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This tool was created in response to a special request received. (Open countdown-Valentine's Day) Print and display. Children can take turns coloring the daily picture if you choose to use the black and white version.
(Open puppets-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate the puppets and attach a Popsicle stick behind each one. Children can choose a different puppet as they arrive every day and bring it to life throughout the day, at lunch time, or during specific periods.
Sit in a circle with your group. Each child holds a puppet. You also have a puppet in your hands. Play a game of opposites. Your puppet says a word (example: hot). The child who knows the opposite of the word uses his/her puppet to call out the word (example: cold). If he/she has the correct word, his/her puppet picks the next word and so on. Other examples of opposites: rough/soft, tall/short, fast/slow, happy/sad, winter/summer, etc.
Poni discovers and presents-Valentine's Day
(Open Poni discovers and presents-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate the cards. Cut them out and use a Poni puppet (or another puppet children are familiar with) to present the items to your group.
Display a large construction paper heart o a wall, in your daycare entrance. Fill a few pie plates with red, pink, and purple paint and invite parents to press their hands in the paint and then on the heart.
Hang a large white paper banner on a wall within your daycare. Encourage parents to write a loving message for their child. Every day, read a few messages out loud for your group, for example before going outside to play.
(Open educ-circle time-Valentine's Day) Print the questions and drop them in a box so children can take turns picking a card. Also print the "It's my turn" card. Laminate it and attach it to a Popsicle stick. It will help children respect the child who is speaking. You may use a puppet or a stuffed animal related to the theme if you prefer.
The various questions will help children develop their observation skills, their vocabulary, their thoughts, and cooperation with others. They will also practice waiting for their turn and respecting the child who is speaking. This tool will help you animate your circle time with children of various ages and exploit your theme fully.
Which flower is often sent for Valentine's Day? Which symbol represents love?
What does Cupid shoot? Who do you love?
Who am I? I can be white, brown, or black. Who is your best friend?
What is sweet? What can be eaten?
What smells good? Who sends love?
What is red? What do sweethearts do?
How many flowers are in the bouquet? How can you tell a friend you love him/her?
What does Cupid wear? What is friendship?
What must we place flowers in? What is love?
What can prick your finger? What has thorns?
Point or name the following items:
(Open giant word flashcards-Valentine's Day) Print, laminate, and display the word flashcards on the wall, near your circle time area. You may also display them on a large piece of cardboard which can easily be moved to different locations within the daycare. Ask children, one at a time, to point to a word: love, friendship, Cupid, heart, wedding, chocolate, bouquet, rose, arrow, card, valentine, sweetheart.
Before children arrive in the morning, wrap a new toy (or an old one) and deposit the gift on a table for children to find it. You may also wrap several tiny presents and deposit them throughout the daycare. When children find them, they will surely wonder what they are and ask you many questions.
Trace and cut an enormous heart and stick it to the wall with adhesive putty. (Open Valentine wishes) Print the valentines. Ask children to cut them out and color them with red crayons or markers. Give each child a few hearts to bring home. Parents can write Valentine's Day wishes on the hearts and glue them on your giant heart displayed on the wall. You may also invite children to suggest Valentine's Day wishes they would like to offer their friends. Here are a few suggestions. (Open tender hearts) Print if necessary. Variation: Hang a large heart near the daycare entrance and invite parents to write Valentine's Day wishes for their child directly on the heart. It will only take them a few minutes, but children will be so happy!
The educatall team suggests an imaginary game you may enjoy with your group. (Open thematic letter-Cupid) Print the letter from Cupid. Prepare a beautiful envelope with sparkly hearts on it. Deposit the envelope in an easy to find location within the daycare and invite children to search for it. Read portions of the letter to them each day and enjoy the suggested activities.
Thematic poster-Valentine's Day
(Open thematic poster-Valentine's Day) Print, laminate, and display to announce your theme to children (and their parents).
A Valentine's Day touch throughout your daycare
(Open inventory-Valentine's Day bin) Print and use this document to inventory the contents of your bin.
Here are a few ideas:
- Transform your circle time area. Use red adhesive tape to draw an enormous heart on the floor. Invite children to stick Valentine's Day stickers on the floor within your area.
- Hang red Christmas lights.
- Hang a Valentine's Day garland made with your group using red, pink, and white construction paper. Hang hearts and cupids everywhere.
- Provide heart and cupid-shaped cookie cutters. Cut out and display Valentine's Day pictures on walls, the floor, the ceiling, under tables, in your various workshops, and on toys.
- Provide an assortment of Valentine's Day stickers.
- Cut out Valentine's Day shapes, glue them on paper plates, and string them together to create a unique garland.
Valentine's Day tree
Give each child a tree branch and a metal can. Have each child decorate his/her metal can. When they are done, have them use sand to secure their branch in their metal can. If you prefer, use a large bucket and a larger tree branch to make this a group project. You can let children paint their branch with a mixture of poster paint and glitter. Encourage children to hang the decorations they make on their Valentine's Day tree.
Homemade stickers-Valentine's Day
(Open stickers-Valentine's Day) Print on adhesive paper to create Valentine's Day stickers children will love to add to their crafts and projects.
(Open educa-theme-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate the items that represent the theme. Use them to introduce your theme and decorate an area within your daycare.
(Open educa-numbers-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate. Display on the walls of your daycare for the duration of the theme.
(Open educa-letters-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate. Display on the walls of your daycare for the duration of the theme.
(Open love garland) Print and cut out the hearts. Assemble them to form a garland. Use the garland to decorate your daycare or cloakroom.
(Open garland-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate. Use the garland to decorate your daycare.
Valentine's Day name tags
(Open Valentine's Day name tags) Print and display.
(Open educa-decorate-Valentine's Day) Print, cut out, and laminate. Use the items to decorate your walls or hang them from the ceiling.
It's my spot
(Open game-This is my spot-Valentine's Day) Print two copies of each illustration. Deposit one illustration on the table and cover it with Mac-Tac. Place the other copy in a bag. Children take turns picking an illustration to determine their spot at the table for the day. You can also use them to determine naptime spots or their place in the task train.
