A Valentines Day theme can be a difficult theme in that we try to promote a healthy snack policy, but we provide lots and lots of friends, hearts and love as the focus instead!
For the past few years we had a Valentines Card Exchange day.
We send a note home to the parents that they should make home made Valentine cards with their children (enough for everyone in the class including their child! They always give one to themselves!).
We let them know that they should NOT put any food or candy items on them (allergies and our healthy snack policy in mind!), but they can add pencils or things like that.
The goal is for the parents to do an activity with the children! We suggest that they make 3 a week throughout the month of January with with children so that they are done in time for our Exchange Day!
We also, in September, send home a note asking the parents to send in any shoeboxes they have (they usually purchase new shoes in the fall!). We save these for our Valentine Exchange.
A week before the party, the children decorate one box with all kinds of this and that art items...paper, sequins, etc.
On the day of the party, the children place one of their home made Valentines in each of their friends' decorated boxe
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for this Theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Fist Heart Painting
Materials Needed: red paint, white paint, paper with predrawn large hearts, scissors
Children should cut out (as best they can!) a large paper heart of their choice.
Help children make 2 fists with their hands and place their hands into the paint tray (their pinky side of their hands should go into the paint).
Help them to press their hands onto their heart paper, with their fists together. It will look like a heart paint print. Have them print as many hearts as they want with their fists!
When dry, they can glue on notes for their families or friends.
EXTENSION: For notes, print the phrases I LOVE YOU or HAPPY VALENTINES DAY on papers at the Writing table and encourage the children to copy the printing onto their own paper strips. They can then glue that note onto their painted heart.
Materials Needed: egg cartons, paint, pipe cleaners
These would look great on your Valentines Bulletin Board!
Materials Needed: Small precut hearts (approximately 4 inches X 4 inches), craft sticks, glue, stamp pads (washable of course!).
Encourage the children to use their thumbs or fingers to make finger prints on the small hearts.
Glue each heart onto a craft stick.
Tie a bunch of them together with a note that reads "THUMBbody loves you!" This would make a great gift for a family member for Valentines Day!
VARIATION: Instead of using stamp pads, use paint. Have the children paint a very thin layer of paint on their thumb with a paintbrush and then stamp their hearts.
Coffee Filter Heart Rainbows
Materials Needed: Coffee filters precut into heart shapes; markers; spray bottles with water;
cover table with a waterproof tablecloth or shower curtain.
Children color the hearts with markers.
They spray them with the spray bottles and watch the colors run together!
Have MANY hearts available as many of your children will want to make a lot of these! Encourage them to color with just red and blue so they can see the shade of purple that they make. Experiment with other colors as well!
VARIATION: Instead of spray bottles, provide the children with eye droppers and small cups of water to drop water where they want. Great fine motor skill practice!
These dry very quickly so you will be able to hang them right away! They would make a great impromptu bulletin board! We write their names on them in pen before they begin so that they can take them home at some point!
Valentines Day House
Place red, pink and other stuffed animals in your block area. Wrap some blocks in themed wrapping or tissue paper to allow for houses to be built with patterns!
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your Valentines Day Theme!
The Missing Heart
Materials Needed: Programmed paper hearts with a concept you are working with written on them. For example, if you are working on specific letters, print one letter on each heart. You could also print numbers, the children's names or just have different color hearts.
Place the hearts on the floor at circle. Tell the children you are going to remove one and they have to guess which heart is missing.
Tell them to close their eyes and NO PEAKING! Remove one heart. Tell them to open their eyes and guess which is missing!
If it becomes very easy for them, remove 2 or more hearts and have them guess which 2 or 3 are missing!
EXTENSION: Place pieces of dryer sheets or felt behind the hearts and place them in the library area with a felt board for them to continue the guessing!
Find Your Match
Materials Needed: Pairs of identical hearts
Give each child a heart. 2 children should receive the same color or pattern heart. If you have an odd number of children, have 3 children with the same color or pattern heart.
Tell them to walk around the circle (I play music while they do this!) and find their match!
Repeat as long as there is interest.
EXTENSION: Place the hearts in the math area for more matching game fun in smaller groups!
EXTENSION: Cut the hearts in different ways down the middle (such as with zig-zag cuts, straight cuts, etc.) and have the children find the friend who has the matching heart!
Valentines Day Counting Hearts in the Dish
An old tried-but-true favorite!
Materials Needed: Lots and lots of paper valentines; dish or paper plate (cut into a heart!).
Valentine Valentine in the dish,
How many valentines do you wish?
Ask each child and have them count that number of valentine hearts into the dish.
I usually have a set of number cards for the children to choose from. If not, you'll be trying to figure out how many "one hundred, forty-two, eleven" is! ;)
Where's My Valentine?
