Valentine’s Day Craft and Math Lesson

Patterns, ordering, shapes , sorting and counting are all used in this simple Valentine’s Day  craft made with playing cards . That’s not even all the wonderful skills used, lacing the cards on uses fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.  What I love is that I can make a Valentine’s day craft that is educational, low mess ( no glitter, glue or paint) and cost me less than $3!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a deck of playing cards with a red design on the back, a heart paper punch, hole punch, some ribbon or yarn , scissors and some clear tape.
  2. Start by sorting the cards into suits . This is a long craft so I only put two suits on our place mat. 
  3. Next place the cards in numerical order. 
  4. Next hand your child the heart punch and have them punch hearts in cards of other suits . We used the clovers that we sorted in the 2nd step.
  5. While they do that punch holes in the cards that they put in numerical order.
  6. Punch holes in the hearts .
  7. Start threading. This is not easy. Be prepared to help, or if you have a child like mine be prepared to be told you aren’t allowed to help and wait until they ask for it. To make lacing easier wrap tape around the ends of the ribbon/ yarn. My 4 year old laced 3 cards and 4 hearts alone, then handed me the right numbers as I did the lacing. A nice thing about using playing cards is that they are sturdy and hard to tear.
  8. Hang it up!

Valentine’s Day Kids’ Crafts

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away and  I am trying my hardest to resist the candy that is already all over the place. What I can’t resist is sharing some of our favorite Valentine’s Day crafts from years past. If you don’t see what you are looking for here check out all our Valentine’s Crafts , I am sure you will find something just right !

Paper Hug

Valentine Candy Bouquet

Heart Wand

Cinnamon Heart Bark

Valentine’s Photo Wreath

Valentine’s Day Dump Truck

Musical Hearts Game

musical hearts gross motor game for kidsWe aren’t stuck in a snowstorm but we are stuck waiting for our furnace to be fixed and moving keeps us warm and having fun.  You can write anything on your hearts from numbers they need to identify, to physical tasks like we did to something trickier for older kids. Customize it to your child and have fun.

  1. Gather your materials. I am using foam hearts because they stand up well to being stepped and walked on, but paper would do in a pinch, just dont’ expect it to be used more than once.  You will also need a marker and some music you can pause easily.Preschool Movement Activity
  2. Write out different tasks for your child to do when they come to this heart – mine were mostly physical things: Jump on one foot, crab walk, 5 push ups, break dance etc.. I also included sing the ABCs and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  Preschool Movement Activity
  3. Lay the hearts out face down in a circle. Preschool Movement Game
  4. Start the music and play. It’s just like musical chairs only when the music stops you do the task on the heart that you were standing on when you stopped. We had a blast! He preferred Bon Jovi to kids music so we were rockin’ out!

I would let them walk ( to the music) longer than we did for the video, we were trying to get a good snapshot for the post. After I put the camera down we all played for another full round.  Fun family time !

Sort and Shape Heart!

Marshmallow Valentine's Treat

My son will do anything for marshmallows and he loves sorting. Since this craft itself is super simple I made things more challenging by creating a pre-activity of sorting the colors with bamboo tongs.  Yes many were eaten, we did this on a no nap day and the sillies were at an all time high but we still had fun.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a divided tray, mini marshmallows, some paper or foam , glue and tongs.Valentine Marshmallow Treat
  2. Start by sorting a few of the marshmallows in a tray. I put a few in each section to provide a guide.
  3. Hand your child the tongs and let them sort.Valentine's Marshmallow Treat
  4. And eat.Valentine's Marshmallow Treat
  5. When they are all sorted ( and yes I asked if I could help and sorted a few as well) add glue to the foam/paper in a heart shape.Valentine's Day Marshmallow Treat
  6. Start adding the pink marshmallows.Valentine's Marshmallow Treat
  7. Count as you go! We did 13, 5 and 9 before gobbling up a few yellow and green ones.Valentine's Day Marshmallow Treat
  8. Let dry. Build Your Own Snowman 002

