Throwing parties for kids should be as simple as possible. A valentine party is no exception. The easier you make it on yourself, the more fun you can have. We do very simple little parties at Little Sprouts because it makes it so much more fun!
I go easy on the decorations and focus on what we are going to do. I ask each family to bring a treat to share. That takes care of the snacks and I don’t have to cook for days. Another reason to let kids bring the treats is because this is another great way to get parents involved in the daycare. Parent involvement is a big key to a successful childcare business. Click here to see more ways to get parents involved.
I like to have the party in the morning so people aren’t trying to pick up while our festivities are going on. You can do whatever works best for you. I usually do one craft (usually a gift for parents), one game, and the snacks at each of our parties. I like to play music to get us all in the mood for fun.
One craft I love to make is a hug. I trace the kid’s hands and cut them out. You can let them cut them if they are older and can handle the scissors or you could simplify the craft by giving them pre-cut hearts. Then I give them a long strip of paper and show them how to accordion fold it. Fold it over, up and then down until you have a long strip of accordion paper. Then attach the hands or hearts to each end. It’s a big hug for mom and dad. Kids can adorn this any way you’d like them to. You can give them stickers, crayons, markers, paint, or whatever you’d like to decorate the hands or the arms or both and let them have at it in their own creative way.
Any valentine is made wonderful by making cards for mom and dad. I like to have small doilies, cut out paper hearts, stickers, crayons or markers or both and whatever else I have handy in valentine colors for kids to glue onto the cards. I usually write what they ask me to on the card and then let them have creative control of the process.
Valentine collages are another great process art project kids can do with the same supplies as above for the cards. You can just give them a piece of construction paper and let them create a piece of art work they will enjoy sharing.
I love process art. I think letting kids design their own things builds their confidence and lets them enjoy learning to be creative with the art supplies. Different mediums to explore is a great way to teach your budding artists how to manipulate supplies to make things they love and believe in their abilities.
Cut out a big paper heart and let kids do collage art on it. You can also give them cut pieces of colored tissue paper or construction paper in valentine colors and let them cover the heart with those. This is another great fine motor skill building idea.
Clay or playdough art is super fun in valentine colors. You can help them make hearts and let them air dry or dry them in the oven. You can poke a hole in the top of the heart with a pencil so they can hang them up at home. Tie a cute piece of yarn or ribbon to make a hanger.
Valentine Heart People
Heart people are another fun idea. Show the kids how to make accordion strips they can use for arms and legs. Give them a cut-out heart and let them make a face on it. I love wiggly eyes for this. They’re so cute! Help them glue the arms and legs onto the heart to make it into a heart person. Mom and dad will love receiving this.
You can have the kids paint in valentine colors all over a big sheet of paper and then cut hearts out of the pages when they dry. They look so sweet with all the fun patterns. This is a great one for finger painting. Finger painting also gives the kids more sensory experiences as well.
I love to set up the bowling game in the hallway (since it’s like a bowling lane) or get out the ball toss game for the valentine party. Kids love trying to win games with their friends.
I have a couple of ring toss games that are a big hit for the kid’s parties. You can also make some with soda bottles and paper plates, just cut out the middle. If you made the games, you could make them in holiday colors for an extra fun twist.
Playing twister with toddlers and preschoolers can be a real hoot. They love to try to do the steps. It’s also a great lesson to teach them colors (and don’t forget to talk about circles). This is a wonderful gross motor skill builder.
Pin the Lips on Mrs. Valentine
I like to make a pin the tail on the donkey type game. I cut out a huge heart and draw on eyes and a nose. I like to make long eyelashes and such. Then I cut out several sets of lips from construction paper and put tape on the back or glue dots so kids can play the game. So funny and fun.
Catch My Heart, Valentine
All you need for this one is two red, pink or purple, or whatever color you have, bean bags. If you don’t have some you can put beans or rice in a sock and tie it. Two teams of two can play at once. They line up and throw the bean bag. If their partner catches it, they take a step back and throw again until one team gets “out”
Active Valentine Games
You can do a contest with two jump ropes and see who can jump the longest. Two hula hoops for whoever can hula the longest would be fun too. Whatever you have that kids can compete against each other is lots of fun!
There are so many things you can do that don’t cost any or much money. I love having a simple party. The kids love it just as much as they do some outlandish bash that costs you a ton of dough to put on. The important part of celebrating anything is being together and making memories.
We decorate paper lunch sacks and I write the kid’s names on them if they don’t know how. You could use shoe boxes or whatever you have on hand. Then I text a list of the kid’s names to parents and ask them to bring valentines for their friends. This is a super fun thing we all remember from our childhood and I still love thinking about it today. I have a rule, if you bring one for one person, you have to bring one for everyone. The same goes for birthday parties or whatever around here. It’s all of us or none of us.
The kids have a ball sharing their valentines and putting them in everyone’s “boxes”. It’s one of the highlights of our party day. Everyone loves sharing love with their friends. Valentine’s day is a great time to build relationships, bond with friends, and talk about the importance of friendships. Click here to see more ways to celebrate friendships.
After we do our activities, I divide up the snacks the parents send and let the kids have a little of each one. Anything leftover that is wrapped can go home in their valentine bags. Anything that isn’t wrapped can be saved for snack over the next few days. It makes the special moments last a little longer.
I love making a simple plan so the party day is fun instead of overwhelming and chaotic. I encourage you to focus on relationships rather than complicating things by having to have a lot of fancy decorations and perfection. Just relax and let it be a fun time for all.
Check out some other great posts about Valentine’s! Click on the links to go straight to them.
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