Make the most of this Valentine’s Day with these 10 fun activities for babies and kids!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Celebrate this fun holiday with Valentine’s Day crafts that engage senses, fine and gross motor skills, communication skills and executive function! Give your child’s favorite games a Valentine’s Day twist or try an entirely new activity. Either way, you can make this 14th Feb one to remember with these Valentine’s day activities! Remember to always supervise your child while playing.

1.       Create a Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin: This activity can help your child build vocabulary skills while learning about sorting and counting.

Another fun idea for a valentines day activity is to make a sensory basket for your baby full of fun smells and candy

Begin by filling a plastic tub with rice. You can dye the rice pink with liquid watercolor or food coloring to bring in Valentine’s Day colors! Then add in all of your favorite Valentine’s goodies, such as shredded red paper, foam hearts, ribbons, beads, and any other Valentine’s Day craft supplies. Your child will have fun feeling and scooping all of the items. Have your child sort out all the different items and ask them to name the colors, shapes, textures and sizes!

2.       Make a Valentine’s Day Bath: This activity is a great sensory experience and works on communication and fine motor skills.

Make a valentine's day bath with your baby for some fun bonding on this special day

Make bath time extra special on Valentine’s Day! Play with shaving cream and use it to draw hearts, X’s and O’s on top of the water. You can also put shaving cream on the wall and let kids wipe it off with heart-shaped sponges. Help engage your child’s sense of touch by squeezing the heart-shaped sponge. Talk to them about the texture of the sponge and other bath toys to improve communication skills.

3.       Make Sensory Jars: This is a highly visual Valentine’s Day craft that allows your child to be creative and choose what they’d like in their jar!

For this activity you’ll need glass jars and lids, liquid watercolors, and craft supplies such as glitter, bath salts, craft foam hearts, flowers, and any other items that can be submerged in water. You can then mix water and liquid water color to create a bright pink or red color! Add in the foam hearts, pom poms, and other craft items. Stir all of them together and admire your Valentine’s creation! The jars also make great decorations around the house.

4.       Mix Chocolate Paint During Playtime: Yum! This craft encourages creativity, sensory, fine motor and can even be a way to practice spelling.

Chocolate finger paint adds a unique (and delicious!) twist to Valentine’s Day activities and crafts. Mix some hot chocolate packets or cocoa powder with warm water until you’ve created the desired paint texture. While playing with your child, you may choose to practice drawing shapes and letters. Don’t forget to lick your fingers at the end!

5.       Bake Valentine’s Day Cookies: Baking is a great way to connect with your child, and practice sensory, fine motor, communication and executive function skills.

Valentine’s day activities are all about the sweetness! Begin by finding your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Then, involve your child in the baking process. Use this time to teach them important routines, such as washing your hands before cooking. The older children are, the more tasks they can help with.

  • Babies can watch you bake and listen to you explain what you’re doing step-by-step.
  • Toddlers can pour and stir together ingredients (with help).

Cookies on valentines day is never a bad idea!

While mixing, allow children to feel the texture of the dough. You may choose to discuss how different ingredients, such as sugar or baking powder, form the dough’s texture. Involving kids in the baking experience this way engages their sense of smell and touch. Once cookies are ready to eat, they also get to experience the taste.

While cookies bake, prepare cookie decorations. Let your child be creative and pick the different colors of frosting or sprinkles that you’ll use. When cookies are done, enjoy!

6.     Decorate With a Valentine’s Day Wreath: This is an excellent finger exercise to build fine motor skills in children!

Crinkling small pieces of paper uses the same three fingers necessary for gripping a pencil: the thumb, pointer, and middle fingers. Children typically develop the strength and dexterity to grip a pencil around age 4. Crinkling tissue paper is just one craft idea for kids to help develop the ability to grip and complete other fine motor tasks.

Here is a fun and easy Valentine’s Day craft idea that incorporates crinkling tissue paper! It’s best for children age 5 and up.

7.       Have a Valentine’s Day Freeze Dance-Off: Help improve your toddler’s sense of movement (vestibular) and body awareness (proprioception), as well as language skills.

A Valentine’s Day Freeze Dance-Off is something your whole family can do together and is a fun way to get your child moving!

  1. Pick three favorite love songs and start the music.
  2. Dance until you stop the music and yell “Freeze!” Whoever is moving when the music stops is out.
  3. Repeat until only one family member is left in the game.

Remember, you might need to try this a few times for your toddler to understand the rules, but once they do you might find they want to play freeze dance again and again. To play with babies, hold on to them for support and dance until the music stops.

8.       Valentine’s Day Play Dough: Molding and playing with play dough helps children strengthen the muscles in their hands and improve their fine motor skills.

You can let kids press heart-shaped cookie cutters into red, white, or pink play dough or use a toothpick or pencil to trace letters into the dough. Kids can also mold play dough into Valentine’s Day shapes.

Let kids make heart shaped molds with play dough

  • Start by turning one of the colors of play dough into a ball.
  • Then, push the top of the ball down in the center to create an indentation to make the ball heart-shaped.
  • Using a different play dough color, make X’s and O’s, phrases such as “Be Mine” or “Love,” or shape your child’s name.
  • Place shapes or their name on top of the heart to complete the project.

9.       Make Handmade Valentine’s Day Cards: Help improve your child’s fine motor skills, sensory skills, social-emotional development, and communication.

Who doesn’t like a special card on Valentine’s Day, especially if it’s coming from a little one with tons of love to give? Instead of buying Valentine’s Day cards at the store, make cards with your child a few days in advance. You’ll need some blank sheets of paper that can be folded in half and crayons or markers to write with.

Give them heart-shaped stickers to peel off and place on cards or beads and small jewels that you can help them pick up and glue onto the card. Remember to keep a close eye on them. Children’s creativity can come alive as they design cards for their favorite people!

10.     Make a Valentine’s Day Card Holder: This craft is a fun way to practice fine motor and executive function skills.

This is a great way for your child to recycle a paper bag and get in the Valentine’s spirit! Your child can collect all their Valentine’s Day goodies in the colorful decorated bag. This activity is best for children 4 years and older. Supplies needed:

  • Construction paper or white paper
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Paper bag
  • Tape or glue stick

Remember to ask questions while doing the craft to keep your child engaged in this activity! Talk with your child about the shapes of the paper and the bag, and why weaving the paper means that it won’t fall out of the slits. Learn how to make it here!

Try these Valentine’s day activities to make February 14th extra special for the little ones in your life!

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