Every year Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14thof February. It is the day of love and hence we can’t leave our children behind! But before you engage in Valentine’s Day Activities for Kids, let us delve into the history behind this day.
History Of Valentine’s Day
Saint Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. According to the legend, Emperor Claudius II, the ruler at that time, felt that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families. So, he prohibited young men from marrying.
However Saint Valentine saw this as an injustice and performed marriages for young lovers in secret, against the will of the emperor. On being discovered, Claudius ordered St. Valentine to be executed.
Valentine’s day is about love and not necessarily love between a man and a woman. St. Valentine stood for love and justice.
So when young children ask me about this day, I prefer to say it is the day when we celebrate people who love us and thank them for making our life beautiful.
Since we are talking about appreciating people who love us, help your children write small notes of thanks and gratitude to their loved ones to show that they really value them in their lives. This helps them recognize and appreciate relationships.
Valentine’s Day Family Activities for Kids
1. Gratitude Notes
Since we are talking about appreciating people who love us, help your child write small notes of thanks and gratitude to their loved ones on this valentine day. This Valentine’s day activity for kids will help your children count their blessings, appreciate relationships, and show more kindness.
2. Valentine Day Pop-Up Card
Let your children express their love for their dear ones with this easy to make pop-up valentine’s day card. Engaging in crafts help children practice their motor skills and enhance their creative abilities.
3. Valentine Scavenger Hunt
Make small paper hearts in different colors and hide them around the house. Set the timer for 20 minutes and let your child find as many hearts as they can. Simple Valentine’s day activity for kids which is great for enhancing their observation skills.
4. Color Me Bookmarks
Print these awesome bookmarks and let your child color them. These bookmarks make excellent Valentine gifts for teachers and family members who read to your child.
Bookmarks are purposeful gifts. When children make such gifts, they are motivated to read themselves as well. Use these bookmarks for your child’s storybooks. They will spark joy and add fun to their reading routine.
5. Valentine Tree
This is a much loved Valentine’s Day family activity for kids. This simple, thoughtful and heart-warming activity requires:
- A fallen stem
- Family pictures
- An empty cup
- Scissors and
Step 1: Spread your family photos in front of your children and ask them to pick their valentines. Let them choose family members they love most. You may add their friends as well.
Step 2: Next, cut out the faces of these family members and stick them on different branches of the stem.
Step 3: Finally, using soil stick your-very-own Valentine tree in the empty cup.
Place your Valentine Tree on your child’s table as a reminder of their blessings.
6. Valentine Memory Game
Print double copies of your family members on a cardstock and cut them in the same size to make picture cards. Keep these picture cards face down to play Valentine Memory game. Or instead print our super cute Valentine Memory cards and let the fun begin!
7. Mind Your Words
This is a very thoughtful family valentine activity that teaches the value and importance of the words we speak. We all know words have power and this activity is a great demonstration of how our words affect others.
Take a paper and cut out a heart shape. Tell your little one that this is your heart and every time he is rude to you, you will put a black dot (with a marker) on the heart. Now, when your child says something bad, put a big dot on the heart in front of him. Refrain from lecturing or saying anything. Later, as with most kids, when your child comes to apologize and has made peace with you, ask him to erase that black dot from your heart. You can suggest using an eraser. Your child will realize that how hard he tries to rub it off, the mark still remains. That’s what exactly happens when we hurt someone with our words. Apology can restore the friendship but the mark never goes.
STEM Valentine Activities for Kids
1. Jenga Hearts Engineering
Use the tiles of the classic game to structure a STEM inspired Engineering challenge for your kids. Ask them to make heart using the tiles. As simple as it sounds, it is quite a challenge for young children to make heart from rectangular tiles. Take the challenge notch higher by making a standing heart and trying domino effect.
2. Secret Valentine Message
Surprise your kids with invisible ink messages for them. Take a white sheet and write a message for your child using white oil crayon. Ask them to colour this sheet using water colours to reveal your secret message. Help them make Secret Valentine Notes for the rest of the family and spread joy.
3. STEM Lego Challenge
This is another cool STEM activity for kids. Ask your child to make a heart out of legos. There are so many iterations waiting to be discovered. Starting with the simplest ways to more complex ones, these will certainly spark creativity and STEM acumen in your child.
4. Secret Codes
Brain storm with your child how you can send code messages to each other without anyone else getting to know the message. The answer is simple…have your very own code language!! Here is how to do it:
5. Blooming Notes
This simple STEM activity relies on capillary action to reveal valentine gifts. Cut heart shapes in different colours, place a candy at the center and fold them neatly.
Give these folded hearts to your child and ask them to place them in bowl of water to reveal the hidden gift or love note inside. Just like flowers, these hearts will bloom when added to the bowl of water.
6. String Art
Use your old Geo-board and twine to make heart shaped string art. You can also use thermocol and push-pins if you don’t have a geoboard to try this string art project. This can be made into a tricky symmetry project as well for older kids. (Here’s some more about math art while you’re into it.)
7. STEM Scavenger Hunt
Go on STEM scavenger hunt in your nearby park and spot trees and plants that have heart shaped leaves. You will be amazed to find the number of different heart shaped leaves.
Compare their sizes, colours and textures. Paste these leaves on a black card to make a nature inspired STEM Valentine Card.
8. Heart Thaumatrope
Thaumatrope is a great STEAM project for kids. Easy to make and simply delightful, thaumatropes are a great way to introduce kids to the amazing world of optical illusions.
Optical illusions are nothing but patterns or images that can deceive the mind. Optical illusion happens when the information gathered by eyes is processed by the brain to create an image that is different from reality. Sounds confusing? Well! That’s exactly what optical illusions are!
Here is what you need to get started:
- Sketch Pens
- Straw/ Pencil
How to do it:
Step 1: Draw two circles, approximately 8cm in diameter, on the paper. Cut them out using scissors
Step 2: With a sketch pen, draw a heart on one circle and write ‘Love U’ on the other circle.
A quick tip here: To make the optical illusion almost perfect, place the second blank circle over the first circle that has the heart drawn and try writing ‘Love U’ within the center of the heart. This will help blend the two pictures precisely.
Step 3: Paste the circles back to back on the straw/pencil.
That’s it! Your Valentine thaumatrope is done! Now, just sit back and spin it between both the hands to witness your perfectly created optical illusion.
9. Origami Hearts
Origami is fun, a mess free activity to practise math and science skills. Research indicates a strong link between this art of paper folding and mathematical & science abilities. It is a great way to practise visualisation skills and build models…something that most engineers and scientists do.
This easy to follow, step-by-step tutorial lets you make a lovely origami heart for your loved ones in just a few minutes. What better way to spread love!
10. Valentine Heart Tower
This is a cool engineering challenge for little architects in the making. Inspired by valentine day, the task is to make the tallest tower out of paper hearts! This may sound easy-peasy but it’s far more challenging than what meets the eye.
How to do it:
To get on with this valentine inspired engineering challenge, you will need around 20 to 25 paper hearts. We used pink and red construction/craft paper to make hearts. Ours were approximately 4cm long and 5cm wide. This is a decent size but you can make bigger hearts if you like.
Next, using scissors, make a neat slit in all the hearts. These slits will help you interlock the hearts. Now, challenge your kids to make a tallest tower using hearts. They will need to figure out how to link the hearts so as to make a firm base. Once a stable base is set, the task is to build the highest tower possible in 10 mins.