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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Valentine's Day Theme for Preschoolers

I can't decide if it's too early to start Valentine's Day activities, since my original plan was just to do a few activities here and there starting in February.  However, the kiddos are very much ready for something new.  When I do a "theme" it is not the only thing we do.  We still continue reading poetry and living books, we still play regular math and literacy games, and we try to do nature study.  The kids just find it interesting to find a treat mixed into their regular activities, so every few days we do something based around our theme.

The Mailbox
When I saw the mailboxes at Target's $1 spot, I knew I had to get one.  Elliott loves to send and receive mail, so this would make a great literacy activity he could work on alone or with me.   I included various paper, foam and sticker hearts.  He will be able to use his regular art supplies and writing/coloring utensils, as well as note cards and other papers/cards to write letters to dad or make Valentine's cards.  I'm sure he might find a few surprises in his mailbox too!

One thing I've said repeatedly, is that I don't push worksheets on my kids.  I rarely (almost never) present them as part of our "school" at all.  Instead, I offer them as more of a choice, in a Pre-Writing Notebook.  I decided to change it out and add in some Valentine's Themed pages since Elliott is showing a renewed interest in writing.

Heart Maze
This came from a book of mazes.  There's a cactus on the back as well.

These came out of a Shapes workbook from the Dollar Tree.  Elliott can do both...we'll see what Emory wants to do.  ;)

This page is also from the Shapes workbook, but it is just circling the hearts, so Emory can do this one too.

Pattern Blocks
This Valentine Heart Pattern Block printable is from Making Learning Fun.

An easier one for Emory, this pattern block pattern is from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

Early Math
This Valentine's Grid Game is from Prekinders.  Her philosophy is play-based, which meshes well with my informal approach before age six, so I love perusing her website for activities.  I will alter the rules to make it more challenging for Elliott.  I'll use two dice, and it will likely change each time for variety, but we will practice addition, subtraction, and greater/less than.  You could easily use whatever rules you need to work on whatever skills your child needs!

For Emory, he can do 1:1 correspondence with the above game when we're finished, but until then, I just give him a pile of the counting objective!

This Valentine Counting by 1's Worksheet is from PrintActivities.  I like this one because it can be played independently as intended by completing the 'maze' from 1-100.  It could also be done as a Roll to 100 Game, which I saw on Creativity My Passion.

Our red play-doh from Christmas is still going strong, so I changed out our winter accessories and add in these...heart shaped cookie cutters, a cookie stamp with hearts, and the letters to spell love.  I was going to include the rest of the letters for heart too, until I realized the set was missing a T.  There are two L's instead.  Bummer!

Fine Motor Skills
While many of these activities encourage fine motor development, this one is specifically for Emory.  He pulled all these pieces together out of our Valentine's sensory tub and was doing this on our own.

Valentine's Sensory Tub
We also have our Valentine's Day Sensory Tub which the boys have enjoyed so far.  Some of the skills we can cover with it are sorting, patterning, counting and even simple spelling/reading with the blocks.

Book Basket
We don't have a lot of Valentine's themed books, so I pulled out other books that are related to hearts and love.  I'll try to share these soon.  You can check out our February Book Basket now.

 photo ValentinesDayroundup_zpsdeed81ad.png


  1. I've got to check out the dollar store for valentines sensory bin items. yours is very nice I bet the kids had fun.

  2. Looks like you have lots of fun Valentine's Day activities planned! I printed out that grid game for Liam too.

    I love the book You Are My I Love You. I cried the first time I read it.

    1. I know, I love it too! I bought it because it was like a "big kid" version of the book I Love You Through and Through--which happened to be the first favorite book of both my boys.

  3. Sadly, we don't have a Dollar Tree here :( But will hunt for some Valentine kits this weekend. Thanks for the inspirations! We will try the grid and dice game. And loooveee your writing notebooks. Wish I could find page protectors here too, we're doing workbooks as well.

  4. It's never too early for a good theme (in my opinion!) Valentine's Day is so much fun!
    We're going to have to head to Target for some mailboxes.

    And I really love your pre-writing notebook idea!

  5. Wow! you have a collection of valentine activities! Thanks for the mention Brittany!

    1. Ester, as soon as I saw your game, I knew my older son would enjoy it and it reminded me of the 'maze' so I printed it out. The more uses I can get out of one activity, the happier I am!

  6. I am just hopping over to thank you for linking up this week to my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop! I love the Valentine's Day counting by 1's activity. The mailbox is so cute!

  7. So many wonderful things! Thanks for sharing. I am going to look for some heart mazes - Aodhan is really intrigued by the idea of a maze right now. Thanks!

  8. What a great range of activities! Your kids will have a blast!

  9. Looks like you are all set for the theme! We love all holidays and celebrate each one (even groundhogs day!)...Love your ideas!

    Melissa @ The Joys of HOme Educating

  10. Fun Stuff - love the sensory bin! Stopping by from TGIF! New follower. :)


  11. Wow, these activities are really great! I love that you only offer worksheets as a choice. I know some children love them, I did when I was little. They can be a good learning tool, but I think only if the child is interested in it. Too bad it can't stay that way into grade school. Thanks for linking up to Thinky Linky Thursday!
    Lori @ Cachey Mama’s Classroom

    1. Thanks! I know some kids enjoy worksheets. My oldest can do them, but I can tell he prefers to do hands-on activities and games, so that is how I approach his school time. If he wants to try out a worksheet, I won't object, but I don't see any value in forcing children to finish them. I almost squelched my son's enthusiasm for learning with preschool workbooks, but when I reevaluated and changed my approach, he started flourishing again!

  12. Your ideas are always refreshing. I LOVE your approach to learning (I know I've told you before, but just had to say it again!). We also picked up the dollar mailboxes! They are SO great! Thanks so much for linking up with Thrifty Thursday!

    1. Thanks Katie, it's refreshing to know that I'm not the only one out there who takes a "different" approach to learning!

  13. What a great list of ideas! I love the mailbox idea. My little one would love to find surprises in there. I hope the Target near me has them!

  14. Great ideas, found you on Link&Learn and am a new follower!

  15. "I Love You Through and Through" was one of Boogie's first favorites, too, and he still enjoys it. I didn't realize until I saw your book basket how many books with "love" in the title we have to set out for Valentine's Day. These are great trays! Thanks for sharing at WOTT :)