(Open rainbow heart) Print the seven hearts. Each heart is a different size. Ask children to color the hearts according to the colors of the rainbow. Ask them who each heart is for and write their responses on the hearts. When they are done, ask them to glue the hearts one inside the other, from the biggest to the smallest. Display for everyone to see.
Before children arrive in the morning, stick hearts on objects throughout the daycare using adhesive paper (Mac-Tac). Let them discover the theme you will be discussing.
Set a large, red mailbox in one corner of the daycare. Decorate the mailbox using hearts to attract children and their parents to it. Invite parents to deposit messages for their children in the mailbox.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with your group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game-Valentine's Day) Print, laminate, and store in a Ziploc bag or in your thematic bin.
Activity sheets are suggested for each theme. Print and follow instructions. (Open activity sheets-Valentine's Day Activity Book)
Print the following writing activities for each child or laminate them for use with a dry-erase marker. (Open writing activity-L like love) (Open writing activities-writing booklet-Valentine's Day)
Educa-Connect the dots-Valentine's Day
(Open educa-connect the dots-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate the activity sheet. Children must connect the dots by following the numbers or letters in order to reveal a picture. They may color it when they are done.
You may use the stationery to communicate with parents, in your writing area, or to identify your thematic bins. (Open stationery-Valentine's Day) Print.
(Open educa-nuudles-Valentine's Day) Print for each child. Encourage children to color the page and use Magic Nuudles to give it a three dimensional look. Variation: You don't have Magic Nuudles? Have children fill the spaces designed for Magic Nuudles with bingo markers or stickers. To purchase Magic Nuudles:
VARIOUS WORKSHOPS-Valentine's Day
(Open workshops-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate the posters. Use them to identify your various corners throughout the theme.
Construction or building blocks:
- Wooden blocks, Lego, or any other kind of blocks using only those which are red, pink, or white.
- Add plastic hearts and a red tablecloth or piece of fabric to cover the floor and paper hearts to decorate the walls! Be careful, children may be stimulated by so much red!
- Little heart-shaped figurines.
Arts & Crafts:
- Markers, waxed crayons, and wooden pencils of every shade of red and pink, don't forget white!
- Lots of paper and construction paper: red, pink, white...
- Heart-shaped fun foam pieces can be used to make collages.
- Sparkles, metallic confetti, and stickers...anything shaped like hearts or cupids.
- Red or pink coloured salt to make raised designs or salt/sugar on a red piece of paper.
- Red, pink, or white chalk used on dark sand paper.
- Heart-shaped cookie cutters dipped into red paint for stamping. Red paint may also be used with brushes and stencils.
- Red, pink, white, and metallic pipe cleaners to shape flowers with tissue paper.
- Coloring pages related to the theme.
- Red, pink, and white pipe cleaners with tissue paper to make flowers.
- Heart stencils (or models) which can be traced and cut out.
- Card making center: stencils, paper, markers, paint, glitter, glue, sparkly glue, ribbon, stickers, etc. They can be used to make beautiful cards for friends and family!
- Use hearts to make a caterpillar. Each child decorates a heart. Assemble them and add eyes and antennae to the first heart. So cute!
- A collage with tiny cinnamon hearts and pink and white miniature marshmallows. A great project to enjoy as a group or individually.
- Tear scraps of paper and cardboard and use them to cover a heart shape.
- Valentine's Day stickers.
- Paper doilies.
- Pink, red, and white feathers.
- All kinds of ribbon.
- Adhesive paper to make a Valentine's Day stained glass craft.
- Coloring pages related to the theme (hearts, Cupid, flowers, etc.)
- Pink, purple, and white paper for drawing.
- Cupid costume complete with a diaper, a bow, crafted arrows, and cardboard hearts.
- Set up a post office: send and receive love and friendship letters. A cap and large bag for the mailman, letters of all kinds (have parents supply envelopes, postcards, etc.), letters in red or pink envelopes, letters with lipstick kisses on them, perfumed letters, letters containing pictures of sweethearts, hearts... There are beautiful cards at the dollar store, some even play music.
- Organize a florist shop with ribbons, transparent paper for wrapping flowers, fake flowers, unbreakable vases, and pictures of real flowers... Dollar stores have an abundance of items which suit this corner.
- Transform your kitchen play area into a bakery/chocolate shop. Include a tea set, a tablecloth with Valentine's Day colors, homemade brown modeling dough (with a chocolate scent), rolling pins and cookie cutters. Add colourful dishes and napkins. It costs very little to add to this corner!
- Makeup and mirrors... obviously, supervision is required.
- Memory game with the educatall picture game.
- Red, white, and pink modeling dough. Purchase modeling dough or make it yourself and add scents (strawberry, chocolate, cinnamon...)
- Different sizes of cookie cutters shaped like hearts.
- Red or pink stimulation bottles filled with food coloring, glitter, hair gel, confetti, cinnamon hearts, etc. Little ones will love to play with them and older children will too! They will use their imagination and invent many different games. With older children, stimulation bottles may also be used in your kitchen corner.
- A container filled with Valentine's Day-coloured fabric. Explore different textures, especially with young children (velvet, cotton, silk, etc.) A quick trip to your local fabric store is all you need to find fabric scraps.
- Red, pink, and white necklace beads. You may even use beads shaped like hearts.
- Various puzzles related to the theme.
- Hearts cut in two pieces. Children must find the missing part of the broken heart.
- Bingo or lotto game related to the theme.
- Lacing hearts. Use pink or red laces or ribbon.
- Storybooks about love, friendship, family, and sharing.
- Red and pink Christmas lights can create a relaxing atmosphere.
- Stuffed hearts or Valentine's Day stuffed animals.
- Hang pictures showing different emotions to spark a conversation.
- Sequential stories.
- Dotted hearts children can trace.
- Small maze games.
- Association games with illustrations showing various emotions.
- Hunt and seek activities.
- Various activity sheets related to the theme.
- Games with educatall word flashcards.
- Walk to your local post office, flower shop, or bakery.
- A plastic dart game (to represent Cupid's arrows).
- Glue several hearts on the floor and have children hop on them, play musical hearts, Twister, etc. The possibilities are endless.
- Treasure hunt: children search for hearts hidden within the daycare or in the backyard.
