Valentine's day is so much fun with kids! The books, activities, crafts- we just love it all! I wanted to try something different than our normal play themes (ex. here, here & here). I normally pull out an activity at a time and put it away when were done to move onto the next thing. This time I decided to make little play stations throughout our playroom that we would keep out for a few weeks! It has been really fun for them. I tried to think of some independent/imaginative play ideas that they could keep going back to with our without me.
Mail Sorting Center
This is the first center as you walk into our playroom. I bought two of these wooden crates from Michaels and spray painted them gray to use as little tables. This wooden mailbox was our favorite Christmas gift and comes with different sized envelopes to fit through the slots. I also added mini mailboxes from Target. In a bin next to the crate, I put the wooden envelopes and mini felt hearts mixed with pom poms. The point of this center is to dig through the bin and sort all of the pieces into the mailboxes.
I added a bowl of heart-shaped pasta noodles to the kitchen area. While this was pretty messy, the kids really loved it! They were so imaginative with it cooking and serving their stuffed animals and dolls. This was pretty messy and rarely stayed in the bowl! It was good fine motor practice for ALL of us to clean them up everyday ;).
Flower Arranging Center
I added another wooden crate from Michaels as a table for this center. I clipped a few flowers from a bunch I got at the dollar store and added a mini colander. We worked on fine motor skills to place each stem into the holes of the colander!
Read To a Friend
I added a few of our Valentine books to our TeePee area, with extra pillows and a bin of stuffed animals! I encouraged the kids to choose a stuffed animal to read to and a lot of the time I found Emma reading to Henry! I love how adding a few extra items for an open ended activity has helped them play together.
I laid out a plastic tray from the dollar store filled with pipe cleaners and beads. I worked with the kids to string the beads on. E wanted to turn hers into jewelry and H was surprisingly focused and worked really hard to string each bead.
*My kids have done a good job of NOT putting these in their mouths. I suggest using your best judgement for your own children and always supervise this activity.
I added a container of mini heart notebooks along with our crayons, colored pencils and stickers. They decided to write notes to each other and Daddy.
I found these felt envelopes in the Target dollar section! I used ribbon to attach them to their chairs for notes from each other, any we receive in the mail, and Valentine's from their Dad and me.
Cupcake Color Sort
I used our IKEA tool bench as another activity station. I am completely in LOVE with these silicone cupcake liners. I haven't used them for much baking but they have been perfect for little activities like this. I put a few of each color pom pom in a jar and helped the kids sort them into the correct cupcake liner. They didn't always do it perfectly, and sometimes the poms ended up with the pasta but that's what I wanted! I love seeing their imaginations and different ideas for play that they have.
Happy Valentine's Day, friends! We hope you are able to try some of our activities and join in on the festivities!