Preschool aged children cannot help but pick up on the excitement of Valentine’s Day. Commercials, discussions, and store displays plant seeds of curiosity in their young minds but they are not necessarily ready for the sugary social overload enjoyed by older children.
The best preschool games for Valentine’s Day should focus more on the various ways children lie each other than on who gets the most Valentine’s Day cards, candy, or prizes. The game ideas below can help parents, teachers, and childcare providers create a fun-filled day without overwhelming their young charges.
What do we love?
This is a fun bulletin board idea for preschool-aged children. Start with a giant-sized red heart already in place. Next, ask the children to discuss the different traits that make them love someone, such as honesty, caring, being funny, and so on. As each trait is identified, write it on a heart-shaped doily and have the student who said it, add it to the bulletin board.
Make Valentine’s Day cards
This is a great, messy, funny craft project for preschool children on Valentine’s Day. Start by explaining how people give cards to people they love on Valentine’s Day and then provide a wide variety of materials, such as construction paper, heart cutouts, glitter, glue, and ribbon, and show them how to make their own Valentine’s Day card for parents or siblings.
While most preschool children do not have the spelling ability to create their own acrostics, most of them do have the vocabulary to make this a fun group project. Have students select a word or phrase that starts with each letter in the word valentine to create their very own Valentine’s Day poem. If you are lucky enough to have older helpers, you can have small groups create their own poems to share with the group.
How many ways?
Those small candy hearts are always a big hit on Valentine’s Day. For this project, you will need to count out a specific number of candy hearts for each child or group and provide them with paper and crayons or pencils. The idea is to have them see how many ways they can divide up the candies equally. For example, 12 candies can be broken up into 2 groups of 6 or 3 groups of 4. Children then draw their results and share them with the class. This helps build multiplication skills later on, just be sure that there are the right number of candies that give an equal number to each member of each group.
Learning to use scissors is an excellent way to develop small motor skills. Show the children how to fold a piece of paper in half and draw half of a heart, and then cut it out. Children can then use their heart cutouts, plus magazine cutouts, to create a Valentine’s Day collage.
These are just a few of the ways parents and teachers can integrate Valentine’s Day into their preschool program without overwhelming the children with too much sugar or competition.