- Deposit several paper hearts on a parachute and toss them in the air. You may also use confetti, pompoms, etc.
- Containers filled with salt or sugar which has been dyed to give it a red or pink color. You may also hide red objects in salt or sugar.
- Water with red food colouring and sparkles.
- A container filled with red Jell-O.
- A tiny container filled with cinnamon hearts.
- A container filled with ice and red water.
- A container filled with water and plenty of dishwashing liquid or bubble bath. Provide whisks and let children create suds galore! You may also add red food colouring!
- Chocolate fondue. Dip fruit pieces in chocolate pudding!
- Heart-shaped cookies.
- Colourful candy skewers.
- Color combinations: red and white for pink, red and blue for purple, etc.
- Provide flowers and magnifying glasses. Children can observe tiny details on the flowers, manipulate them, and compare all kinds of flowers (color, shape, etc.)
- Prepare red Jell-O. Once set, deposit portions in Ziploc bags. Seal them tightly. Children will love to manipulate the bags.
- Show children how rubbing a balloon on their hair creates static which allows the balloons to stick on the wall, collect confetti, salt, etc.
- With a stethoscope, children can listen to a friend's heartbeat.
The flashcards may be used during circle time to spark a conversation with the group or in your reading and writing area. They may also be used to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-Valentine's Day) love, friendship, Cupid, heart, wedding, chocolate, bouquet, rose, arrow, card, valentine, sweetheart (Open giant word flashcards-Valentine's Day)
Valentine's Day scene
(Open scene-Valentine's Day) Print, laminate, and cut out. Children use the pieces to create scenes on the large illustration.
Valentine's Day scene
(Open scene-Valentine's Day) Print, laminate, and cut out the items. Children use them to decorate the scene as they wish.
Picture clue story-Valentine's Day
(Open picture clue story-Cupid) Print. Sit in a circle with your group. Begin reading the story. When you reach an illustration, point to it. Children must guess the missing word which is represented by the illustration.
(Open sequential story-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate. Children must place the illustrations in the correct order to recreate the story.
Felt board-Valentine's Day
(Open felt board-Valentine's Day) Print the various pieces and glue them on pieces of felt. Glue four pieces of black felt on a large piece of cardboard and hang your felt board on a wall. The felt pieces will stick to the board. Children will be able to move them around to create a wide range of scenes and stories.
THEMATIC VALENTINE'S DAY PARTY
(Open perpetual calendar-Red Day) Print and display to inform parents of your special day. Use all the red items you have on hand.
Welcome and area setup:
- Greet children by drawing a red item such as a ladybug or a heart on their cheek as they arrive.
- Serve a glass of red fruit punch to each child upon their arrival.
- Deposit a platter of red fruit on a table (strawberries, raspberries, cherries, etc.).
- Make a special red hat by gluing a variety of red objects on a baseball cap. Encourage children to make their own red hat or invite parents to make a red hat for their child at home.
- Display red pictures and decorations on walls and floors or hang them from the ceiling.
- Provide as many red toys as possible.
- At lunch time, serve tomato pasta with tomato sauce or use red food coloring to create red food items (mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.).
- Serve red juice and strawberry pudding or cherry cake topped with red icing.
- Serve red berries, red Jell-O, or strawberry pie for dessert.
- Hang a large paper banner on a wall and encourage children to make a red collage by cutting red items out of magazines and catalogues and gluing them on your banner. They can also tear pieces of red tissue paper to complete your collage.
- Play a modified version of musical chairs. Simply replace the chairs with red illustrations that can be taped to the floor.
- Play music and encourage children to dance while waving red scarves in the air (or pieces of red fabric).
(Open perpetual calendar-Pink Day) Print and display near your daycare entrance to announce this special day.
Welcome and area setup:
- Greet children by drawing a pink item such as a heart or a kiss on their cheek as they arrive.
- Serve a glass of pink fruit punch to each child upon their arrival.
- Deposit a bowl filled with pink candy pieces or a platter filled with pink cupcakes on a table.
- Make a special pink hat by gluing a variety of pink objects on a baseball cap. Encourage children to make their own pink hat or invite parents to make a pink hat for their child at home.
- Display pink pictures and decorations on walls and floors or hang them from the ceiling.
- Provide as many pink toys as possible.
- At lunch time, serve stuffed pasta with a rosé sauce or use red food coloring to create pink food items (mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.).
- Serve pink juice and strawberry pudding or a cupcake topped with pink icing.
- Serve strawberry ice cream for dessert.
- Hang a large paper banner on a wall and encourage children to make a pink collage by cutting pink items out of magazines and catalogues and gluing them on your banner. They can also tear pieces of pink tissue paper to complete your collage.
- Play a modified version of musical chairs. Simply replace the chairs with pink illustrations that can be taped to the floor.
- Play music and encourage children to dance while waving pink scarves in the air (or pieces of pink fabric).
(Open perpetual calendar-Valentine's Day) Organize a very special day filled with red, pink, and white. Throughout the day, explore these colors with your group.
For lunch: Use red food coloring to transform certain foods. Serve shepherd's pie with pink potatoes. Draw a ketchup heart on top. Add a drop of food coloring to each child's glass of milk.
For dessert: Offer a fruit platter and tiny bowls of chocolate pudding. Enjoy your chocolate fondue!
For snack time: Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut slices of bread. Spread jam on top.
Replace a few of your regular light bulbs with red light bulbs. Hang tiny Christmas lights and use red lipstick to draw hearts on mirrors and windows. For your Valentine's Day party, invite children to wear red, pink, and white or have a pyjama party.
Let children play their favourite games, dance, and play music. Organize a few surprise activities. For example, you could paint a heart on each child's face. Set up a slide, have a paper ball fight, play basketball, etc. Hide tiny chocolate hearts in a small inflatable pool and let children search for them.
Where do I sit?
Glue a number or illustration on each chair, making sure you have a second copy of each one. At lunch or snack time, have children take turns picking an illustration to determine where they must sit.
