Thursday, 30 January 2014

17 FUN AND EDUCATIONAL VALENTINES DAY PLAY IDEAS

With Valentines Day only a couple of weeks away, I thought I would share some of the activities that I have done with the children in my setting over the past few years. Each one has been a big hit and continues to be every time i bring them out. Many of the resources were bought from £1 shops or from on line art shops like Baker Ross and Yellow moon.

I will link each activity to the Prime and Specific Areas of the EYFS.

First there is a colour sorting activity using 3 different colour plastic heart beads. 
  • Great for mathematical development. Grouping, sorting and noticing similarities. 
  • Physical Development- Fine motor skills and hand eye coordination all being worked with this one.




Tray activities are fun and tend to minimise mess. White foam heart shapes with sparkly heart stickers to decorate.

  • Physical Development- The sticker backs need pealing off and this takes a steady hand and concentration. Focus and perseverance! 




This chalkboard was a bargain from a £1 shop! The chalks I already had. Place on a tray and it is a themed way to encourage mark making!

  • Physical development- fine motor skills.




Mix up a simple playdough recipe and add brown food colouring. Save old chocolate boxes and sweetie wrappers and make your own Valentines chocolates or even set up a sweet shop!

  • Physical development used in moulding and kneading the dough. 
  • Fine motor skills in the rolling out and cutting of the shapes. Wrapping up sweeties is fiddly work!
  •  Mathematical concepts are supported when you make the dough together and work from a recipe.
  •  Life skills with cooking the dough and learning about the risks of using a hot stove.



These are some of the other tray activities I offer.  Again most of this came from the £1 shop.


  1. Heart shaped window gels. Little ones stick them to my windows and peal them back off again!
  2. "Un-lock my heart" activity. Offer a range of padlocks and keys so they can practice unlocking them.
  3. Paper hearts and stickers, a glue stick, pencils and paper to get creative with!
  4. Pegging Pegs around the edge of a heart shaped box!


  • All of these things work on fine motor skills!



Make Valentines cards for family or friends and then walk to the post box to post them!

  • Understanding the world as you talk about the postal service and how the card gets from the post box to the recipient! 
  • Personal, social and emotional learning as you talk about how people might feel when they receive their card.
  •  Communication and Language as you introduce new words such as "love, care, feelings, happiness and joy"




Using a heart shaped ice cube tray and a pipette to transfer red water!


  • Physical Development- Fine motor skills being worked and those important pre writing muscles as well! A steady hand and calm approach! 



More Playdough fun! Bright pink or red dough and some Valentines cookie cutters make for a fun dough session!


  • Physical Development- Kneading and shaping the dough, using cutters and making marks with tools.



Create a Sensory box! Pink dry rice, scented candles, love teddies, heart shaped tins, silk stem roses and anything else you can think of to add.


  • Physical development- manipulating the items, opening the tins, pouring and transferring the rice. 
  • Mathematical - Grouping and sorting the items, counting how many of each thing, looking and differing sizes and noticing similarities.



Placing silk hearts in to the heart ice cube tray.

  • Physical development- This takes a steady hand
  • Mathematical- Shapes and measures, correct positioning so that they fit in, only the right size will fit, trial and error.



Set up a posting station and card making area. Have fun painting a box to look like a post box and lay out blank cards and envelopes and lots of bits to make cards for them to then post.

  • Physical Development- Posting and mark making.
  • Personal, social and emotional development- Talking about who will receive your card, what will you write in it?
  • Mathematical -Posting the cards in to the postbox.
  • Literacy- Writing or mark making in the cards.
  • Understanding the world- Talking about postmen and woman and how the cards get delivered.



Baby Art!! Let the very little ones enjoy the sensory experience of cold paint on their hands as they swirl it over the paper! Once dry you can use this to make heart shapes for a card or draw a picture over the top like the one above. You could get an older sibling to draw over the painting to make a combined piece of Artwork for the parents!

  • Expressive Art and design- exploring the colours, feelings, textures, and creating their own work!



Make gifts for family and friends!

  • Personal, Social and Emotional development- giving to others and making people happy. Feeling good about sharing gifts.



Cooking heart shaped biscuits and then letting the children decorate them as they wish!

  • Physical Development- working the mixture, rolling it out and using cutters.
  • Mathematical- Following a recipe and weighing ingredients.
  • Understanding the world- Using a cooker and other kitchen equipment, risk assessment, learning about the dangers and how to minimise them when using hot ovens and sharp knives.
  • Expressive Art and design- decorating the biscuits in  their own way, making them unique to them and using a variety of different decorations.



Here is my Medium term plan for the Valentines week which you may also find helpful!




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