Thursday, 30 January 2014

Valentines day activity ideas for the EYFS

Valentines day is not just about couples embracing the romance of their relationship. It is also a time when we can teach children what it means to care for and love others, whether its the love for a parent or  a friend children should be encouraged to share and explore their feelings.

I have created a list of EYFS activities to do with your children to help them express their feelings to others and learn to become a good friend. I have organised all the activities into the area of learning that I feel they best fit into, but feel free to rearrange the ideas to suit your own personal planning.

Dont forget to hop over to pinterest and follow my Valentines day board for more inspiration.

Personal , social and emotional development.

  • Make a thumb print heart to give to someone you care for. It could be a parent or carer, or a special friend.
  • Make a large heart out of everyones handprint. You could use the activity to discuss how we all love and care for each other.
  • Make heart shaped bird feeders; discuss the importance of feeding birds in the winter months.
  • Make heart shaped keyrings out of clay or salt dough.
  • Make a heart shaped photo frame. Put a picture of the child in it and write a sentence about the child showing them why you think they are special and unique.
  • Make a heart shaped 'I love you' book. Ask the child who they would like to be in their book, could be family, friends, pets... Add photos, pictures and writing about the people in the book and why they are special to the child.
  • Make a valentines promise tree. Write a promise on a heart and add it to the tree. Promises could include things like... 'I will play with...' ' I will be kind to...'

Physical development.
  • Cut out heart shapes in fruit. Encourage children to try a new fruit they haven't tried before.
  • If you cut strawberries into slices they look like little hearts. You could use them to decorate a plate of fruit or push them onto a skewer or chocolate stick. If you were feeling very naughty you could dip them into melted chocolate.
  • Cut around heart shapes.
  • Thread around heart shapes.
  • Draw a large heart in chalk in the garden and have races around it. Try moving in different ways, crawling, hopping, jumping, skipping..
  • Thread paper hearts to make a garland.
  • Thread beads onto wire or pipe cleaners and bend into a heart shape.
  • Bend and twist sparkly pipe cleaners to make some valentines pencil toppers.
  • Wrap colourful string around a heart shaped piece of card. Keep wrapping it until you cant see the card underneath.
  • Make heart pictures with hama beads.
  • Make some pink or red playdough. Add heart shaped cutters and pretty gems and pipecleaners.
  • Set up a heart scavenger hunt.
  • Play heart hop. Hop from one paper heart to another.
  • Weaving red and white paper on a heart shaped template.
  • Thread heart shaped necklaces.

Communication and language.
  • Make valentines cakes. Encourage children to listen to and follow instructions.
  • Make heart shaped dream-catchers. Discuss how they will catch the bad dreams.
  • Read Valentines stories. There is a list of book ideas futher down this post.
  • Read poems.
  • Listen to songs.
  • Talk about who we love and why.


  • Write some kind messages onto paper hearts and use them to decorate the room.
  • Make a heart alphabet line.
  • Write a poem about love.
  • Draw on top of cupids arrow.
  • Draw heart shapes in red paint or red shaving foam.
  • Play scrabble with heart shaped counters.
  • Make a heart shaped word or letter matching game.

  • Sort paper hearts by size.
  • Sort paper hearts by colour.
  • Make a heart number line.
  • Cut up a large paper heart into either 2, 3, 4... pieces and encourage children to stick them back togehter.
  • Make a collage picture with lots of different sized hearts.
  • Make a love bug matching the number game.
  • Count how many pom-poms you can fit inside different sized hearts.
  • Weighing ingredients to make Valentine biscuits or cakes.
  • Make patterns with different coloured or different size hearts.
  • Make a heart tic tac toe game.

Understanding the world.
  • Melt broken crayons in heart shaped cake molds to make heart shaped crayons.
  • Make heart shaped jelly.
  • Make a Valentines glass tea light jar.
  • Set up a Valentines sensory bin.
  • Write secret 'love messages' in lemon juice. Put the message over a heat source to read the message.
  • Freeze different coloured ice in heart shaped molds. Use them for sensory play. You could incorporate a science twist in the activity and see what happens when you add salt to the ice.
  • Try some of inspiration laboratories Valentine candy heart experiments.
  • Attempt some of Science sparks Valentine science ideas.
  • Make your own fizzing love potion with no time for flashcards.

Expressive arts and design.
  • Use different sized cut out heart shapes to make different animals.
  • Make valentines cards.
  • Make heart shaped flowers.
  • Paint in a variety of ways on a heart shaped piece of paper; marble rolling, string printing..
  • Make a footprint heart.
  • Make heart stained glass windows.
  • Printing with heart shaped cookie cutters.
  • Make some sparkly pom pom love bugs, add googly eyes and foam feet.
  • Make a heart mobile.
  • Bend a kitchen roll tube into a heart shape for printing.
  • Celery heart stamping.
  • Turn a footprint into a love bug.

  • Happy valentines day mouse by Laura Numeroff.
  • Happy Valentines day Curious George by N.DiAngelo
  • The biggest Valentine ever by Steven Kroll.
  • The day it rained hearts by Felicia Bond.
  • The night before Valentines day by Natasha Wing.
  • Where is baby's Valentine by Karen Katz
  • The story of Valentines day by Nancy Skarmeas.
  • Valentines are for saying I love you by Margaret Sutherland.
  • Olivia and the perfect Valentine by Natalie Shaw.
  • Biscuits Valentines day by Alyssa Satin Capucilli.

Useful websites.
  • Crayola has some lovely Valentines day pictures to print out and colour. It also has different bingo sheets to print out.
  • 32 Valentine games by Grandparents plus.
  • 20 Valentine recipes from The 36th avenue.
I hope you enjoy doing some of these activities with your children. Please feel free to add your own ideas in the comments. I will look forward to hearing your ideas :)

Click here to find more EYFS themed activities.


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