Game-This is my spot-Valentine's Day
(Open game-This is my spot-Valentine's Day) Print two copies of each card. Glue one copy of each on the table using adhesive paper. Deposit the other copy in a bag. Children take turns picking a card which will determine their spot at the table for the day. You may also use the cards for naptime spots or spots in the task train.
Clean hands bin-Valentine's Day
Prepare a special clean hands bin for Valentine's Day. Children can only play with the contents of the bin if their hands are clean. The bin could contain:
- Valentine's Day figurines
- A Valentine's Day memory game
- A Valentine's Day picture game that can be used to create stories
- Valentine's Day picture books
- Valentine's Day stimulation bottles
- Valentine's Day finger puppets
- Valentine's Day hunt and seek game
Valentine's Day handwashing
(Open poster-Handwashing-Valentine's Day) Print and display next to the sink where children wash their hands.
- Fill a clear soap bottle with clear soap and add a few pink and red blocks, Valentine's Day figurines, Valentine's Day erasers, etc.
- Use a clear soap bottle and use old marker felts to tint the soap. Simply let them soak in the soap for 24-48 hours, depending on the color intensity you wish to obtain. Avoid using food coloring since it could stain.
- Add a few cinnamon sticks or candy hearts to your soap bottle to create scented soap.
- Purchase pink or red sponges to encourage children to wash their hands properly.
- Delimit the area where children must wait for their turn to wash their hands with Valentine's Day illustrations or hunt and seek games. They will keep children busy and they will therefore be less impatient.
- Play a Valentine's Day song as a child washes his/her hands. At the end of the song, his/her turn at the sink is over.
Valentine's Day naptime containers
(Open labels-Naptime containers) Print and stick the labels on your containers. Fill the containers with various items. Naptime containers represent a great way to create a naptime routine since they help children play calmly and wind down before going to sleep. For Valentine's Day, you can choose to use gift bags or gift boxes. Children can play individually on their mattress or, if you wish, invite a friend to join them. Naptime container contents for Valentine's Day:
- Valentine's Day pompoms or paperclips
- Tiny Valentine's Day puzzles
- Valentine's Day sequential story
- Valentine's Day magnets with a small baking sheet
- Valentine's Day finger puppets
- Valentine's Day lacing activity
- Valentine's Day beads with pink ribbon or yarn
- Small Valentine's Day books
- Valentine's Day stamps and a small notebook
- Valentine's Day coloring book and waxed crayons
Valentine's Day changing table
You can add a Valentine's Day touch to your diaper changing routine too.
- Hang a mobile over your changing table. Change the items every day to keep little ones interested in your mobile. You can simply use a hanging clothes dryer with clothespins to display illustrations or use this version (Open mobile-Valentine's Day).
- Discovery bottles also offer several different possibilities. Three things to keep in mind: use plastic bottles, seal the caps with hot glue, and wash the bottles once they have been manipulated by a child to prevent the spread of germs.
Valentine's Day cloakroom
Time spent in the cloakroom can be unpleasant. Here are a few ideas to help you manage dressing and undressing your group. Keep in mind, the period of time that precedes an outing is perfect for opening windows and doors to let fresh air inside!
- Display several Valentine's Day hunt and seek activities on the wall. Once children are dressed, they will enjoy searching for the different items.
- Play Valentine's Day songs and encourage children to follow the music's rhythm as they get dressed.
- Stick cupid illustrations on the floor and tell children that once they are dressed they must hide one of the illustrations by sitting on it.
- Invite children to follow Cupid's instructions. Like Cupid, they must all begin with their snow pants, then their boots, and so on.
My heart path
(Open fun hearts) Print, laminate, and secure the hearts on the floor to create a path leading to various locations within the daycare. The path may lead to the areas children visit most such as the bathroom, the cloakroom, etc.
I sing, you sing, we sing...
Between two activities, practice your Valentine's Day songs.
ACTIVITIES FOR BABIES
Valentine's Day mobile
(Open educa-decorate-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate the illustrations. Glue them back to back on either side of ribbon or string. Hang from the ceiling or above your changing table.
Use a tape recorder to record babies' laughs. You can show them a picture of Cupid to make them laugh. Later in the day, play the recording for them. Watch them react to the sound!
All in red!
Gather all the red toys you have which are safe for babies. Set them in front of little ones to explore.
Fill several transparent containers with a variety of red, pink, and white objects, confetti, ribbon, etc. Add tiny bells.
Use several colourful hearts to create a mobile or simply hang a few hearts from the ceiling over your changing table.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
(Lacing-Hearts) Print, laminate and cut out. Punch holes around the contour of the hearts. Lace the hearts with a string or ribbon. Make a beautiful bow with the ends.
Invite children to hug their friends in different ways (cheek to cheek, nose to nose, a bear hug, etc.).
Blow up four or five Valentine's Day balloons. Tell children they must never touch the floor! For older children, you may add other instructions. For example, you may tell them they may not touch the balloons with their hands or that they must blow on them.
Give children instructions much like "Simon says" but say "Cupid says" instead. You can, for example, tell children to hug a friend, blow a kiss, etc.
(Open Cupid's arrows) Glue different sizes of hearts on a large piece of cardboard. Number the hearts. Print and cut out the arrows and add a piece of adhesive putty to the end of each arrow. Blindfold children and let your little Cupids attempt to throw an arrow on a heart. The child with the most points wins.
Sit in a circle and talk about Cupid. Present a picture or a figurine. Have children close their eyes while you hide Cupid. When you give the signal, children search for Cupid. Tell them they must watch out for Cupid's arrows. As soon as a child finds Cupid, he must bring the figurine to you. You may reward him with a Valentine's Day sticker. The child may then hide Cupid for the next round.
Valentine's Day Twister
(Open twister-Valentine's Day) Print and glue the large illustrations on the floor using adhesive paper (Mac-Tac). The playing area should be approximately 4 square feet. The leader of the game picks one Valentine's Day card and one body part card. He states the instructions for the other players like in the traditional Twister game (one foot on the red heart, one hand on the blue heart, etc.) Variation for younger children: The illustrations may simply be used to decorate the daycare or for a recognition activity. For example, you may ask children to point to the blue heart. For babies, simply secure the illustrations on the floor. They will enjoy admiring them.
