As I mentioned last week, Valentine’s Day has been the key word in conversation in my house since the moment we finished cleaning up from our New Year’s party. It’s a little early to start making Valentines, but hearts are already on the brain. So how do we moms and teachers start incorporating the Valentine’s day theme into our homes and classrooms when it’s only mid-January? With Valentine’s games and activities, of course!
Here’s a great Valentine’s craft that starts out as a craft and turns into a fun educational game.
Start with some sturdy poster board or tag. Craft foam also works extremely well for this craft, or you can use felt and make it into a felt board activity. Use a variety of colors or stick to reds, pinks and whites. Trace ten (or whatever number you choose) large hearts and let your students cut them out. (The best way to make a symmetrical heart is to fold your paper or felt in half first and draw half a heart, with the center at the fold. Then cut it out and unfold.)
On one side of each heart, have kids write or stencil a number. On the other side they can stick stickers, glue sequins, or even draw or paste cut-out hearts of a contrasting colored paper.
Once the hearts are dry, draw a zig-zag line to divide each one in half and have kids cut on the line – or simplify and let them use zig-zag scissors, which are always a hit!
Now you have a fun educational game for your students to play. Hang up all the numbered heart halves on the bulletin board and hand out the other halves to your students. Have them come up one at a time and match their puzzle piece to the other half of the heart on the board.
Another way to play this great Valentine’s game is to turn all the puzzle pieces upside down on the floor and play it like as if you’re playing Memory – children take turns picking up two pieces and seeing if they have a match.
Kids have so much fun making this Valentine’s craft and playing the coordinating Valentine’s game that they don’t even realize they’re learning numbers at the same time!
Love that learning!