Preschool Theme: Valentine’s Day

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Today we had such a great time with our Valentine’s Day theme!  I packed just about as much as I could into our hour and a half.

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One half of the centers

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The other half of the centers

First, we started out with our book of the day.  I read, “I Love You Through and Through” By Bernadette Rossetti Shustak (See my review here).  The kids really enjoyed this book!

After reading the book, we did our gross-motor activity.  I wrote different tasks on a bunch of different hearts.  I wrote things such as “waddle like a penguin” and “walk backwards.”  I laminated the hearts so they could be reused. I placed the hearts in a circle on the floor.  The kids walked in a circle, stepping on hearts, while I played music.  When I stopped the music, the kids stopped, picked up the heart that they landed on, and acted out whatever it said.  The kids really seemed to enjoy it, however, it did get a bit confusing when trying to get all of the little ones to walk around the circle (I was too wrapped up in this to get a picture-sorry!!!).

A Few Notes:

  • I laminated the hearts, which was good and bad.  They will last longer after being stepped on, but they were a bit slippery and when we played this later in bare feet, the hearts stuck to us.
  • I took this one home and we played it with our family, four people, and it was so much fun!  My husband and I participated and our kids loved it!  My daughter loved watching her dad “dance like a ballerina.”
  • This activity could easily be adjusted to other themes.  The hearts could be different shapes, the tasks could be reading a sight word or making an animals noise.

Centers:

I made another passport for this class.  It was really useful for parents this time and I also found it useful in my planning.  I made the passport before preparing everything and then I referred to it as I went along to make sure I didn’t forget anything.  Here are the centers that I offered:

  • Complete the Pattern.  I found an awesome packet here.  The blog is called Over the Big Moon and it is so awesome!  A lot of the different printables I used today, I printed from this site.
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I laminated the “What Comes Next?” sheet and had clothespins available for kids to pin the next object in the pattern

  • Make a Necklace (Fine-Motor/Pre-Writing Skills). I cut out a ton of hearts and hole-punched them.  I also cut some string.  The kids had to put the string through the hole in the hearts and create a necklace.  The kids really liked this one and most of the necklaces were given their mothers-Awww!

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  • Matching The Upper and Lower Case hearts together-For this center, I printed off all 26 upper and lower case letters (and laminated them) and the kids had to match them together.  I found that this was a bit much.  There were a ton of letters.  I suggested that the parents find a couple matches and play memory and try to find the pairs.

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  • Worksheet Station. I had a bunch of the sheets from Over The Big Moon printed out and colored pencils available for kids to use.  I printed off the “Find the Difference” and “Pre-Writing” sheets.  I also printed extras so parents could take them home and work on them.

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  • Sequencing Hearts by Size

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  • Valentine Sort. Another activity from Over the Big Moon, the kids have to sort children and Valentine gifts.
  • Graphing with Conversation Hearts.  I bought a bag of the hearts and put them in a bag with a scooper.  I printed off a graphing sheet that I found here.  I also printed a sheet to analyze the information found.  When a child came to this station, they took a scoop of candy and sorted the candy by color.  They laid the heart directly on the chart.  When finished, they decided which color they had the greatest amount and which they color they have the least.

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  • Arctic Animals Slides on Laptop. Ok, this may seem a bit weird, but I forgot that I made a slideshow on PowerPoint about different Arctic animals for last week’s class and I forgot to have it available to the kids-oops!  I put pictures and text to go along with different Arctic animals and I had it set so kids push a space bar to advance the pictures and the text.

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  • I also had an assortment of Valentine books available for the kids to read, play dough (grape flavored from Kool-Aid), and magnetic puzzles.

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Craft.  We made “Mr. Heart Men” (that is what we called them)

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For this craft I needed the following for EACH Mr. Heart Man:

  • One giant heart
  • Four, about 1 ½ inch wide, long strip
  • One mouth
  • Two hands
  • Nose (I had stickers from the dollar store)
  • Two feet (I used hearts)
  • Eyes (I used googly eyes)
  • Glue

First, we took whichever four colors the kids wanted for the arms and legs.  Then we folded them accordion style.  We glued those to the body.  Then we glued the hands and feet, mouth and eyes.  Here is what the end result looked like.

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After our craft and our snack was completed, we passed out Valentine’s.  My kids helped me make mine.  We took toilet paper rolls and bent them to make a heart shape and dipped them in red paint.  We stamped the “heart” on paper and wait for it to dry.  When it did I cut them to create bookmarks.  I made a hole and attached strings.  Here is what they ended up looking like:

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These came out so cute!

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Hard at work!

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