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Valentine's Day

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I decided to incorporate Valentine's Day themed activities at the very beginning of the month, rotating them each week until the big day when I brought everything out.  It worked out pretty well for the most part.

Valentine's Day Sight Words
Each week, I try to introduce the kids to new sight words.  Depending on the words, I try to teach Dinomite to spell and write them too.

1.  Match up pictures with words to pictures and words separate.
2.  Match up pictures separate to words separate.
3.  Match up pictures to words and then write the words on paper or white board.

Sources:  These cute cards came from Home School Creations.

First Letter Sounds
Using our sight words we practiced identifying the first letters of each word by sound.

1.  Place token on first letter of word shown in picture.  If the kids are able to spell the entire words, one could have them write out the word or the letter on paper or white board after token is paced on card.

Source:  These cards also came from a Valentine's Package at Home School Creations.

Secret Valentine's Day Cards
This year, for Valentine's Day, everyone in our family drew a name of a family member they would make a special Valentine for.  The kids really weren't ready to make several yet.  Perhaps next year.  Everyone's favorite part about this activity was putting the special Valentines in the mailbox to be delivered after dinner on Valentine's Day.

1. Decorate Valentine's Day card any way you desire. Place in mailbox to be delivered at a later time.

Source:  I invented this one all on my own last minute. :)

Cupid's Arrow Prewriting Activity
Bulldozer and Princess are still unable to write their letters. We're working hard on their names, but both are struggling.  Princess is only 3, so it's really not that big of a deal yet, but Bulldozer is well over 4 years old.  His fine motor skills are very delayed.  Still, he loves to try to write.  Prewriting activities have been great for him.  Honestly, everyone likes them!

1.  Trace the dotted lines from cupid to his arrow.  I use a sheet protector and erasable markers to prevent the use of so much paper.

Source:  This activity is included in the Valentine's Day Packet at Home School Creations.

Valentine's Day Patterns
The kids have been working so hard to fully understand the concept of patterns and to develop the skills needed to cut paper successfully using scissors. This is a great activity to incorporate all of those things.

1.  Cut out images at the bottom of the paper, glue images in the correct spots, completing the patterns.

Source:  This activity is included in the Valentine's Day Packet at Home School Creations.  Can you tell I really like the packets there?

Bead & Pipe Cleaner Counting Activity
Bead & Pipe Cleaner Counting Activity Part II
When I found this counting activity I just fell in love with it, however, the poor frugal person I am, I wasn't going to pay the money to buy the activity.  Instead I just made my own.  It's not as fancy I know, but it still works.  I'm very thankful for my computer skills!

1. Put hearts on pipe cleaners in numerical order.
2.  String accurate number of beads on each pipe cleaner with heart.
3.  String accurate number of beads on each pipe cleaner creating an original pattern on each pipe cleaner.  (Inspired by Dinomite.)
Dinomite decided he was not only going to just string beads, but make patterns while he was at it.  He did this on his own and with minimal help.  I was so proud of him!
Source:  I found this idea at Living Montessori Now.  There are links there to guide you to purchase the templates if you don't want to make your own.

Valentine's Day Graphing Activity
The kids haven't done much graphing or even been introduced to the concept very much yet. I was very excited to find this activity to help them along.

1. Sort pictures and count how many are in each group.
2.  Graph the number of each picture on the chart, by coloring in the squares and answer the questions at the bottom of the page.

Source: This activity was also part of the Valentine Packet found at Home School Creations.

Chocolate Addition
This was my very least favorite Valentine's Day activity.  I feel like it didn't have enough structure to it.  That's my fault of course, but if I use it again, I'll definitely add something to it.

1.  Place numbers in the first two squares and count out chocolates to discover the answer.
One could very easily add a writing component to this activity.

Source:  This activity was part of the Valentine's Packet found at Home School Creations.

Conversational Heart Sorting & Patterns
Bulldozer loved the animal sorting and pattern activity so much, I decided to try it with hearts.  It was equally as engaging for him!

