Make the most of this Valentine’s Day with these 10 fun activities for babies and kids!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Celebrate this fun holiday with Valentine’s Day crafts that engage senses, fine and gross motor skills, communication skills and executive function! Give your child’s favorite games a Valentine’s Day twist or try an entirely new activity. Either way, you can make this 14th Feb one to remember with these Valentine’s day activities! Remember to always supervise your child while playing.
1. Create a Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin: This activity can help your child build vocabulary skills while learning about sorting and counting.
Begin by filling a plastic tub with rice. You can dye the rice pink with liquid watercolor or food coloring to bring in Valentine’s Day colors! Then add in all of your favorite Valentine’s goodies, such as shredded red paper, foam hearts, ribbons, beads, and any other Valentine’s Day craft supplies. Your child will have fun feeling and scooping all of the items. Have your child sort outall the different items and ask them to name the colors, shapes, textures and sizes!
2. Make a Valentine’s Day Bath: This activity is a great sensory experience and works on communication and fine motor skills.
Make bath time extra special on Valentine’s Day! Play with shaving cream and use it to draw hearts, X’s and O’s on top of the water. You can also put shaving cream on the wall and let kids wipe it off with heart-shaped sponges. Help engage your child’s sense of touch by squeezing the heart-shaped sponge. Talk to them about the texture of the sponge and other bath toys to improve communication skills.
3. Make Sensory Jars: This is a highly visual Valentine’s Day craft that allows your child to be creative and choose what they’d like in their jar!
For this activity you’ll need glass jars and lids, liquid watercolors, and craft supplies such as glitter, bath salts, craft foam hearts, flowers, and any other items that can be submerged in water. You can then mix water and liquid water color to create a bright pink or red color! Add in the foam hearts, pom poms, and other craft items. Stir all of them together and admire your Valentine’s creation! The jars also make great decorations around the house.
4. Mix Chocolate Paint During Playtime: Yum! This craft encourages creativity, sensory, fine motor and can even be a way to practice spelling.
Chocolate finger paint adds a unique (and delicious!) twist to Valentine’s Day activities and crafts. Mix some hot chocolate packets or cocoa powder with warm water until you’ve created the desired paint texture. While playing with your child, you may choose to practice drawing shapes and letters. Don’t forget to lick your fingers at the end!
5. Bake Valentine’s Day Cookies: Baking is a great way to connect with your child, and practice sensory, fine motor, communication and executive function skills.
Valentine’s day activities are all about the sweetness! Begin by finding your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Then, involve your child in the baking process. Use this time to teach them important routines, such as washing your hands before cooking. The older children are, the more tasks they can help with.
- Babies can watch you bake and listen to you explain what you’re doing step-by-step.
- Toddlers can pour and stir together ingredients (with help).
While mixing, allow children to feel the texture of the dough. You may choose to discuss how different ingredients, such as sugar or baking powder, form the dough’s texture. Involving kids in the baking experience this way engages their sense of smell and touch. Once cookies are ready to eat, they also get to experience the taste.
While cookies bake, prepare cookie decorations. Let your child be creative and pick the different colors of frosting or sprinkles that you’ll use. When cookies are done, enjoy!
6. Decorate With a Valentine’s Day Wreath: This is an excellent finger exercise to build fine motor skills in children!
Crinkling small pieces of paper uses the same three fingers necessary for gripping a pencil: the thumb, pointer, and middle fingers. Children typicallydevelop the strength and dexterityto grip a pencil around age 4. Crinkling tissue paper is just one craft idea for kids to help develop the ability to grip and complete other fine motor tasks.
Here is a fun and easy Valentine’s Day craft idea that incorporates crinkling tissue paper! It’s best for children age 5 and up.
7. Have a Valentine’s Day Freeze Dance-Off: Help improve your toddler’s sense of movement (vestibular) and body awareness (proprioception), as well as language skills.
A Valentine’s Day Freeze Dance-Off is something your whole family can do together and is a fun way to get your child moving!
- Pick three favorite love songs and start the music.
- Dance until you stop the music and yell “Freeze!” Whoever is moving when the music stops is out.
- Repeat until only one family member is left in the game.
Remember, you might need to try this a few times for your toddler to understand the rules, but once they do you might find they want to play freeze dance again and again. To play with babies, hold on to them for support and dance until the music stops.
8. Valentine’s Day Play Dough: Molding and playing with play dough helps children strengthen the muscles in their hands and improve their fine motor skills.
You can let kids press heart-shaped cookie cutters into red, white, or pink play dough or use a toothpick or pencil to trace letters into the dough. Kids can also mold play dough into Valentine’s Day shapes.
- Start by turning one of the colors of play dough into a ball.
- Then, push the top of the ball down in the center to create an indentation to make the ball heart-shaped.
- Using a different play dough color, make X’s and O’s, phrases such as “Be Mine” or “Love,” or shape your child’s name.
- Place shapes or their name on top of the heart to complete the project.
9. Make Handmade Valentine’s Day Cards: Help improve your child’s fine motor skills, sensory skills, social-emotional development, and communication.
