Valentine’s Day Activities for Toddlers

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Please supervise children during all activities.

Welcome back to my blog! Here are a few cheap and/or free activities and crafts for toddlers for Valentine’s Day!

Bee My Valentine

Who doesn’t love kid handprint and footprint art?!? Check out this adorable “Bee My Valentine” craft from The Real Heffern’s YouTube channel here. All of my kids’ footprint art usually just looks like a big blob! I love how Taylor from the Real Hefferns showed how to roll the baby’s foot onto the paper to make the footprint. I can’t wait to do this craft using her awesome tips with my littles for Valentine’s Day!

Heart Stamping

Wait! Don’t recycle your paper towel tube just yet (or don’t throw it away if you don’t recycle). Use that paper towel tube for a fun and easy Valentine’s Day craft. You could use toilet paper tubes if you would like, but for some reason, I can’t bring myself to use them, I get too grossed out. I usually cut paper towel tubes in half instead.

It is pretty easy to form your paper towel tube into a heart stamper! See my pictures below:

After you have created your stamper, put some paper down on the table, pour some paint on a paper plate, and let your little artist dip the heart shaped tube and stamp away! I love Crayola Washable Non Toxic Kids Paint, because let’s be honest, your toddler will probably try to eat some!

My daughter decided she wanted to do a little finger painting along with her heart stamping. We also decided to get a little crazy and add an additional color.

Touch and Feel Heart

This next activity was created with random art supplies I had around my house! I already had 12 x 12 cardstock sheets in multiple colors, tissue paper, googly eyes, pom poms, pipe cleaners, and glue. I bought some red glitter glue and some foam hearts to make this craft a little more festive!

My daughter was a little young to understand the texture part of this craftivity, so this was really just her decorating a heart, but if your child is a little older, you can go more in depth about the textures and find even more different textured items to add to your heart.

Our textures included the following:

  • Pipe Cleaners – Fuzzy
  • Googly Eyes – Smooth
  • Pom Poms – Soft
  • Tissue Paper – Crinkly
  • Foam Hearts – Squishy

(Other textures ideas could include items that are bumpy, rough, hard, fluffy, etc.)

As my daughter put each item onto her heart, I told her what the texture was and we talked about how it felt together. She really just kept repeating me and I don’t think she really understood, but she had a lot of fun!

Since she is only two, I had to help a lot with the glue! I would ask her where she wanted to glue things down, and she would point and I would put a little glob of glue for her. You can decide how you want to handle the glue with your child, but keep in mind that most children try to squeeze the entire glue bottle in one spot. You may want to review how to make small dots of glue!

Our finished masterpiece.

Valentine Pom Pom Sort

Kids LOVE pom poms! This is a fun fine motor activity for kids that can be modified with different materials for any time of the year. I made this Valentine’s themed by using red, pink, and white pom poms from the Dollar Tree and some silicone heart cups which I found at Target Dollar Spot.

You can have your toddler use tongs, kids tweezers, or their fingers to use fine motor skills to pick up the pom poms and put them into each heart cup. I found these adorable mini hand tongs at Walmart for less than $2.00!

You can have your child simply just work on using the tweezers or tool of choice to pick up the pom poms, or you can increase the difficulty. You can have your child work on sorting and categorizing the pom poms by colors if you would like to take this activity up a notch.

We mainly used our fingers for this activity. My daughter sorted them by colors with my help for a little while, but then it just turned into her stuffing as many pom poms as she could into each heart cup! She had a blast, so that is all that matters.

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

This activity did not end up being as festive as I had hoped for. I was searching for food coloring at the store and could not find any! My original plan was to use food coloring to make the rice for our small sensory container pink or red. I also could not find any Pom Poms that were large enough for this activity in solely Valentine’s colors.

You can make this activity more festive by using heart candies, heart counters, and so forth.

I gave my daughter the option of three utensils…the mini tongs, the hand tongs, or the kids tweezers. She mainly used the mini hand tongs to search for and pull the the pom poms out of the rice. She LOVED this. She kept shouting, “Look Mommy, look, I found it!” After a while, I simply let her dig using her hands to find her sparkly pom poms.

This activity can keep kids entertained for quite some time, just be prepared for the clean up if you do this activity inside. We vacuumed directly after as rice was all over!

Heart Stickers

This last activity is very easy… STICKERS! Stickers are actually really great for fine motor skills. Simply get a bunch of stickers (we chose hearts for Valentine’s Day) and have your child peel and stick as many as they want on their paper! We used paper shaped as a heart for our stickers.

You can make this more difficult by having your child put stickers on a line to form a letter, number, or shape.

