Move over chocolate hearts and store-bought cards! This Valentine’s Day, dive into some heart-inspired (and totally fun) activities, crafts, and recipes your toddler, preschooler, or big kid will, well, love! From the heart-melting to the giggle-inducing, here are 16 Valentine’s Day ideas for kids.

Mystery Message Hearts Valentine’s Activity

Valentine's Day activity for toddlers: Mystery  Message Hearts
Image & Activity: Happy Toddler Playtime

Your love—revealed, with this fun secret-finding Valentine’s Day activity! On a sheet of white paper, draw several medium-size hearts with red, pink, and/or purple Sharpies—then use a white crayon to write a secret message inside each. (Be sure to press down hard when writing with the crayon.) Depending on your child’s age, write a short message, a pretty pattern, or draw a picture in each heart. You can also write one letter of your child’s name in each heart…or anything you like! Next, add a couple drops of food coloring to a cup of water and invite your little one to dip a brush in and paint over the hearts. Once the color washes over the hearts, your secret message will be discovered!

Spot the Hearts Valentine’s Party Scavenger Hunt

Valentine's Day Activity for Toddlers: Spot the Heart Game
Image & Activity: Studio DIY

So fun and so easy. All you need is a pack of heart stickers, some tots willing to have fun, and a small prize! Simply place little heart stickers on a variety of items all over the house, like doorknobs, mirrors, the dog’s collar, your nose…anywhere! Instruct your kiddos to collect as many heart stickers as they can throughout the day. The child who has the most hearts wins a Valentine’s Day-themed prize!

Homemade Valentine Heart Gummies

Valentine's Day Recipe for Toddlers: Gummy Hearts
Image & Activity: Yummy Toddler Food

Three-ingredient good-for-you chocolate gummies that your kids will melt over? Yes, please! Place one cup chocolate yogurt into a medium size bowl. (If you can’t find chocolate yogurt, stir 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup into plain Greek yogurt.) Then, have your tyke help pour three packets of plain gelatin (that’s about seven teaspoons worth) into the bowl, too. Next, vigorously whisk the two for about 1 minute—or until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Warm a 1/2 cup whole milk in the microwave for roughly 1 minute, let it sit for about 30 seconds, then stir it into the yogurt/gelatin mixture until totally smooth, which’ll be about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour your concoction into a heart-shaped silicone mold that’s already been coated with nonstick spray. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, carefully remove from the mold, and enjoy cold!

Heart Tracing Valentine’s Activity

Valentine's Day Activity for Toddlers: Heart Tracing 
Image & Activity: Busy Toddler

This endeavor is a sorting activity meets a fine motor activity meets a fun Valentine’s Day activity that’s guaranteed to entice your toddler or preschooler! Secure a large piece of butcher paper to the wall with painter’s tape. Use washable markers to draw four big hearts, making sure to use the same colors as the office supply dot stickers you’ve picked up. Next, hand your tot the stickers and have them sort them by color and then “trace” over the hearts with the stickers. Don’t worry if your toddler only spends a few minutes working! They’ll come back to it. Remember, while your little one’s attention span is short, their desire to create is strong! (Learn more about attention span with this age-by-age guide.)

Mittens and Kisses Valentine’s Day Activity

Valentine's Day Game for Toddlers: Mittens and Kisses
Activity & Image: Skip to My Lou

This Valentine’s game is perfect for a playdate, a classroom party, or a gaggle of pals. Here’s how it works: Dump a bag of chocolate kisses onto a table, separate children into two lines, and give the kids at the front of both lines a pair of mittens—not gloves. Next, instruct the kiddos to grab a chocolate treat from the table and unwrap it with their mittens on, gobble up the candy, and pass the mittens back to the next child. (Easier said than done!) The first group of kids to go through the whole line wins! But really, everyone wins here, don’t you think?

Yarn Heart Valentine’s Day Craft for Toddlers

Valentine's Day Craft for Toddlers: Yarn Heart
Image & Activity: Hands On As We Grow

If you’re looking for something fun to do with leftover yarn, this simple Valentine’s Day craft is for you! Draw a heart on construction paper or cardboard, then cut different color yarn into several long pieces. (Depending on your child’s age, you could pass this task onto them.) Trace the outline of the heart with glue and continue squirting glue inside the heart, as well. Next, have your tot stick yarn around the perimeter of the heart and inside. Encourage them to swirl the yarn to look like a low pile of spaghetti! Continue applying glue on the creation as your kiddo works, finishing with a final swirl of the sticky stuff. Once completely dry, cut the heart out and secure it to a contrasting piece of paper and proudly hang your tyke’s Valentine craft up for all to admire!

Roll and Cover Heart Valentine's Day Party Game

Valentine's Day Game for Toddlers: Roll and Cover Game
Image & Activity: Typically Simple

Hone your tot’s number recognition skill, all while enjoying this Valentine’s Day game! Gather some Valentine’s Day themed manipulatives, like mini heart erasers, candy conversation hearts, or red and pink pom-poms. Draw a bunch of hearts on a piece of paper and clearly write a number inside each, only going up to six. Next, swipe a six-sided die from any board game you have and call your child over to play. Have them roll the die and count how many dots they see. Their job? Cover the corresponding number using pink pom-poms (or an equally festive small object). And if you don’t feel like DIYing this game, go ahead and use this free printable, pictured!