1. Sort conversational hearts by text or color into muffin tin.
2.  Make patterns using conversational hearts.
3.  Combine both options above.
4.  Sort different conversational hearts into muffin tin, count and/or graph results.

Sources: I came up with this idea on my own, knowing one could very well use anything of variance to complete this activity.

A Valentine's Day Floral Arrangement
I thought this idea was the most adorable thing and proved to be quite genius actually.  It really surprised me how much Princess and Bulldozer struggled with this activity.  It took them quite sometime to put each rose in the vase,especially as the number of roses increased. Still, it was one of the most favorite practical life activities of the week!

1.  Place roses in vase one by one.

Source:  Please forgive me. I do not remember where I saw this idea.  I do not take credit for it, but for some reason did not remember to document where it came from.

Valentine's Day Stamping
Bulldozer is allergic to adhesives, (except Elmer's glue sticks).  We don't have stickers in our home for this reason. I've found stamps to be a great alternative. They also seem to help with hand muscle strength.

1.  Stamp away in whatever way one chooses.
2.  Make a more structured stamping activity, examples include patterns, graphs, counting, etc.

Sources: Some stamps were purchased through Melissa and Doug, others I found at my local craft store.  I find that after holidays I can find some great clearance deals!  I came up with this idea on my own, although I'm sure there are several people who do the same thing.

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin
My kiddos love sensory bins, especially ones related to holidays.  After every holiday clearance shop to find more sensory bin contents for next year.

White, red, pink, and purple pom poms of varying sizes
Fabric white and red rose petals
Glittered foam hearts (I usually find great ideas in the table decor isles.)
Foam letter Xs and Os, and also letters to spell the word heart and other Valentine's Day related words.
Plastic heart beads 

Valentine's Day Pouring Activity
My kids LOVE pouring activities.  Not that they're great at them by any means, but it's always fun.  It turns into a math/science lesson too as they compare the contents of each cup etc.  The fun part is finding different shaped cups to pour from.  These ones were great.

1. Pour liquid contents back and forth between cups without spilling.

Source:  I first saw pouring activities at Counting Coconuts.  This specific one wasn't there, but the idea originated there for me.  I LOVE that blog!

Arranging Hearts
This idea came to pass when I saw my Valentine's Day pot, a gift given by a friend, with no use.  It proved to be a very challenging activity.  I placed flower arranging foam in the pot.  The kids practiced sticking the heart sticks into the pot.  It took a lot of strength and coordination.  Some frustration was involved.

1. Stick heart sticks into vase.

Source: The idea was inspired by an activity I saw at Counting Coconuts, but the activity I invented all on my own.

Water Transfer Using Eye Dropper
I've learned any activity that involves water, becomes a quick favorite among the kids.  It's even fought over from day to day.

1. Transfer water from container to container using the eye dropper.  I found it important to demonstrate the use of only one hand squeezing the eye dropper, while the other holds the cup.

Source:  I found this idea at My Montessori Journey.

Pencil Sharpening
My kids have been using crayons for all of their work during learning time, just because I guess.  I decided it was time to introduce the pencil.  It's important to learn to sharpen them first!  Bulldozer LOVED this activity and practiced sharpening a pencil every day for as long as it was out.  When he's determined to do something, he does it!

1. Sharpen pencil correctly using pencil sharpener.

Source: I originally came across this idea at Counting Coconuts.  However, it was not a Valentine's Day related activity.

Tweezing Rose Petals
I just love practical life activities, especially with my special needs kiddos.  The activities help them so much and make me one proud Mama!

1.  Transfer fabric rose petals between containers using tweezers properly.

Source:  This idea originated from an activity I saw on the blog Counting Coconuts.

And there you have it!  All of our Valentine's Day related learning time activities.  I can't imagine what new things we'll do next year!

1 comment:

  1. what awsome fun ideas love them wish i was this creative