Activities for toddlers and babies
Hearts, hugs, and kind words for little ones.
- Hang heart-shaped balloons from the ceiling.
- Add any Valentine's Day crafts you complete with your group to your décor.
- Encourage parents to dress their child in pink, red, and white clothing items.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Taste test platter
Using a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut hearts out of whole wheat and white bread, orange and white cheese, water melon slices, strawberries, bananas, and waffles. Complete your platter with a few heart-shaped crackers. Invite children to pick and choose their own heart-shaped snacks.
Getting dressed can be fun
This activity is for older toddlers who are learning to dress themselves. You will need large heart-shaped stickers. Each time a child adds a clothing item (with or without help), reward him/her by pressing a sticker on it. In the end, children will have a sticker on their coat, one on their hat, one on each mitten, etc.
Valentine's Day diaper changes
When you change a child's diaper, have a red makeup pencil nearby. Remove the child's socks and draw hearts on the top of his feet. This will help the child be more aware of his/her body...and it's also quite fun!
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (see and smell)
Make your own tiny cushions out of felt or purchase inexpensive heart-shaped cushions. Add a few drops of vanilla extract for a special scent. Let children explore the cushions.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (taste)
Here is a simple recipe for a sweet treat. The result is pretty and offers an interesting texture that babies and toddlers enjoy. This recipe can easily be used to make "lollipops". Just insert a lollipop stick in each heart.
You will need:
- 1 ½ cups of boiling water
- 2 packages of Strawberry-flavoured Jell-O (milder than cherry-flavoured)
- Metal heart-shaped cookie cutters
- Mix boiling water and Jell-O powder together until powder is completely dissolved. Pour the preparation in a glass pan. It must be approximately 1-1 ½ inches thick if you wish to make lollipops. Set the pan in the fridge for about 3 hours. Cut the Jell-O into hearts using the cookie cutters. You can place the bottom of your pan in hot water prior to cutting the Jell-O to make this step easier. Use a knife as a spatula.
Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut heart shapes out of cheese slices, bread slices, and ham slices. Stack them to create heart-shaped sandwiches. Toddlers will enjoy assembling their own sandwiches.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Craft using old CDs
You will need three old CDs or construction paper circles for each child. Glue a picture of the child on one CD and have him/her decorate the other CDs with drawings or by gluing arts & crafts materials on them. Connect the three circles with pretty ribbon and hang the mobile in a window for a shiny decoration...that also makes the perfect gift for parents!
Children enjoy painting on felt. It represents an interesting texture for babies and toddlers. Cut large heart shapes out of white felt. Have little ones paint them with red and pink poster paint.
Provide a small quantity of glitter and help children sprinkle it on their heart or add it to their paint. Glue the hearts on a construction paper card or on a piece of construction paper. Children will be so proud to show their artwork to their parents.
Cut a heart shape out of heavy cardboard. Add a small amount of white glue to your red paint and let babies and toddlers paint the heart. When they are done, wash their hands quickly. Once their hands are clean, provide pink feathers they can press on the heart. Once the heart is completely filled, make a small hole at the top of the heart and hang it from the ceiling.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Valentine's Day games to be done with a partner
Games that can be done with a partner are great for building bonds between babies and toddlers. Pair each child with another child who is approximately the same age.
- Place young babies who like to be on their stomach face to face on a comfortable mat. Supervise them as they discover one another. After a while, deposit a few soft toys in front of them and let them manipulate them as they wish.
- At lunch time, instead of arranging your high chairs in a row, place them so that children are a facing each other.
- Sit toddlers at small improvised tables such as cardboard boxes.
- Organize mini picnics where you sit two children on a blanket on the floor.
Love in the mail
Have each child draw on a piece of paper. Ask parents to provide the complete address of someone who is dear to their child (aunt, grandparent, neighbour, etc.). Deposit each child's drawing in an envelope and write the address provided by the parent on it. With your group, take a walk to a nearby mailbox and have them drop their drawing in the mail.
Mail for my brother/sister
If a child has an older brother or sister in another daycare group, help the baby or toddler prepare a special card inviting him/her to come collect a tiny gift in your daycare.
A gesture parents will love
Cut hearts out of construction paper. Display them on a wall, near your daycare entrance or cloakroom. Write the name of each child on a heart along with a quality (Julie smiles a lot, Nathan is helpful, etc.). Include a picture of the child if you wish.
From smallest to biggest
Cut several hearts of different sizes out of construction paper. Have children decorate them. Display them on a wall, from smallest to biggest. The hearts will represent a visual introduction to series and sorting. If you wish, you may point to the hearts and say, "I love you, I love you a lot, I love you so much, I love you very, very much..."
A hidden treasure (object permanence)
Hide tiny Valentine's Day objects in a manipulation bin filled with cereal or feathers. Let babies and toddlers search for them. Variation: Glue pictures of the children in your group on small hearts and use them to create a picture book once they have found them all.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Purchase several light pink and red scarves. To the sound of music that is sometimes fast-paced and sometimes slow, encourage babies and toddlers to move and dance with the scarves to the beat of the music. Every now and then, stop the music and watch their reaction.
Fine motor skills
Purchase red and pink feathers or fabric flower petals. Let children manipulate them and toss them in the air.
Variation: At the end of the activity, encourage children to pick them up and stick them on a large heart displayed on a wall.
My first obstacle course
Using adhesive paper, glue printed hearts on the floor to create a path. Little ones will love to walk on the hearts.
Collect several empty metal cans (safe edges). Wrap the cans with felt and glue hearts on them. Stack the cans to create a pyramid. Show children how they can roll a ball towards the pyramid to make it fall down. Variation: If you prefer, use milk cartons instead of metal cans.
Valentine's Day bin
Purchase a variety of Valentine's Day trinkets that can safely be manipulated by little ones at the dollar store. Use them to fill a bin and let children manipulate its contents.
Early childhood educator
Educatall.com is not responsible for the content of this article. The information mentioned in this article is the responsibility of the author. Educatall.com shall not be held responsible for any litigation or issues resulting from this article.