Valentine’s Day is such a fun (and simple) theme for Tot School! The girls and I took a quick trip through Dollar Tree last week, but we already had most of these materials on hand.
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This simple activity cost less than four dollars and has consumed our three-year-old’s attention for hours at a time. My original intention was to have her sweep the tiny hearts into the outline or place them on the line (as seen here and here), but sometimes children just want to play their own way. Kate loves little gems (similar)–she’ll transfer them between a creamer (found at Goodwill, similar) and an empty glass jar (reused from the kitchen), put them into ice cube trays and muffin tins, and scoop them into small flower pots with a scoop.
Since we have little ones attend signing classes each week, I wanted to find a simple activity for babies. The Educators’ Spin On It suggested cookie cutters in a metal bowl, and the fun sound caught the attention of little ones all over the room! (We bought this pack of cookie cutters a few years ago and use them nearly every week for play dough and sensory play!)
Our muffin tin gets a lot of use in sorting activities. I bought heart foam stickers (similar) and placed one in each compartment for a simple tot tray. Our IKEA tongs add an extra fine-motor component.
I have a set of clothespins with each letter of the alphabet, so I grabbed three craft sticks and wrote out short words for Kate to practice word-building. An older child could also put the letters in ABC order or follow a simple pattern.
Our package of pony beads is used regularly. I pulled four matching pipe cleaners and left the whole set out for exploration. I thought Kate might sort by colors or make a pattern, but her older sister just wanted to make a bracelet.
Exploring with paint was another fun activity! I added different amounts of black or white paint to plain red and let the girls create. Both of them LOVE our weekly art time.
We wrapped up the week with this simple craft that will go with dad to work. (We made the same craft last year, so it will be fun to see how they’ve grown!)
You can see more Valentine’s Day activities on my Pinterest board! I always find more ideas than we can conceivably do in a week’s time.