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Hands on Learning for Valentines Day


Hands on Learning for Valentines Day


We've been having the most delightful winter mornings here in Birmingham. Harsh frosts with blue, sunny skies. I have been out for some of the most wonderful walks right after the school run and it has really cleared my mind after all the Christmas chaos and the sickness bugs that hit the household over that time. A new year is here and one of the first events we can really look forward to sharing with the children after Christmas is Valentines Day. 


Each year when I start sharing things on Valentines Day there is a 70/30 divide on people who choose to acknowledge this occasion with the children and some who don't. 

Whether you are someone who does or doesn't the event does post a real opportunity with the children. As they visit the shop they will see isles dedicated to Valentines Day - they will see lots of reds and pinks along with heart shapes. These discoveries can provide on opportunity for some observational learning that you can bring back and look at in more details at home. 

You could look at mixing the colours red and pink with other colours and observing what happens. Painting on ice or tin foil always goes down well. You could create heart shaped stamps using empty kitchen roll tubes and stamp them in paint to make heart prints on paper. This could be a great one for children who are interested in shapes!

The children may see you buying cards, writing them and giving them to someone you love and this may spark an interest for them too! They may want to create their own cards and send them to someone they love. You can acknowledge the event as simply as this. Children are sponges and they are constantly seeing new things in their environments and it naturally creates curiosity for them that you can look into together. 

Today I wanted to collect a fabulous range of hands on learning opportunities for children that link in with Valentines Day. Just as I have spoken about above - these activities will be linked to what they may observe on their outings or at home. Learning through play activities that link in with Valentines.


Valentines Ideas for Early Years and Preschoolers



Lots of wonderful tools were offered in this play set up of sensory soup. Fun at Home with the Kids is one of my favourite blogs! How wonderfully inviting is this activity? The children get so stuck in so venturing over to take a look at the images is a must! 


Valentines Ideas for Early Years and Preschoolers




Oh this is a goodie - frozen hearts! 
In the summer I did this activity with water beads. When frozen they create the most delightful bumpy texture that the children really enjoyed rubbing their hands over. 

I recreated it using heart cake moulds that I picked up for 99p. The children spent some time running their fingers over the frozen hearts before we looked at melting the ice to free the beads. This kept them busy for such a long time. 
The activity was such a success and cost just £2! Look at the different methods we trialled to melt the ice in the link above.

Take a look at the first time we enjoyed Freezing Water Beads with the boys in the garden over the summer. So much fun!


Valentines Ideas for Early Years and Preschoolers



This has remained a firm favourite of ours for years. You can alter the colours used depending of preference, seasons, occasions. The swirls come together so easily and you can even capture the marks you make by pressing down a piece of paper into the swirls!

You can follow the step by step guide and find out what materials you will need by clicking the link above. 

We also did this activity for Winter and Autumn. See if each time you can think of a different wand to use to mark make that links to the topic you're currently enjoying together. 


Valentines Ideas for Early Years and Preschoolers



Hearts in the sensory tray along with some adorable peg people. When creating hands on sensory play like this consider the tools you have provided or have available for the children that will go on to extend their play and learning. The scoops and tweezers here were played with so well. The addition of the peg people saw lots of imaginative play unfold too!


Valentines Ideas for Early Years and Preschoolers



This wonderful activity was shared by a lovely member in my Play Group. I loved it so much we did it too! There are so many lovely nature finds scattered all over the floor at any time of year making this a real fun activity to do over and over again! 

If your children really enjoy doing this activity why not make threading boards using cardboard too?



Valentines Ideas for Early Years and Preschoolers



I have copious amounts of pom poms and the children don't have much interest in using them whilst crafting so I have turned to using them for some sensory play instead! Who would have thought that a pom pom would be such a great sensory item in water! They absorb so much water and the children enjoy squeezing the liquid out. 

I froze them in blocks of ice in heart shapes which not only worked well for Valentines Day but it was a great way to take a closer look at the heart shape. We used lots of fun items to help melt the ice and worked a treat for helping to work all the muscles in the children's hands. A sensory activity that turned into a little science experiment too!





Valentines Ideas for Early Years and Preschoolers


Working on the scissor skills? Pop out some paper scraps and the children can make their very own scrap paper card. They may give some meaning to their creations or just simply enjoy the cutting and sticking. This is a great one and great fun for a child led creation. 


Valentines Ideas for Early Years and Preschoolers



If like me you love making super cute keepsakes with the children, I just couldn't not share this adorable creation I made with Neve when she was around 18 months- 2 years old. We still have it today! Keepsakes like this are adult led but there are so many steps that the children can get really stuck into. Neve loved seeing this come together! 


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I always share things there first, and quite often some ideas don't always make the blog. So come and follow us.

We quite possibly have the best community group on Facebook. Looking for inspiration, advice? Want a place to share your ideas and activity set ups with like minded people?

See all our activities in action via our channel. We throw in a little family life too so you may just find out a little more about the family behind Learning an Exploring Through Play.

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Other posts to check out on Learning and Exploring Through Play:


I love you to pieces Suncatcher Card    Melted Snowman Family    Rainbow Streamer Craft



Recycled Valentines Crafts for Preschoolers    Recycled Valentines Crafts for Preschoolers    Sensory Winter Play for Preschoolers



Mark Making with Kinetic Sand    Plastic Easter Egg Art Ideas    Space Themed Sensory Play Small World
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