Valentine's Day bowling
You will need ten 1-litre bottles with approximately one inch of water in the bottom. (Open heart story) Print. Glue a Valentine's Day illustration on each bottle. Using a small ball, children must try to make a certain "bowling pin" fall down. You can either give the instructions yourself or print an extra copy of the illustrations and let children pick a card. Variation for younger children: Align the bottles and provide a few small balls. Let children simply roll the balls towards the "bowling pins". You may also add food colouring to each bottle along with tiny objects such as cotton balls, glitter, confetti, etc. Children will also enjoy shaking and manipulating them.
Where are you sweetheart?
Draw tiny hearts on small pieces of paper (Post-it). Stick them throughout the daycare and let children discover them. This activity can last all day. Stick some in the bathroom, on their toothbrush, under their plate, etc.
Use red, pink, and white yarn to create paths throughout the daycare. You can entangle the different colors. Children must try to walk only on a specific color.
Cut several hearts out of cardboard. Attach a paperclip to each heart and let children try to catch them with a magnet tied to the end of a stick.
Tuck six or seven boxes one inside the other. In the smallest box, deposit tiny chocolate hearts or other Valentine's Day surprises. Wrap all the boxes in red, pink, or white tissue paper. Have children sit in a circle and play music. Children pass the boxes around the circle. When the music stops, the child holding the boxes begins unwrapping them. When the music starts up again, the boxes continue to travel around the circle until children find the surprise.
(Open game-Golden heart) Print and laminate. Stick one golden heart on each child. Deposit several obstacles throughout the daycare (chair, table, mattress, hula hoops, etc.) Arrange arrows to indicate the direction children must follow to move through the obstacles. You can also add illustrations showing children what they must do at each obstacle (crawl, jump, etc,) Children must complete the obstacle course without breaking or losing their golden heart.
Trace, cut out, and glue heart shapes on the floor. Children must hop, jump sideways, backwards, etc. They must jump only on hearts.
Deposit tiny chocolate hearts throughout the daycare. Give children clues to help them find their chocolate hearts. You may, for example, tell children their heart is in a very cold place (refrigerator), near the spot they visit right before lunch (sink), or tell them to go to their toothbrush, etc.
Heart hide and seek
Use tiny chocolate hearts or construction paper hearts. You must hide the hearts throughout the daycare. When you give the signal, children must collect them and deposit them in a special jar (or container). To ensure the fun lasts, ask children to collect one heart at a time.
With a partner, children stand back to back. They must transport a ball from one point to another predetermined point without dropping it. If the ball falls, they must stop and wait for you to replace it before continuing.
Blow up a balloon for each child. With string, tie a balloon to each child's ankle. Players try to pop the other children's balloon while avoiding getting their own balloon popped.
It's raining hearts
(Open craft-heart shape) Print and cut out enough hearts so that each child has at least ten. Deposit all the hearts in the centre of a parachute or a blanket. Children firmly hold the edges of the parachute. When you give the signal, they must raise the parachute. When the hearts fall to the floor, children must try to collect as many as possible. Count how many hearts each child collected.
Give each child a balloon. Ask them to blow it up and knot the end (if they are old enough). Play fast-paced music. The object of the game is for children to keep their balloon in the air until the music stops.
Invite children to pretend to make heart-shaped chocolates for Valentine's Day. Provide modeling dough, cookie cutters, utensils, and small heart-shaped boxes to store the "chocolates".
Outdoors, hide hearts in every corner of the yard. Invite children to search for them.
Use a rope to draw the outline of a huge heart on the snow. Use spray bottles filled with red water (water and food coloring) to color the heart.
Encourage children to make a valentine for their parents, grandparents, or a friend. Send it in the mail.
One child is Cupid. When he touches another child, that child must freeze. He may not move again until another child has given him a hug.
I am learning to count-Hearts
(Open I am learning to count-Hearts) Print, laminate, and cut out. Using Velcro, children must associate the correct heart pieces.
Associating illustrations and colors
(Open color game-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Give each child a gift bag of a single color (pink bag, red bag, etc.). Hide the illustrations throughout the daycare. Invite children to collect as many illustrations that correspond to the color of their bag as possible. To increase the level of difficulty, you can use bags containing two or more colors.
Where are the Valentine's Day shapes?
(Open color game-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Hide the illustrations throughout your yard. Set a basket on the ground and encourage children to search for the illustrations. Each time a child finds one, he/she must run to the basket and deposit it inside.
Valentine's Day modeling dough
(Open colourful hearts) Print and laminate. Deposit the hearts on the table and provide pink, white, and red modeling dough. Children must form tiny balls of modeling dough and deposit them on the laminated heart of the corresponding color.
Add a variety of accessories children can use to make a variety of Valentine's Day creations. Use a homemade modeling dough recipe to make dough that can be set out to dry. Choose from the following list of accessories:
- Red, pink, and white pipe cleaners
- Red and pink drinking straws
- Valentine's Day precious stones
- Red, pink, and white candles
- The caps of old red and pink markers
- Cookie cutters that represent Valentine's Day shapes
- Red, pink, and white beads
- Red, pink, and white buttons
- Pink and red forks and knives
- Valentine's day pompoms
(Open educ-colors-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use or print for each child. Children must associate the items to the correct color by drawing a line using a crayon of the corresponding color.
(Open educ-maze-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use or print for each child. Children must find the correct path and reach the end of the maze.
Felt board-Valentine's Day
(Open felt board-Valentine's Day) Print the shapes and stick them on felt pieces. Stick four pieces of black felt on a large piece of cardboard. Hang the black felt board on the wall. The shapes will stick to the felt board. Children will enjoy moving the shapes around to create various stories.
(Open educ-intruder-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate. Children must identify the six (6) intruders in the illustration.
(Open educ-pairs-Valentine's Day) Print. Children must draw a line between identical illustrations or color them using the same color. For durable, eco-friendly use, laminate and use with dry-erase markers.
(Open educa-symmetry-Valentine's Day) Print. Children must color the drawing at the bottom (black and white) to make it look exactly like the drawing at the top of the page.
(Open educa-duo-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must draw a line between the objects which go together using a dry-erase marker.