In advance, cut out as many hearts as you have children in your group.
On each heart, glue a picture (from a magazine or a clip art picture) of an animal. Make sure there are 2 of each animal.
Pass out the hearts to the children.
They all act out and make the sounds like the animal on their heart.
Listening and watching everyone else, the children need to find their Valentine match.
Once they have found their mate, they can sit down. Let everyone continue until they have all found their matches!
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific theme questions while making these fun snacks!
The disclaimer: PLEASE, PLEASE check files for allergies..we've had a child allergic to strawberries, another to hazel nuts (all tree nuts, actually) and yet another to egg products. It is important for you to know before doing any cooking with the children.
Ingredients and Items needed: Bread, Heart shaped cookie cutters; spread (margarine or cream cheese or cheese spread or strawberry jelly/jam!); colored VALENTINE sprinkles
Make toast (1 piece for each child). They use a cookie cutter to cut out a heart.
They spread on whichever spread you have provided and sprinke with pink and red sprinkles. YUM!
Valentines Day Punch
Ingredients and Items Needed: 3 quarts of fruit punch; 1 quart of sugar-free ginger ale; 1 six ounce can of frozen orange juice and 1 six ounce can of frozen lemonade.
Have children help pour each of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix. This batch serves about 20-25 people.
Valentine's Day Berry Parfait
This recipe is easy enough for them to dovalentines day recipes on their own. As an added plus, it gives them a serving of dairy and fruit!
Valentine's Day Snack Mix
Want healthy and delicious Valentines Day recipes? Try this one! The dried fruit and pecans add both protein and carbohydrates in this energy-boosting snack. It'll also help satisfy those salty and sweet cravings!
Choices: (check for allergies first)
Valentine's Day Smoothie
This smoothie recipe is a great way to start your Valentine's Day! Kids will need supervision with this recipe, as you will need a blender to make it.
Of all the Valentines Day recipes, this one may be one of my favorites! Who wouldn't love the combination of rice crispy treats and chocolate?!? :) P.S. I don't think this one qualifies as healthy though...
Materials Needed: We usually theme our dramatic play area as a Post Office during our Valentines Day theme to go along with all the letters and cards we are making!
To do this, add work aprons, boxes (shoe boxes) as mail boxes, a lot of small stamps and stamp pads, envelopes, and canvas bags to deliver the mail!
Materials Needed: watercolor paint, small paint brushes, Valentine themed stickers, paper
Have children create a an adventure for their stickers by placing stickers on the page and painting a scene around it!
Hide 'N Seek Hearts
Materials Needed: Large hearts of different colors made out of construction paper (or felt)
Hide these hearts throughout the room or area you will be playing this (outside is fun as well!). Tell the children they need to ONLY find one.
EXTENSION: Provide the children with miscellaneous arts and crafts items to glue on to make a decoration for your classroom. Send them home before Valentines Day so they can give it to a special family member!
Heart Stompin' Fun!
Materials Needed: Large red hearts (laminated and then taped to the floor)--one for each child; cd player and music
Have the children dance around the room as the music plays. When the music stops, they have to find a heart and stand on it!
EXTENSION: When the music stops and they are all on a heart, hold up or say a number and have them stomp or hop on their heart that many times!
Book Suggestions for the Library
Steal My Heart
Give each child a package of candy conversation hearts and a pair of chopsticks.
Have them dump out the candy in front of them.
They pick up a heart with the chopsticks and place it in a cup in front of them.
EXTENSION: Place colored construction paper in the bottoms of a muffin tin for the children to sort their hearts by color. Or, print numbers on the papers and encourage the children to place the appropriate number of hearts in each section.
Count the Caps
Materials Needed: Empty Valentines Day candy boxes; many milk container caps!
Place your milk cap collection in a bowl and provide the heart shaped boxes. Let children sort by color and type.
VARIATION: If you don't have candy boxes, provide large hearts made out of paper for them to use as sorting mats.
EXTENSION: Add numerals to each box or piece of paper for the children to count that many caps into it.
Crazy Heart Dude!
This activity is to help develop those small hand muscles!
You will need: A large heart (cut out of construction paper--1 for each child); 4 strips of construction paper for arms and legs; wiggly eyes; markers; glue.
Line them Up
Provide hearts in progressing sizes from small to large out of many different colors. The children use these to seriate in order from smaller to larger or to make patterns with (blue, red, blue red, etc.).
I Love You Song
OK, OK, I know! Don't sing this one if you're sick of Barney!
Sung to the tune of This Old Man:
I love you.
You love me.
We're as happy as can be.
With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you.
Won't you say you love me, too?
I love you,
You love me.
We're best friends like friends should be.
With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you.
Won't you say you love me, too?