Valentine Books

by Carrie Anne
Can you feel it in the air? No not cold germs or frost bite. I’m talking about love. February is all about love in our house and yes Valentine’s Day plays a big part in that. We’ve been busy drawing hearts and writing love letters this month, along with reading books about love, all sorts of love. Here are a few to share with your little loves.
what+do+you+love
What do You Love?
published by Harcourt
written by Jonathan London, illustrated by Karen Lee Schmidt
boardbook
This fun read-aloud rhyming boardbook asks the simple question ‘What do you love? A mamma and baby pup joyfully answer throughout the book. They spend from morning until night time doing the things they love together, including spending time with each other. The illustrates are fun and colourful, taking-up the whole page. The copy is simple and large for easy reading. Kids will enjoy reading this rhyme and perhaps it will inspire you to spend an afternoon together doing what you love with your little one.
My Furry Valentine
My Furry Valentine
published by Blue Apple Books
written/illustrated by Deborah Zemke
picture book (age 4+)
This delightful rhyme asks the question How do you say, ‘Be my Valentine’? and the animals answer: we say it in spots, wing to wing. The simple illustrations show animals exchanging love with their mates. Although the poem references animals and their unique characteristics (fire flies ask in lights) the words could easily be transferred to how we celebrate our own love. Along with a cute use of word and illustrative play, Deborah includes fun flaps and folds and cutouts to add to the secret valentine fun. This was a new release sent to me by Raincoast Books.
olivemylove
Olive My Love
published by Harcourt
written by Vivian Walsh, illustrated by J.Otto Seibold
picture book (3-8)
From the creative team behind Olive, the Other Reindeer (a wonderful Christmas story), Olive is taken on another journey. Her friend and flying dog Dexter (like cupid) drops a large heart at her front door. Olive, worried that Dexter dropped his heart by accident, decides to return it to him. She fills a sack with fresh biscuits and heads out. Along the way she befriends a squirrel named Handler and a spider named Weaver. Together the three friends work their way back to Dexter’s house only to find out that Dexter wanted to give Olive his heart, to keep. The friends end their adventure with a wonderful picnic of bonbons, biscuits, nut chews and fly wings. This is a wonderful story about the love found in friendship. You can’t help but love Olive’s warm and open character.
slugs in love

Slugs in Love
published by Marshall Cavendish
written by Susan Pearson, illustrated by Kevin O’Malley
picture book (age 4-7)
Margaret loves Herbie but she’s too shy to tell him herself. One day while in the garden Margaret’s mind filled with thoughts of Herbie so she wrote him a love poem. Herbie found the poem and wanted to meet Margaret, so he wrote her a poem back but Margaret never found it. Margaret keeps writing notes and Herbie continues to respond only having his notes washed away or moved. Eventually the two connect and stay together. This is one of my seven-year-old’s favourite books. She loves the cute little poems the two slugs send back and forth to each other.
51CQ8ARCG2L._SL500_AA240_
Yuck, a Love Story
published by Stoddart Kids
written by Don Gillmor, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
picture book (age 4-10)
Austin Grouper is a boy with a dog a best friend and a bike. His life is full. Then a little girl named Amy move in next door. Yuck, is Austin’s response. In typical boy style, Austin thinks everything about Amy is yucky. But everyday he visits her. For her birthday he wrestles the moon from the sky to give her. The wonderful interaction between Amy and Austin is wonderful and so true; parent and children alike will enjoy their conversations. I love how Austin decides he doesn’t like Amy for no real reason but ends up being her friend in the end. Some friendships sneak up on you like that.
Mr Pusskins
Mr. Pusskins
published by Atheneum Books
written/illustrated by Sam Lloyd
picture book (age 3-6)
Emily loves Mr. Pusskins. She plays games with him, brushes him, praises him and reads him a special story each night but Mr. Pusskins is bored and wants more. One night he leaves through the cat flap in search for something new. At first he enjoys his naughty life without Emily, yeowling at the moon and playing in the trash, but soon things change and he starts to feel lonely. Just when he thinks there’s no hope to return to his old life, Emily finds him and takes him home. Mr. Pusskins is a new cat. Both Mr. Pusskins and Emily realize how lucky they are to have each other. My kids are partial to cat stories because of the love they have for their own cats. Although Mr. Pusskins is a story about a cat, the actual story about appreciating the love and friendship around you is one both kids and parents would enjoy.
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Carrie Anne is our contributing writer, a blogger to many ,  a mom to 3   and lover of great books you can read more at her blog Another Day, Another Thought ….Or Two