(Educ-trace-Valentine's Day) Print for each child. Children must trace the lines and then color the objects with the same color.
(Open educ-differences-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must find the number of differences indicated on the sheet and circle them with a dry-erase marker.
(Open educ-shadows-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must find the shadow which corresponds to each illustration and draw a line between the two using a dry-erase marker.
Select several Valentine's Day objects and set them on a table. Tell children to observe them closely. After a few minutes, hide the objects with a blanket and remove one or two items. Remove the blanket and ask children if they can identify the missing objects.
Color by number-Valentine's Day
(Open color by number-Valentine's Day) Print for each child. Children must complete the picture according to the color code.
(Open educ-math-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must count the objects in each rectangle and circle the corresponding number.
Puzzles-Poni and Valentine's Day
(Open puzzles-Poni and Valentine's Day) Print, laminate, and cut the pieces. Children must arrange the pieces to recreate each puzzle.
(Open game-Holidays) Print and laminate. With Velcro, children must associate the cards to the correct holiday.
Valentine's Day puzzles
(Open puzzles-Valentine's Day) Print, laminate, and cut the pieces. Children must arrange the pieces to recreate each puzzle.
You complete me
(Open cut hearts) Print, laminate, and cut the hearts out. Children pick half a heart out of a Valentine's Day gift bag. Once each child has a heart piece, children must compare their pieces to find the other part of their heart.
Magnifying glass game
(Open magnifying glass game-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate the board game and the cards. Cut them out and store them in a box or in a Ziploc bag. Children pick a card and search for the item on the board game, using a magnifying glass. Once they have found the item, they deposit it in the correct square, on the board game.
(Open educ-association-Valentine's Day) Print. Arrange the game in a file folder. Children must associate the illustrations. Once they have found the correct associations, they must place the cards in the correct squares using Velcro or adhesive putty.
(Open educ-pattern-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate. Add Velcro to the back of the cards. Children must correctly place the cards to complete the patterns.
(Open differences-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate. Ask children to identify the differences between the illustration on the right and the illustration on the left. They can simply draw an X on each difference using a dry-erase marker.
Educ-same and different-Valentine's Day
(Open educ-same and different-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must circle the illustration which is different in each row.
Valentine's Day dominoes
(Open dominoes-Valentine's Day) Print the dominoes and glue them on cardboard. Laminate. This game is for two to four players. Each child picks five cards. Deposit the remaining cards on the table in a stack. Place one card. The first player tries to match an illustration to the first card. If he can, he places the matching objects so they touch. The game continues. If a player is unable to play, he must pick an additional card from the stack. If he still cannot play, his turn is over. The game ends when a child has played all his cards.
A hearty cry
(Open game-hearty cry) Print and laminate. One child picks a heart and makes the corresponding sound. The other children must guess what it is. The first child to guess correctly picks a card for the next round.
Valentine's Day tic tac toe
(Open tic tac toe-Valentine's Day) On a large piece of white cardboard, trace a tic tac toe grid. The Cupids will represent the "X's" and the hearts will represent the "O's". Children take turns placing the symbols on the grid. The first child to successfully line up three identical symbols wins.
Hunt and seek-Valentine's Day
(Open hunt and seek-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate. Children pick a card and search for the item in the scene.
Heart story and memory game
(Open story and memory game-Valentine's Day) Print, cut out, and laminate the pictures. Place the cards face down on the floor. Children pick three cards and invent a story in relation to the illustrations. Variation: Print the pictures twice and use as a memory game.
(Open wedding cake) Print for each child. Children must associate each number to the correct color and color the cake accordingly.
Red, red, red
Children sit in a circle. Invite them to look around the daycare and take turns naming red objects.
Valentine's Day Bingo
(Open bingo-Valentine's Day) Print, laminate, and store in a small heart-shaped box. Play bingo with your group.
Valentine's Day snakes and ladders
(Open snakes and ladders-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate. You will need a die. Small chocolate hearts are perfect as playing pieces. The object of the game: all children must reach the final square. When they succeed, they may eat their chocolate playing piece.
MUSICAL AND RYTHMIC ACTIVITIES
Glue hearts on the floor and play music. Children must walk around the daycare. When the music stops, they must quickly find a heart to stand on.
Play music and invite children to dance around the daycare. You are Cupid. When you touch a child with your magic wand, he becomes a statue. When you touch him again, he may resume dancing.
Children dance to the sound of music. When the music stops, the leader of the game (Cupid) transforms children into various animals. Children must pretend to be the animals (walk, sounds, etc.)
Fill a box with heart-shaped stickers or tiny treats. Wrap the box with Valentine's Day wrapping paper. Sit in a circle with your group. Play music and have children pass the gift around the circle. When the music stops, the child holding the gift may begin unwrapping it. When the music starts again, the gift must continue to travel around the circle. When the gift is completely unwrapped, each child may choose a treat.
My beating heart
Use a stethoscope (real or toy version) and let children take turns listening to their friends' heartbeat. Have children jump and run around the room. Invite them to repeat the exercise and notice how their hearts are beating faster.
To the sound of music, children dance around the daycare, holding a partner's hands. When the music stops, they must quickly change partners.
Divide children into two groups. Have each group sit at a table. Give each group a single piece of paper (quite big) and a single red crayon. Play music. Each child may draw Valentine's Day items on his group's paper for the duration of one song. When the music stops, he must hand the crayon to another child. The end result will be beautiful!
ACTIVITIES INVOLVING PARENTS
Invite parents to join you for breakfast between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. It is an excellent way to socialize together. Simply cut fruit and prepare (or purchase) muffins and crescent rolls. Make coffee and you're set! Children will be so proud to have their parents with them.
Pour tiny cinnamon hearts into a large jar. Invite parents to guess how many hearts there are. The parent whose estimate is closest to the actual number can bring the jar home on Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day snack
Ask parents to arrive early on a specific day. Parents can prepare a surprise snack or dessert for the group. Enjoy the surprise together.
I love Daddy, I love Mommy
(Open I love Daddy and Mommy) Print for each child. Ask children to draw, with their parents, the activities they enjoy together. Display on a wall.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
(Open paper dolls-Cupid) Print and laminate. Leave the pieces on a table. Children will enjoy dressing the doll many different ways.
