Whether you are an educator in a classroom or a parent at home, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to teach valuable lessons about love to the children around us.
This holiday isn’t just for adults. Including children in the celebrations sends a positive message and demonstrates acts of love and kindness. A child who grows up in a loving, nurturing environment tends to learn more and experience more happiness. Whether it’s in a classroom or at home, be sure to share some love with the little ones around you with some of these ideas.
In the Classroom
Paint with Heart-Shaped Cookie Cutters
Infants and toddlers can use heart-shaped cookie cutters dipped in red or pink paint to create fun art for their loved ones. Cover a paper plate with a thin layer of paint and instruct the kids to dip their cookie cutter until the outline is covered. Water and dye can be used as a paint substitute to minimize mess and is less hazardous if ingested.
Use Footprints to Make Meaningful Crafts
As cute as a baby’s feet are, they are the perfect gift to give to the families of little ones in your classroom. Paint the bottom of a child’s foot with pink or red paint and press them onto white paper in the shape of a heart. That white paper can be placed on a colorful piece of construction paper with other decorations like stickers, candy hearts or yarn.
Valentine’s Day Memory Matching
Memory matching games are happening in almost every early learning classroom. Using the same color cardstock or construction paper, cut out around 20 smaller squares making sure to keep an even number. Using the same color, paint a heart on two different squares and switch to a different color. Paint a heart on two more pieces of paper and repeat the process until all of the squares have a painted heart. Place all of the squares heart-side down and have the children turn over two cards at a time until all matches are found.
Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards
All children have a wide support system. Receiving a Valentine’s Day card from the little ones around you is a meaningful gift for any adult. Let children decorate homemade cards made of construction paper with crayons, markers, stickers or glitter. Letting the children hand deliver their own cards will let them see the happiness their actions can bring.
Valentine’s Day Tic-Tac-Toe
A few love-themed rounds of tic-tac-toe is a creative way to pass the time and build critical thinking skills. Use red painter’s tape to make a nine-square grid on the floor, a table or poster board. Cut out 10 small pieces of paper and paint half red but leave the other half white. Paint a red heart on the white squares, and paint a white heart. Start playing and enjoy the family-friendly competition.
Heart-Shaped Pizza for Dinner
Pizza is a fun comfort food that doesn’t create many dishes and is very easy to make. Just use your normal store-bought pizza dough and use heart-shaped cookie cutters to create individual portions. Top the crust with sauce, cheese and other desired toppings before baking in the oven until the crust is crisp and the cheese starts to brown.