions like; what might happen next? Why do you think that? What happened in the story that gave you that idea? If your child’s inference was correct, ask what clues the author showed that made their concept accurate. If they guessed or predicted incorrectly, look back in the story and illustrations and search for clues with them. I know this is an advanced skill, but your child can build these practical reading skills needed in the future by asking simple questions while you read to them now.
A companion book to Pinkalicious is a story that covers many holidays in the pursuit of learning to appreciate what you have and not be greedy. Purplicious is another excellent book to read at this time of year. An activity after reading this book would be to mix colors. We mixed white and red to make pink, blue, and red to make purple paint. Then we also did this same experiment with food coloring, water bin, and eye droppers.
Your little one might identify with the message of feeling too small or young like the main character felt in this book. Try using this book as the read-aloud before making treats for your favorite people and pets around you. Try and let your little one help you bake and talk to them about ways they can help at their age and size. Everyone can help in some way; let them be creative in thinking of ways to be helpful.
This story will make your child smile from ear to ear. Hedgehogs investigate ways to hug each other but struggle since they are too prickly. Their solution will make for a great, quick craft that connects to the book. Have your child make a sock or paper bag puppet like the hedgehogs in the book. Then they can act out a retelling of the book or make up their own story with their new puppets.
Eve Bunting is such a gifted author, and this adorable story is an excellent addition to her collection. Your child will love the smelly, gross, and silly gifts in this book. The ending will make the mama of the family have an extra-large smile while reading.
The Bilingual edition of this book is excellent! The color changes from Spanish to English wonderfully highlight the two languages and add a creative contrast to the illustrations. The story is funny, quick-paced, and matched perfectly with the pictures. Don’t we all need a hug after 2020!
Valentine Writing Activities for Preschoolers
- Make a bubble letter outline of your child’s name on construction paper. Then have them use dot art to create art of their name. Dot art is also an excellent material for easy, fast Valentine Cards for family and friends.
- If your little one isn’t ready to form letters, be their scribe and help them get their thoughts on paper when creating Valentine cards for others. Let your child start writing letters, let them get creative with crayons and colored pencils to write. I recommend using a pencil first, especially for those sweet littles that get frustrated when making a mistake.
- Give your beginning writer some practice by asking them to match heart card words for handwriting practice. Spend time checking their letter formation and grip on the pencil.
Literacy Centers for Valentine’s Day
Cricut Shape Letters
Use a Cricut machine or scissors to cut out basic shapes. I used six figures on five different Valentine-themed color paper for my pattern. Then label the cut-outs with the capital letters A-Z. Make a second set if possible with lowercase a-z. Throw the letters on the floor. Call out various letters and have your sweet one hop, grab, or sit on the correct shape. Extend this to match capital and lowercase letters. You can also call out sounds/words and identify the letter for letter/sound recognition activity. Make a smaller set of this same activity for a table version of this activity. We also hid letters around the room, searched for the letters, and then matched up all the letters to make sure we found all the letters. I’ll make a follow-up article with even more activities with this resource.
Sticky Note Word Search Around the House
Have your child search for sticky notes with letters or words in a scavenger hunt around the room. Plan words that you have been working on during the week, especially verbs that are fun to act out when your child finds the card, for example, names of family members and actions like jump, run, and hop.
Dot Art Letter Recognition
Pick a few letters your child needs to practice recognizing. On paper, write the letters in a random pattern all over the paper. Hand the document to your child. Call out a letter and have your child use dot art to highlight the letter you called out.
Valentine Math Centers
Valentine Pattern Crown
Have your child create a Valentine crown with shapes precut, and for an added challenge, ask them to use an ABC pattern with their forms.
Pattern Necklace Valentine Gift
Your child will love making a necklace with colored pasta that can also act as an ABC pattern practice.
Valentine- Theme Calendar
Use an ABC Valentine-themed pattern for your monthly calendar. We have a purple square, pink circle, white heart pattern this month. For more challenge, try circling 5’s and using two different colors for even and odd numbers. Every Day Counts is a great program to use in your classroom or homeschool.