Who doesn’t like a special card on Valentine’s Day, especially if it’s coming from a little one with tons of love to give? Instead of buying Valentine’s Day cards at the store, make cards with your child a few days in advance. You’ll need some blank sheets of paper that can be folded in half and crayons or markers to write with.
Give them heart-shaped stickers to peel off and place on cards or beads and small jewels that you can help them pick up and glue onto the card. Remember to keep a close eye on them. Children’s creativity can come alive as they design cards for their favorite people!
10.Make a Valentine’s Day Card Holder: This craft is a fun way to practice fine motor and executive function skills.
This is a great way for your child to recycle a paper bag and get in the Valentine’s spirit! Your child can collect all their Valentine’s Day goodies in the colorful decorated bag. This activity is best for children 4 years and older. Supplies needed:
- Construction paper or white paper
- Paper bag
- Tape or glue stick
Remember to ask questions while doing the craft to keep your child engaged in this activity! Talk with your child about the shapes of the paper and the bag, and why weaving the paper means that it won’t fall out of the slits. Learn how to make it here!
Try these Valentine’s day activities to make February 14th extra special for the little ones in your life!
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert and enthusiast, I have personal experiences or emotions, but I can provide you with information on the concepts mentioned in this article. Here are some details about the activities mentioned:
Valentine's Day Sensory Bin:
- This activity involves creating a sensory bin filled with rice and various Valentine's Day-themed items such as shredded red paper, foam hearts, ribbons, beads, and craft supplies.
- The sensory bin helps children build vocabulary skills, learn about sorting and counting, and explore different colors, shapes, textures, and sizes.
- It can be a fun and engaging activity for babies and kids to stimulate their senses and fine motor skills [].
Valentine's Day Bath:
- This activity aims to make bath time on Valentine's Day extra special.
- It involves playing with shaving cream and using it to draw hearts, X's, and O's on the water's surface.
- Children can also wipe off the shaving cream from the wall using heart-shaped sponges, which helps improve their communication and fine motor skills [].
- Sensory jars are a visual Valentine's Day craft that allows children to be creative and choose what they want to include in their jar.
- The activity requires glass jars and lids, liquid watercolors, and various craft supplies such as glitter, bath salts, foam hearts, flowers, and other items that can be submerged in water.
- By mixing water and liquid watercolor, a bright pink or red color can be created. Adding craft items like foam hearts and pom poms enhances the visual appeal of the jars.
- Sensory jars can also be used as decorations around the house [].
Chocolate Paint During Playtime:
- This activity involves making chocolate finger paint using hot chocolate packets or cocoa powder mixed with warm water.
- Children can use the chocolate paint to engage in creative activities, such as drawing shapes and letters.
- It encourages sensory exploration, fine motor skills, and can even be a way to practice spelling [].
Bake Valentine's Day Cookies:
- Baking Valentine's Day cookies is a great way to connect with your child and engage in sensory, fine motor, communication, and executive function skills.
- Children can be involved in the baking process, from watching and listening to explanations to pouring and stirring ingredients (with help).
- The activity allows children to experience different textures, smells, and tastes while also learning about important routines like handwashing before cooking [].
Decorate With a Valentine's Day Wreath:
- Making a Valentine's Day wreath is an excellent finger exercise that helps build fine motor skills in children.
- Crinkling small pieces of paper, such as tissue paper, can help develop the ability to grip and complete other fine motor tasks.
- This craft idea is suitable for children aged 5 and up [].
Valentine's Day Freeze Dance-Off:
- A Valentine's Day Freeze Dance-Off is a fun activity that helps improve a toddler's sense of movement (vestibular) and body awareness (proprioception), as well as language skills.
- The game involves dancing to favorite love songs and freezing when the music stops. The last person moving is out of the game.
- It may take a few tries for toddlers to understand the rules, but once they do, they might want to play freeze dance again and again [].
Valentine's Day Play Dough:
- Playing with play dough helps children strengthen the muscles in their hands and improve their fine motor skills.
- Children can press heart-shaped cookie cutters into red, white, or pink play dough, trace letters, or mold play dough into Valentine's Day shapes.
- This activity allows children to be creative and engage in sensory exploration [].
Make Handmade Valentine's Day Cards:
- Making handmade Valentine's Day cards is a great way to improve a child's fine motor skills, sensory skills, social-emotional development, and communication.
- Instead of buying cards, children can design their own using blank sheets of paper, crayons or markers, and various decorations like heart-shaped stickers, beads, and small jewels.
- This activity encourages children's creativity and allows them to express their love for their favorite people [].
Make a Valentine's Day Card Holder:
- Making a Valentine's Day card holder is a fun craft that helps practice fine motor and executive function skills.
- Children can decorate a paper bag with construction paper, crayons, and other materials.
- The decorated bag can be used to collect Valentine's Day goodies and cards.
- This activity is suitable for children aged 4 and older [].
These activities can help make Valentine's Day extra special for the little ones in your life. Remember to always supervise your child while playing and adapt the activities to their age and abilities.