Red and pink and love are in the air. It’s almost Valentine’s Day and time to start thinking about books and songs and activities to celebrate the day with kids.
I’m truthfully not a huge Valentine’s Day fan but two things are slowly bringing me around.
One, my kids get super excited about any opportunity to celebrate anything.
Two, it’s something fun in the middle of a long cold Winter. And yes, we are in San Diego now so Winter isn’t really Winter, but I remember years where February felt like it would never end.
So dust off those Valentine’s books and gather pink and red art supplies and bake up something warm and heart shaped (these cherry hand pies are my personal fave) and let’s get started!
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Valentine’s Day Story Time
A good story time starts with some great read alouds. Here are some fantastic Valentine’s Day read alouds.
Books about Valentine’s Day
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
This sweet book has become a classic and it is this month’s Virtual Book Club for Kids of the Month pick. It is a discussion between a mom and her little bunny about love and the great lengths one goes for the people (or bunnies) they love.
What Color is a Kiss? by Rocio Bonilla
More than anything Monica loves to paint. She has painted just about everything, but she has never painted a kiss. The trouble is, she can’t figure out what color a kiss should be painted. She runs through the colors with creativity and humor, but she can’t figure it out. Ultimately, she turns to her mom who has the perfect answer. I love the soft pencil and watercolor illustrations that mirror Monica’s love of art while capturing her broad emotions. This is a wonderful book about color and imagination that leaves you wanting to pick up a paintbrush.
Groggle’s Monster Valentine by Diana Murray
Groggle the Monster is hard at work making a Valentine for his “beast” friend, Snarlina. He wants it to be perfect so he gathers up heart-shaped leaves, plenty of bog slime, and carefully crafts the perfect message. It looks horribly good, which is a problem when you have a monster sized appetite. As one Valentine after another gets munched down by the well-intentioned Monster, it starts to look like Snarlina might not get a Valentine. The brief, expressive text and messy, grungy illustrations endear Groggle to your heart and leave you eager to craft your own Valentine. This is the perfect read aloud to share with kids on Valentine’s Day. It is full of silliness, messiness, and just the right amount of love.
In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek
This beautiful book is one of my daughter’s favorites. It has a cool little cut out on the cover that I think peaks your interest, but the beauty of it is the wonderful way it discusses feelings – the good and the bad.
Read Also: Valentine’s Day Story Time for Preschoolers
Songs for Valentine’s Day Story Time
What’s in Your Heart Collage Art
I LOVE contact paper for collaging with toddlers.
Glue and toddlers, if you haven’t noticed, is a rather scary thing. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t glue with toddlers – I think letting them mess around with the stuff is important, but for actually making a collage contact paper is the way to go with toddlers.
So, once you grab your
- Contact Paper
- Red and Pink Construction Paper
- Scissors (for adult use)
- Painters or Masking Tape
- and Tissue Paper
you are ready to go.
Set your table or floor or wall or window up like this. (All surfaces work great for collages and I think it’s super fun to mix it up)
- Tape your contact paper down on your surface with the sticky side UP
- Cut heart outlines from your pink and red construction paper. I did this by folding the paper in half, cutting out a heart, then cutting another heart around that.
- Cut your tissue paper into squares and place in bowls or cups or just on the table. I have found it is helpful to give each kid their own bunch, unless sharing is one of your big learning goals right now.
I love to leave activities out like this for a morning or after nap invitation, but this also works well as an activity for after story time.
After you have read Guess How Much I Love You? – or in our case an entire stack of Valentine’s Day books, invite your toddlers to fill in their own hearts.
As they work you can;
- Ask questions like “what colors are you adding to your heart?”
- Or comment observations like ” I see lots of orange squares in Joey’s heart” or “I love how colorful your hearts are!”
- Model slowly one square at a time filling up a heart.
Afterwards, you can leave it out for a day or two. Toddlers love to come back to activities like this. They’ll add some more. Take some off. Put some more on. So much repetition and awesome fine motor skill practice.
Whenever you’re done, contact paper collages work great when you cut out the shapes (hearts in this case) and stick the contact paper onto a window. The light will shine through a little and it’s kind of like toddler made stained glass.
More Activities for Valentine’s Day
My lovely Virtual Book Club for Kids co-hosts have you covered!
- DIY Valentine Printable from Mama Smiles
- I Love You Because Valentine’s Garland from My Storytime Corner
- Chocolate Box Math from Teach Beside Me
- Foam Heart Count and Weave Busy Bag from Views From a Step Stool
- Conservation Hearts Addition and Subtraction from Rainy Day Mum
- Valentine’s Day Secret Message Scavenger Hunt from School Time Snippets
- Guess How Much I Love You Movement Game from Inspiration Laboratories
- Valentine’s Day Salt Dough from The Moments at Home
- Icy Preschool Valentine Science from Preschool Powol Packets
- Easy Frozen Heart Science from Toddler Approved