Valentine's Day

Love is in the air! Your toddler is just starting to learn about love and relationships. At this stage in her life, your toddler's greatest love is probably you. But soon, her social world will be expanding. Talk about love and caring while you do these projects with her. Here is a great chance to reinforce recognition of the colors pink and red, too.

  1. Heart Prints

    Activity for an individual child
    Age group: 18–40 months
    Duration of activity: 15 minutes

    This activity will help your child develop fine motor skills. You may also want to use this as an opportunity to talk about color and shape identification. You don't have to limit your child to a simple sheet of paper. Perhaps she can print hearts onto a card or calendar.

    What You'll Need

    • Red and pink tempera paint
    • Pie tins
    • Kitchen sponges
    • Scissors
    • Clothespins
    • White construction paper or bond paper
    1. Pour the paint into the pie tins.

    2. Cut out heart shapes from the sponges. You can make other shapes too. Be sure that the sponge shapes are at least as large as a silver dollar.

    3. Attach a clothespin to the back of the sponge. This will serve as a handle for your child.

    4. Show your child how to dip the sponge hearts into the paint and then press them onto the paper to create a design.

  2. Kisses

    Activity for an individual child
    Age group: 30–40 months
    Duration of activity: 10 minutes

    This activity will be particularly enticing if you have a child who likes to put on mommy's makeup.

    What You'll Need

    • White construction or bond paper
    • Lipstick in a variety of colors
    • Facial tissue
    1. Help your child apply the lipstick.

    2. Show your child how to kiss the paper to make lip prints. If you use more than one color of lipstick, help your child use the tissue to remove the preceding color.

  3. Valentine's Card

    Activity for an individual child
    Age group: 18–40 months
    Duration of activity: 10 minutes

    Here is a cute idea for your child to create a truly personalized Valentine's Day card.

    What You'll Need

    • 1 sheet of white or pink construction paper
    • 1 marker
    • Red tempera paint
    • Shallow pie tin
    1. Fold the paper in half to create a card. On the front, write “Thumbody Loves You!”

    2. Pour a small amount of the paint into the pie tin. Help your child to dip her thumb into the paint.

    3. Open the card and show your child how to press her thumb onto the paper to create prints. Let her make as many thumbprints as she wishes to decorate the card.

Find even more ideas for Valentine's Day activities and crafts, both for your little ones and the rest of the family at About.com.

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