Warm heart, cold heart, prickly heart...
Children stand in a circle. In your hands, hold an imaginary heart (or a stuffed heart). Give the heart to a child and name a texture. The child must hold the heart according to the texture. For example, if they heart is boiling hot, he must quickly hand it over to another child to avoid burning his hands. If the heart is soft, he may hug and touch it gently. He can shiver if the heart is cold and bounce it from one hand to the other if it is prickly. Watch out, if the heart is slippery, it may slide right out of his hands!
Surprises from Cupid
We have prepared suggestions for you. (Open Surprises from Cupid) Print and insert the suggestions in envelopes. Display the envelopes on the wall, at children's eye level or place them in a box. Each day, invite a child to open an envelope. Name Cupid's surprise activity of the day.
Your modeling dough workshop becomes a bakery for this activity. Offer red, white, and pink modeling dough. Encourage children to pretend they are making Valentine's Day cookies and cakes. Provide several kitchen accessories, small boxes, and ribbon. You can also set up a cash register. Children will love to play in this area.
Box full of kisses
Give each child an empty tissue box. Ask them to decorate their box as they wish. This box will become their "Box full of kisses". Every morning, before leaving for work, parents can deposit kisses in their child's box. Children can use the kisses whenever they need them during the day.
My love caterpillar
Cut several hearts of the same size (one per child). Let children decorate their heart as they wish. Assemble the hearts to form a caterpillar on the wall. Add a heart with eyes, a nose, a mouth, and antennae for the caterpillar's face.
Each child surprises his parents with a phone call during the day. They may also leave a message on their answering machine.
I am love
Fill your costume chest with red, pink, and white clothing items. Let children dress up as they wish.
Give each child a piece of white paper. With a mirror, let them apply red lipstick and fill their paper with kisses.
Valentine's Day mailbox
Each child prepares one or more drawings for other children in the group. They can deposit them in a mailbox you previously made together. A special mailman can come distribute the mail (you may simply dress up like a mailman or wear Valentine's Day colors). Pick one drawing at a time and invite the child who drew it to hand it to his friend and say a few kind words. This activity can last all day or all week. (Open Valentine's Day cards-Color or Black and white) You may also ask parents to drop little message or valentines in your mailbox. They can simply describe a memorable event or mention the nickname they have for their child.
My secret friend
When you first start this theme, have children pick the name of a friend out of a jar (you may use pictures if they do not know how to read). Children must be especially kind to their secret friend throughout the theme. Children must try to guess who picked their name.
Choose one child each day. Throughout the day, this child may request a standing ovation whenever he wishes simply by saying, "I would like a standing ovation please." Other children will gladly stop whatever they are doing, and clap as loudly as possible.
Valentine's Day ball game
Stand in a circle. Throw the ball to a child and say a kind word. Children must throw the ball back to you saying a kind word. Continue until everyone has had at least one turn.
Three Valentine's Day sensory bin
- Add tiny Valentine's Day items (erasers, figurines, etc.) to your traditional rice or pasta bin.
- Cut red, white, and pink plastic tablecloths into strips and use the strips to fill a large container. Add small Valentine's Day surprises.
- Shred scraps of red, white, and pink paper and use the shredded paper to fill a bin. Hide tiny Valentine's Day items among the pieces of paper.
It's red, it's white...
Enjoy a simple observation game with your group. Ask them to collect all the red objects they can find. When they are done, ask them to find all the white objects.
White + Red = Pink
Use poster paint to show children how to make pink. Simply combine red and white. You may also show them how to make purple by mixing blue and red. Provide small containers filled with paint and let children create their own color combinations.
Valentine's Day rice
Fill a large container with rice. Hide red and pink objects in the rice (Fun Foam hearts, tiny heart-shaped erasers, pompoms, etc.
Fill a large container with flour and hide heart-shaped objects inside.
Prepare red Jell-O and chill until set. Deposit small quantities in Ziploc bags. Seal tightly. Children will love manipulating the bags.
Food item of the week: Cinnamon
(Open educ-poster-Cinnamon) Print and laminate the posters to present this everyday food item to your group. Display them next to the table where children eat or in your kitchen area.
Chocolate pudding fondue
Prepare a platter of fresh fruit along with chocolate pudding cups. Give each child a small fork and let them dip the fruit pieces in the pudding.
Give each child a Graham cracker. Let them spread pink icing on top. With "Alphabits" cereal, help them write a Valentine's Day message.
Tiny pink hearts
- 250 g of icing sugar
- 200 g sweetened condensed milk
- 175 g coconut
- red food coloring
Combine the sugar and condensed milk in a bowl. Add the coconut and then the red food coloring. Spread the preparation on waxed paper and gently flatten. Make heart shapes with pastry cutters. Allow to harden. This is a great activity for children. They love baking!
Chocolate coated strawberries
A favorite snack for this special week.
You can use fresh strawberries, candied cherries, or even marshmallows. Melt 3 semi-sweet squares of chocolate or 1 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave for 1 minute. Dip your snacks in the chocolate and deposit on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Enjoy!
Bake heart-shaped cookies and provide red and pink candy children can use to decorate them. Here is a very simple cookie recipe.
- 150 g of flour
- 75 g of butter
- 75 g of sugar
- 1 egg
Combine sugar and flour. Add butter, cut into small pieces, and then the egg. Mash with fingers until you obtain a dough texture. Shape into a roll. Refrigerate for one hour. Slice and shape into hearts using a knife or pastry cutter. Make another roll with the remaining dough and repeat. Place cookies on a buttered baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 375⁰F.
Sparkling pink strawberry drink
- 3 ½ cups of milk
- 1 package of instant vanilla pudding
- 1 medium ripe banana, cut into pieces
- ½ cup of strawberries
- Combine all ingredients in a blender for 1 minute or until smooth. Serve immediately.
- Dessert with love
- 500 g of sour cream
- 250 g of miniature marshmallows
- 10 oz crushed pineapple
- Maraschino cherries
- A few drops of red food coloring
- Pour sour cream into a bowl.
- Add the other ingredients and mix gently.
- Refrigerate for 12 hours and serve in individual dessert cups.
