Many preschools and day-care centers celebrate Valentines Day by making crafts and artwork for loved ones. There are many other Valentines Day activities that preschool teachers and day-care providers can implement in order to create a fun and educational Valentines Day theme.
Here are some ideas the kids will love.
Ask the children and their parents to bring in pictures of loved ones or things the child loves. This can be people, pets or anything that the child is passionate about. Once all of the pictures are collected, post them on a bulletin board. Then during circle time, ask each child to share their pictures and discuss why they love them.
Crayon Heart Rubbing - Crayon rubbings are an easy, mess-free way to create great art in the preschool classroom. This Valentines Day themed project can be used alone or combined with other art processes, words or even turned into a special card. This project is for preschool or day-care age/grade level.
This project helps to increase fine motor development, explore artistic process, develop shape and color recognition, explore cause and effect relationship, increase awareness of pattern and texture.
The following materials are needed for the project: Precut cardboard or card stock (thick paper) hearts in various sizes and even textures, light colors of construction paper, crayons with the wrappers peeled (pink and red work great for Valentines Day).
The process to follow is: First an adult can precut heart shapes from card stock or a similar thick paper. Old cardboard boxes, cut apart, may work well. Different sizes of hearts can be cut. Second, invite the children to choose a heart from the sizes given. Next, have the children place a piece of light colored construction paper (or other thin paper such as printer paper) over the heart. Ask the children to feel the paper for the texture of the heart underneath. Then, hand out the peeled crayons. Show the children how to turn the crayon sideways and use it like a rolling pin. Make sure that the children are rubbing the crayon over the heart in order to produce the design on the construction paper. And repeat with different sizes of hearts and/or different crayon colors.
Following this activity, discuss the process used with the children in your care. Ask questions such as, “What happened when you placed the heart shape under the paper?” “What happened when you rolled the crayon over your paper?” “What shape did you see?” or “How did the paper feel?” Have a show and share to allow time for each child to speak about his or her unique piece of art. Point out different sizes of the shape and different colors used. Consider turning the artwork into cards. Ask who the card is for. This ties in the Valentines Day holiday theme.
Paper Plate Valentine People - These little Valentine People are so cute and lots of fun to play with, once you make them. Take a paper plate and draw a heart on it that takes up most of the paper plate. Cut it out. Show your child how to glue on candy conversation hearts to make eyes, a nose and a mouth. Next, take four narrow strips of red or pink construction paper and fold them accordion-style. Use glue, tape, or staples to attach them to the heart-shaped paper plate to make arms and legs. Then, trace your childs hands and feet on red or pink construction paper. Cut them out. Attach them to the accordion-paper arms and legs. I know I love little crafts Olihvia makes that she incorporates her hands and feet as part of the craft. It is so adorable and make great keepsakes.
These also make fun Valentines to send to grandparents, and they look really cute suspended from the ceiling with nylon string for decorations. Make an entire family of Paper Plate Valentine People by varying the sizes. You can substitute little heart stickers for the candy hearts making it easier to store and transport your Valentine People.
Read Valentines Day Books Young Children Love - There are lots of books about Valentines Day. The following titles are suggestions. Some of the books include information about the origin and history of the day, and others explore the sentiment and traditions of Valentines Day. Your local library or bookstore should have a selection of good books on the theme too.