Love My Friends Exercise and Song
Sung to: Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Love, love, love our friends,
Yes, we really do.
Valentines, Valentines, Valentines, Valentines,
Sent from me to you!
Do some healthy exercises with the children each time you sing it such as:
Running in place.
Touch your toes and reach for the sky.
Add dish detergent and red food coloring to your water table. Provide egg beaters or wire wisks to make bubbles!
In advance prepare pairs of textured hearts with cardstock: attach cotton balls, sandpaper, aluminum foil, etc.
Have them describe how it feels and match it to its mate.
EXTENSION: Place one of each in front of the children. Place one of its mates in a box or bag. Have one child feel in the bag without looking and feel the heart that is in it. Then have that child guess which of the hearts in front of them match that texture!
Valentines Day Flower Power
Materials Needed: Artifical flowers of different colors and types; magnifying glasses
Place these items in your science center for investigation. If available (and if no allergies to flowers in your class), provide real flowers for them to take apart and investigate!
EXTENSION: One of our teachers added plain rattan wreaths to the science center with artificial flowers. The children really enjoyed checking out the flowers and making a wreath as well!
Texture Touch Coolness!
One of my preschoolers said this was "coolness" so that's what we named it!
Materials needed: cornstarch, water, vegetable oil, large ziploc bags, liquid water color or food coloring; masking tape
In each baggie that you want to make, add 5 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1/2 cup water, and a few drops of coloring.
Mix ingredients well, until completely blended together.
The children will LOVE holding the bags at this point! Let them!
The cornstarch will be hard but as they hold it, their body heat will melt it in the bag!
But wait, there's more!
Now add some oil. Anywhere from 2-3 tablespoons is plenty.
Seal the baggie, getting all of the air out of it.
Place the baggie flat on a table and tape the edges down onto the table.
As the children push to "write" on the bags, the mixture will change and separate as it is used!
Here's a demo!
Materials needed: baking soda, water, grape juice; white paper; small cups; paint brushes
Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda to 1 cup of water. Use this mixture to draw heart shapes, the words I LOVE YOU, etc on white papers. Let papers dry completely.
Provide the children with the papers and cups of grape juice and paint brushes.
When they brush the papers, the designs will appear! Another coolness factor!
Valentines Day Card Shop
Materials needed: stencils; paper, markers, colored pencils, stickers, glue sticks, index cards, old Valentines Day cards, lots of envelopes!
The children can make cards for anyone and everyone here and our class, they DO! They LOVE to make and create here for their family and friends!
Valentines Day Party
Use the activities on this page to put together some special Valentines Day Party games and activities. Have parents come in to help!
Perhaps one of the parents can face paint hearts on children's faces and hands!
Also, be sure to stock up, or ask parents to donate, supplies for your party! There some essential supplies you will need. Check the following list to make sure you have everything. You can click on the links to go to the specific page for that item on Amazon to check out their prices!
Valentine's Day Bulletin Board Ideas
Valentines Day Bulletin Boards are a fun way to spruce up your classroom in the middle of winter! Many teachers are looking for ideas for these bulletin boards. They want their classrooms to look festive and inviting for the "season of love."
There are many choices that you have for Valentines Day bulletin boards. If you are pressed for time, perhaps you want to create a general one that will stay up the whole winter.
Or you may want to change your bulletin board to reflect the themes you are teaching.
Here are some quick and easy Valentines Day bulletin board ideas:
One Sweet Class
Who Do You Love?
Let each child cut out two heart shapes as best they can (one larger than the other). Or, provide a heart shaped stencil for the children to trace and cut. Let them choose the color!
The children print the name of someone they love on the smaller heart and glue it on the larger heart.
They print their name on the larger heart.
They decorate them with markers, stamps, crayons, etc.
For the background of the bulletin board, have students use heart shaped sponges to sponge-paint in various colors all over a white sheet of butcher paper.
When it's dry, hang up on the bulletin board, and then hang up their cut out hearts on top.
You can write a phrase like, "We Are Full of Love" or "Who Do We Love?" on for a title.
Wear Red or Pink for Valentines Day
In advance, assign one day to be "Wear Something Red or Pink Day". Inevitably, a child will not come in with red on.....help them to make a special red heart out of paper to tape to their shirt!
Valentines Day Theme Classroom Visitors
Invite your local mail carrier to come in and say hi and perhaps show the children their mail bag or truck!
Valentines Day Theme Field Trips
You could visit:
The History of Valentines Day!
Who is St. Valentine and why is this holiday celebrated?
The history of Valentines Day -- and its patron saint -- is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.
So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young, single men -- his crop of potential soldiers.
Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.
According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first valentines day greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl -- who may have been his jailor's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement.
Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today.
Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.