Giant Chocolate Kiss
- 1 bag of chocolate chips
- Cooking Spray (PAM)
- Plastic funnel
- Coffee mug (or glass)
- Aluminum paper
- Melt chocolate in the microwave or in a bain-marie.
- Cover the funnel with aluminum paper, blocking the hole.
- Place the funnel over the coffee mug or glass to keep it upright and coat with cooking spray.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the funnel. Place the funnel in the freezer for 45 minutes or until completely hardened.
- Take the chocolate out of the funnel and wrap with aluminum paper.
- Add a love note and give it to someone special or enjoy it yourself!
ARTS & CRAFTS
Finger puppets-Valentine's Day
(Open finger puppets-Valentine's Day) Print and laminate the puppets. Cut out the holes so that children can insert their fingers. They will enjoy creating short scenarios with their finger puppets.
(Open mandalas-Valentine's Day) Print for each child. Let children color the mandalas as they wish.
(Open stencils-Valentine's Day) Print and cut out the stencils. Children can use them to trace or paint items related to the theme.
(Open craft-heart shape) Use the model to trace two identical hearts on felt. Place both hearts one on top of the other and use a hole-punch to make holes around the contour of the heart. Children can thread yarn through the holes to seal the heart, adding potpourri inside the heart before closing it off completely.
(Open craft-Heart with two legs) Print. Have children color and cut out the pieces. Use the large heart to represent the head and body. Fold strips of construction paper accordion-style to create arms and legs. Glue a medium-sized heart to the end of each strip to represent hands and feet.
(Open models-hearts) Trace and cut out several different hearts. Decorate them using lace, ribbon, cotton balls, glitter, etc. Glue the hearts on either side of ribbon pieces and hang them from the ceiling.
Crumpled paper hearts
Draw a heart shape on black construction paper and fill it with white glue. Children crumple pieces of red, pink, and white tissue paper and use the crumpled pieces to fill the shape.
Give each child two paper plates. Cut one plate in two and discard one half. Children must glue their cut plate on top of their complete plate to form a pouch. Use a hole-punch to make holes around the top portion of each child's letter pouch and have them thread yarn through the holes. Decorate with foam hearts and crayons.
Valentine's Day basket
Encourage children to decorate a Styrofoam glass with heart-shaped stickers. Make a hole on either side of each child's glass and have them thread a red or pink pipe cleaner through to create a handle. Fill each child's basket with Valentine's Day candy or chocolates.
Cut the top off of a 2-litre milk carton for each child. Have children paint their milk carton or wrap it with construction paper, making sure to avoid the top. Add glue, glitter, and heart shapes all over. Staple a piece of pretty ribbon on either side of the milk carton. Insert a special gift and add tissue paper on top.
I see pink
Make Valentine's Day glasses. You will need two small yogurt containers for each child (minigo). Cut heart shapes in the bottom of each container and stick pink cellophane paper over the hearts. Make holes on the other side of each container and thread a pipe cleaner through each one to create arms for the glasses (they will rest on the child's ears). Finally, connect both containers together using another pipe cleaner piece.
Give each child an old shoebox. Have them paint it or, if you prefer, decorate it with Valentine's Day paper. They can use this special gift box for a gift they made for their parents.
(Open heart bunny) Print and cut out the hearts. Glue the medium-sized heart (head) upside down on the tip of the largest heart (body) that is also placed upside down. Draw a face and moustaches. Glue two tiny hearts to represent ears. Secure a Popsicle stick to the back of the bunny and add a cotton ball to represent its tail.
(Open educa-shape-chick-hearts) Print several copies and leave them on a table. Begin by inviting children to color the shapes they wish to use. Next, have them cut out the shapes. Using the model, they can assemble them by gluing them on a piece of cardboard to create a chick. This activity can be done individually or as a group. Encourage children to complete their project by adding eyes, a tongue, and legs to their chick.
Dip heart-shaped cookie cutters in white glue and press them on a large piece of cardboard. Sprinkle glitter on the shapes before the glue dries. Let dry.
Mr. Heart puppet
(Open Mr. Heart puppet) Print the model of your choice on heavy paper. Ask children to cut it out and decorate it using a variety of Valentine's Day arts & crafts materials. Attach the puppet to a Popsicle stick.
(Open My Cupid) Print for each child. Ask children to cut out the various pieces and color them. Assemble the pieces using fasteners where indicated.
Valentine's Day stained glass
(Open Valentine's Day stained glass) Trace and cut the shapes you want to work with out of cardboard. Keep only the contour of each shape. Glue a piece of cellophane paper on the cardboard. Glue sparkles around the edges. Display in a window. Variation: Trace the shape onto a piece of adhesive paper (Mac-Tac) and fill it with confetti, tissue paper, pieces of cardboard, etc. Cover the shape with another sheet of adhesive paper and cut it out. You may hang your stained glass heart in a window or doorway.
(Open miniature Cupid) Print, cut out, and color. Glue the pieces on an empty toilet paper roll to create your miniature Cupid.
(Open models-hearts) Print the color or black and white version. Trace and cut different sizes of hearts. Decorate them with glitter, lace, ribbon, cotton balls, confetti, etc. Glue the hearts back to back on either side of ribbon or string. Hang from the ceiling
Click here for more Valentine's Day craft ideas.
(Open coloring book-Valentine's Day) Print for each child.
(Open creative coloring-Valentine's Day) Print for each child. Ask children to draw the people they love.
Complete the drawing-Valentine's Day
(Open complete the drawing-Valentine's Day) Print for each child. They must complete the drawing by adding to what is already printed.
I am learning to draw-Hearts
(Open I am learning to draw-Hearts) Print and laminate the model sheet. Invite children to practice drawing hearts on the model sheet. When they are ready, they can try drawing hearts without the model.
(Open scrapbook-Valentine's Day 2015) Print this new page for each child and add it to their scrapbooks once completed.
SONGS & RHYMES
(Open songs & rhymes-Valentine)
Valentine by: Patricia Morrison
sung to: Row, row, row your boat
Val, val, valentine
Won't you please be mine?
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you
My sweet valentine
Happy Valentine's Day
The Educatall Team