Please be sure to supervise and monitor your child/children during all of these activities.

Hope you enjoy these Valentine’s activities with your littles!

Valentine’s Day Themed Activities for Elementary

Today’s post will consist of Valentine’s Day activities targeted towards lower elementary kiddos. All of these activities can be modified for upper elementary. Best of all, all of these activities are cheap and/or free!

BINGO

Okay, so BINGO can be used all year long, but adding these adorable plastic hearts makes it perfect for Valentine’s Day! I found red and pink plastic hearts at the dollar tree. The hearts, or table scatter, come in packs of 50 each. I would have to say that 100 plastic hearts for $2.00 is pretty great! We did sight word BINGO, but with these editable BINGO boards from my TpT shop, you can customize this activity for any subject or topic! I have used BINGO for vocabulary words, sight words, math facts, numbers, shapes, and the list goes on.

Part Part Whole Addition

We have been working on addition, and I found divided plates that I thought would be perfect to teach this concept. I found these plates at Target for less than $1.00 each! They were $0.59 cents each to be exact! They come in tons of colors and are perfect for math centers. I actually picked up a few extra for my toddler at home as well. Teacher mom win!

You can use flash cards, number cards, or a part part whole chart to display a fact for the student to demonstrate. Using the plastic hearts as counters, students display the problem on the divided plate. The two small sections are the two parts, and the bottom larger section is the whole. I find that my students always learn better when they are able to do math hands on using manipulatives. Visualizing the problem always helps them understand.

Game Boards

Kids LOVE games! A child may strongly dislike subtracting or multiplication, but when you turn it into a board game they suddenly think it is the best!

I have created multiple EDITABLE Valentine’s themed game boards! I have created a Valentine Robot Theme as well as a Valentine Bee theme. You can find these Editable game boards here.

There are two versions of each theme. One version has an editable game board where you can type on the individual blocks of the board. We use this version for sight words, but it can be used for math facts, or really anything your heart desires. The other version of the game has editable game cards that you can use for the game. You can again customize the game however you would like for any subject, topic or grade level.

You simply need one die, two game pieces (we used our plastic hearts but you can use anything from erasers to counters to paper clips), and your game board and game cards (if applicable). I suggest laminating your game board or placing your game board into a plastic page protector for durability!

Conversation Heart Math

I have taught Pre K- 5th grade and I have found that candy or food always makes my students more excited about learning! Conversation Heart Candy will make these math activities tons of fun for your students.

My conversation math FREEBIE can be found here. It contains multiple activities including: Sorting, Tally Chart, Bar Graph, Differentiated Addition, Differentiated Subtraction, Differentiated Word Problems. Aside from my freebie from TpT, you will need conversation hearts, crayons, and a pencil.

Check back this weekend for some baby/toddler Valentine’s themed activities! Thanks for stopping by!

Enjoy Today, It Will Be Over Before You Know It

I’m writing this at 4 AM as my 9 month old son sleeps on my chest. He doesn’t do this much anymore. Most of the time he’s on the move and all over the place, but the dreaded 8-10 month sleep regression has decided to make an appearance. My once great 12 hour per night sleeper now awakens screaming at 3 AM.

I have been tired, actually I’ve been exhausted. My baby will not go back to bed until I nurse him and cuddle him. I want him to get back on track with his schedule. I will soon probably implement my sleep training plan so we can all get a good nights sleep, but at the same time, I kind of secretly love this.

My baby needs me. He needs his mama. His little hand grasps some of my hair and clings to my neck. His little warm body snuggled against mine. His little belly rising up and down. I stroke his forehead as he sucks his little thumb and sleeps soundly. He is comforted and feeling safe now that he has his mama. Holding onto me makes everything alright.

He will only fit on my chest for so long. I breathe in his sweet scent as his hair rubs against my cheek. I never want to forget this feeling.

Instead of wishing for this phase to be over, I will cherish these special times and these special memories with my baby boy.

“You will never have this day with your children again. Tomorrow they’ll be a little older than they were today. This day is a gift. Just breathe, notice, study their faces and little feet. Pay attention. Relish the charms of the present. Enjoy today, it will be over before you know it.”-Jen Hatmaker

Why would I Follow this Blog? I’m not a Teacher…

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon

Is this blog just for teachers? NO! This blog is for anyone who wants to do fun activities with children of all ages. I will be posting a variety of activities for babies, toddlers, and elementary school aged children.

Yes…some of it will be directed towards teachers, but that doesn’t mean that parents or caregivers can’t do these educational activities too! I am all about making learning FUN!

