Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! For most families, this means purchasing candy and cards, and decorating boxes for said cards to be slipped into at the child’s school party. For many children, they have their eyes on the main event of the holiday: CHOCOLATE! These things are exciting and fun for young children, so how can we turn these experiences into educational activities?
Here are a few ideas:
1. Sorting hearts
Obviously, hearts are the main icon during Valentine’s season. And, more obviously, a heart is a shape! There are so many different activities you can do with hearts, such as:
– Heart or Not? Grab two buckets and label one with a picture of heart and another with a different shape. Create or buy small hearts and other shapes and have your kiddo sort into each bucket. Talk about the different kinds of shapes in the “not heart” bucket.
– Color Sort Create or buy small hearts of various colors and have your child sort them accordingly. Identify the different colors and suggest other items that may be the same color.
– Size Sort Create or buy hearts of various sizes and have your child sort them accordingly. Talk about the differences between BIG items and small items.
2. Emotion identification: Love
Love is the main theme of Valentine’s Day. Identifying emotions is important in social-emotional learning. Talk about different kinds of “love” (family love, friend love, etc.) and what love can look like (helping someone, sharing, etc.).
3. Science activities
Science can be for littles, too! Simple mixtures can cause amazing results, guaranteed to elicit “oohs” and “aahs” from your kiddos!
– Fizzy Conversation Hearts This is such a fun activity! Grab some classic conversation heart candies and some baking soda and put it in a clear container. Fill up an eye dropper with vinegar and let your little one drip it onto the candy and baking soda mixture. Watch as the hearts fizz and mix colors!
– Dancing Conversation Hearts You’ll need the same ingredients as the one above, but this time, put the conversation hearts and baking soda in a tall, clear glass or cup. Pour in vinegar to the top and watch as the hearts dance in the glass!
Education can be FUN! Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥
By Alexis Young, Early Care and Education Lead Teacher