Counting Bears with Magnetic Chips
Your child can have fun with their sensory bin that has hidden colorful magnetic chips and counting bears. Your child can find all the bears and line them up t count. Then have them make any pattern they want to practice counting. Then use the design to practice counting by 2’s, 5’s, etc.
Easy and Fun Valentine Crafts
Love Note Link Chain
Make a linked chain craft that spells out a message of love or your child’s name on the outside. Start and end the linked chain with a heart shape.
Button Heart Gift
On a piece of construction paper, draw a heart. Then, have your child use glue and attach buttons in any pattern they want to cover the heart shape completely. When it’s all dry, you can cut the shape out and frame it as a gift.
Simple Valentine Sensory Play Ideas
Valentine-Themed Water Bin
Your child will spend hours playing with this activity. The set up is simple. Grab a bin with water and add Valentine items like heart confetti, glitter balls, glow water ball, and heart-shaped freezer pouch. The tool bin can include tweezers, scoops, silicone cups, and foam paint. If you don’t have foam paint, try a squirt of soap and a few food coloring drops. Then let your child have fun!
Marbled Play-dough Fun
Use white and red play dough and let your child mix and combine the colors. Then use various tools to play and enjoy. Add large glitter for added texture.
Hidden Hearts with Candy (not for eating)
Fill a tray with heart candies and magnetic chips. Then fill a covering layer of purple, white, and pink colored rice. Add any top layer embellishments like heart confetti, counting bears, or foam shapes. Give your child tweezers, cups, and scoops to explore and sort.
Volcano “I Lava You” Eruption
Make a mini volcano and color and decorate it with your child’s help. Then add ingredients to make a pink lava explosion. My daughter came up with this idea after watching the mini-movie called Lava on Disney+.
Glittery Valentine Playdough
Make your own glittery cloud play dough using corn starch, food coloring, and conditioner. Let your child have hours of open-ended play with this material.
Make Your Own Valentine Treat Bag
- Use a shoebox or cereal box and cover with scraps of construction paper and stickers to make a quick creation.
- If time is running short, buy a box at Michaels for under $4. Have your child decorate with stickers, jewels, and markers, and call it a day!
- Use two paper plates to connect by lacing with yarn or ribbon. Let your child use stickers, markers, crayons, stamps, or paint to decorate the outside.
Recycling Crafts Creations
Pink Snow Sensory Play
Do you have leftover fake snow? To make a fresh batch use equal parts baking soda to shaving cream. I added a few drops of food coloring and about 1/4 cup extra shaving cream for our leftover snow because it was a little dry.
Scrap Paper Heart Craft
After crafting all day, try and collect all the little scraps of paper into a container to use later. Then let your child tear or cut the pieces of paper even smaller and glue them together on a pre-made heart shape paper. Let them add any leftover stickers you might have from another craft.
Laminated Heart Window Art
Take scraps of paper you have leftover from other activities. Tear paper into any shapes you wish and place a mosaic of paper into a laminating pouch. When your child is happy with the pattern and design, they make it with the scraps and laminate the pouch with paper inside. When the bag is cooled completely, it is cut out into a heart shape and attached to the window or sliding door to see the sunshine through the paper.
Hand-Made Gifts for Valentine’s Day
Wooden Picture Frame
Buy a simple wooden frame, my favorite are from Michael’s for $1. Help your child with the mod podge or glue and layer tissue paper or construction paper in small pieces all over the frame. This was my go to Valentine and Mother’s Day craft year after year as a teacher. Your child might also love adding gems, jewels, or glitter glue for added detail on top.
Sweet Treats Baking Together
Create sweet treats with your preschooler. Their little clean hands are great for helping with mixing, measuring, and taste testing your Valentine-Themed baked goods. My daughter loved watching Christina Tosi’s Bake Club on Instagram in 2020. Her recipes are perfect for cooking with little ones.
Hand Crafted Cards
Your little one will love using their creativity to make cards for all their favorite people. They can do hand print cards with paint. Another option is to use colored sand and glitter to make a heart shaped card. Stamps and ink pads of various colors is also fun for their little hands.