Most of my learning activities will seem more like games rather than “learning”. Here are a few examples of some of the things I will be posting. Since I am just doing an overview here, the following activities will not be as detailed as a normal post, so please drop a comment if you would like some more information about any of these activities below! 

Baby

Did you know that high contrast images actually help with infant brain development? According to research, high-contrast colors like black and white register most strongly with baby and encourage brain growth and faster visual development.

There are also other positive impacts. High contrast books can help your little one with eye development, attention span, tracking abilities, and can also help lengthen dreaded tummy time sessions. The black, white and bright color contrasts are sure to be a winner with your baby and help get them excited about books.

You can find these books and similar items here

Toddler

PlayDoh is great for little learners. I love the PlayDoh shape and learn colors and shapes set. It comes with shape cutters, two mats, and a small teaching manual for parents/teachers. My two year old is currently working on shapes and colors, and she absolutely loves rolling out the dough and cutting her shapes.

The kit also comes with a pattern mat and a picture mat. The possibilities are really endless for what you can do with PlayDoh to help littles learn. You do not need this specific set, you can make activities on your own, but I loved how it all came together in one box with activities to follow and modify based on your little learners abilities.

Mom Hack: I also love saving the plastic bags from sheets or curtains to use for storage! I keep everything playdoh related zippered up in this plastic bag we had.

You can find this PlayDoh set here.

Elementary

Teaching your child to read starts with letters and letter sounds! Learning letter sounds, in my opinion, is actually more important than being able to identify the letter names at first. It is important for children need to understand that letters represent speech sounds, go together to form words, and that changing letters changes the sound and also the word. 

These beginning letter sounds wheels are a great way for students to practice identifying the sounds that specific letters make. This is also a great fine motor activity for students. 

How to use the Beginning Letter Sound Clip Wheels

  1. Print these wheels out on cardstock for durability. You may also choose to laminate them for extra durability.
  2. Read the letter in the center to the child, go over the sound that letter makes. Tell child what each picture is. You may need to emphasize the sounds more depending on the exposure that child has had with letter sounds.
  3. Students will use the clothespins (I prefer the smaller clothespins) to clip the corresponding pictures that go with the designated letter sound on each wheel. 

You can find my Beginning Letter Sound Clip Wheels here.

I will be posting all of my teaching resources on both my Teachers Pay Teachers shop, Taylored to Teach Store and my Etsy Shop, Keepin It Coastal Creations.

Subscribe to my newsletter and you will receive any freebies via email! 

Done is Better than Perfect

I am a perfectionist. Being a perfectionist has helped me, but it also has hurt me over the years. How could being a perfectionist possibly be bad you may ask? In the past, I have kept things to myself, or put things off because I simply wanted it to be THE BEST! This blog is a prime example.

I kept repeating the following thoughts in my head over and over…eventually I will create a blog, one day I will create a blog, I’ll learn how to do that someday. I wanted my blog to be perfect. I wanted to have perfect posts and photos to compliment them planned out. I wanted my blog to be aesthetically pleasing with an amazing color scheme and have all the buttons, bells and whistles of well known blogs. The reality is… if I waited to be ready and have all these things done… would I really ever be ready?

This weekend, I said to myself, why wait? I put the fear of it not being PERFECT behind me. This blog is FAR from perfect and I am still learning how to even use this website, but I DID IT!

Done is better than perfect. That is my quote for 2020! I will be posting blog posts for my past Instagram posts along with new content weekly. If you are unfamiliar with my Instagram, I will be sharing teaching ideas for school age kids, toddlers, babies, and more! I am really excited to begin this journey! Be sure to subscribe and follow Taylored to Teach to receive FREEBIES and new content from me!

Welcome to Taylored to Teach!

Hey everyone! My name is Jenn and I would like to welcome you to my new blog, Taylored to Teach! I am a wife to my amazing husband, a mama to two littles who are two and under, and a teacher. I have been an educator for over 10 years now. I have a Bachelors in Elementary Education as well as a Bachelors in General Science and my Masters in Interdisciplinary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). I LOVE science and hands on learning! I have taught all ages ranging from PreK to 5th Grade and I am certified K-8. I will be sharing engaging hands on teaching strategies, project and craft ideas, and so much more with you.

This blog is not only for classroom teachers, but for moms, dads, tutors, homeschoolers, grandparents, you name it! I will be sharing teaching ideas and activities for babies, toddlers, and school aged kiddos.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy my blog and that it serves as a great resource to help make educating your little ones FUN! Remember… teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning!

Please remember to always supervise your child while they are completing learning activities or crafts, especially ones that involve small objects or scissors!