Cupid Says Valentine’s Activity

Valentine's Day Game for Toddlers: Cupid Says
Cupid Says is just like the classic Simon Says, but with a lovey-dovey twist! You, as the caller, shout out heartwarming instructions, like: Hug your favorite stuffed animal! Blow kisses! Put your hand on your heart! Draw a heart with your finger! Smooch your hand! Cupid Says: This’ll be fun!

Valentine’s Day Snack Mix Activity

Valentine's Day Activity for Toddlers: Snack Mix
Image & Activity: Family Food On the Table

Enlist your snack-loving tot to help put together (and gobble up) this festive Valentine’s Day treat. Simply mix strawberry O’s cereal, Chex cereal, dried strawberries, and some white chocolate chips and—voilà!—you’re done! If your kiddo is 4 years old or older, feel free to include yogurt covered raisins into the mix, too. (Any younger and that’s a choking hazard.)

Necklace Valentine’s Day Craft

Valentine's Day craft for toddlers: necklace
Image & Activity: Glue Sticks + Gumdrops

Your love bug can create adorable Valentine’s necklaces for themselves or gift them to special friends. No matter which they choose, you’ll need festive paper straws, red foam sheets, and some string. Cut two or more straws into 1- to 2-inch pieces, cut the string to be the length of a necklace, then cut hearts out of your foam. Before your tyke starts assembling, poke a hole in the heart with a thumbtack and lace the string through. Make a knot to keep the heart in place. Now it’s time for you kiddo to add the straw pieces to either side of the heart. (Fine motor skills for the win!) Once they’re done, tie a knot at the end of the strings, and you’ve got a lovely piece of jewelry fit for any Valentine!

Love Game for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Activity for Toddlers: Love Game
Image & Activity: Making Life Blissful

Guess what? It’s up to you to put love in the air this Valentine’s Day! And here’s how to do it: Each member of your family picks a color heart that they’ll either wear around their neck or tape to their shirt for the game. Then your crew takes turns spinning a heart-dotted spinner. When the spinner lands on, say, green, and Mom has a green heart on, the one who spun has to say something they love about Mom. Soon, the room will be filled with love and compliments! (To make the spinner, glue hearts to black cardstock, snip and sharpen the edge of a popsicle stick, then poke a tiny hole in it to fit a brass fastener into it.) 

STEM-Inspired Valentine’s Day Activity

STEM Valentine's Day Activity for Toddlers
Image & Activity: Buggy and Buddy

What’s not to love about a heart-filled STEM-inspired building activity for Valentine’s Day?! Simply lay out flat toothpicks (round ones may be too sharp for little ones) and a bunch of heart-shaped mini marshmallows with the intention to build! Kids can choose to do flat designs, 3-D designs, simple shapes, elaborate villages, or anything in between. It’s up to you if they get to eat up the leftover “blocks,” but know that marshmallows are unsafe for kiddos under 4.

Mini Canvas Keepsakes for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day craft for toddlers: fingerprint keepsake
Image & Activity: Messy Little Monster

Heart strings, get ready to be pulled! First, however, you’ve got to hit up the craft store for a mini canvas and easel, some acrylic paint, plus some contact paper. Once home, cut the contact paper to be the same size as your canvas, then cut a heart in the middle. (Use a cookie cutter if you have one.) Securely press the sticky paper onto the canvas. Next, squirt three different color paints onto a paper plate and call your sweet cherub over to do the fun part! Have your kiddo dip their finger in the paint and fill the heart cutout with their fingerprints. Once dry, peel off the contact paper to reveal a sweet keepsake. (For max awwws, consider adding a poem to the bottom.)

DIY Valentine Cards

Valentine's Day activity for toddlers: DIY Valentine's cards
Image & Activity: Skip to My Lou

Is it even Valentine’s Day without a sweet-as-can-be homemade Valentine’s card?! Before you instinctively turn to cut-out hearts or doily-adorned greetings, try this super-cute “I Wooly Wooly Like You” sheep-themed Valentine’s card that’s so toddler- and preschooler-friendly. Just print out the free template, cut individual cards, add some color if you like, then have your little one glue some trusty pom-poms on your mini sheep friend. Easy peasy!

Washi Tape Valentine’s Day Suncatcher Craft

Valentine's Day craft for toddlers: Washi tape sun catcher
Image & Activity: Kids Craft Room

Help your funny Valentine create this swoon-worthy heart craft by folding a piece of cardstock in half, drawing a heart on it, then cutting it out. You’ll wind up with two hearts. Next, cut out the middle of both hearts, getting them to match as best you can. Have your crafty kiddo lay translucent washi tape strips across one heart in any direction they please, taking care so the tape doesn’t poke over the edge of the heart. (Because washi tape is easy to tear, no scissors are needed!) When done, you’ll jump in to put glue onto the second heart and stick it over the cut washi tape ends. Trim any protruding bits of card or tape if needed and enjoy! 

Musical Hearts Valentine’s Activity

Valentine's Day activity for toddlers: Musical hearts
Image & Activity: No Time For Flash Cards 

A rousing game of Musical Hearts is a fabulous Valentine’s activity to get your wee Cupid’s energy out! Write down various wiggly, dancy, move-your-body tasks—like jump on one foot, pretend to hula, and make like a ballerina—on a collection of foam hearts. (For pre-readers, you can read the moves out loud, draw pictures of each action, or cut and paste images onto the hearts instead.) Lay the hearts down in a circle on the floor. Next, play music and instruct the kiddos to march around the hearts. Once the music stops, they’re to jump on the heart closest to them and do the task they land on. Giggles and wiggles abound!

More Toddler-Friendly Activities to Try

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