While we always celebrate Valentine’s Day with our children, I wanted to tie together our Zoo animals theme for February with our Valentine’s Day celebration activities. I hope you enjoy some of the activity suggestions with your own children!
Zoo -Themed Valentine’s Butterfly Magnet Craft - Zoo Valentines Day Craft Caption
Materials needed: Assorted Zoo patterned felt (our local craft store had many different patterns), one clothespin per child/craft, craft magnets, liquid glue, orange paint, paint trays (or paper plates), paint smocks (or old T-shirts) to protect clothing, paintbrushes, black or orange pipe cleaners or Wikki Stix for the antennae, scissors, and one caption (linked above in blue) for each craft.
Prior to the craft, cut eight hearts from the felt. (2 each of 4 different heart-shaped patterns). You can create your own patterns or download one here: Heart Patterns
Have the children work to match the different hearts and place them into pairs. The children should have FOUR pairs of hearts when they are finished matching.
Have the children place the points of each pair of hearts together (see photo above). The children should glue the tips of the two hearts together overlapping slightly (assist younger children with this part of the craft or use a glue gun to glue the hearts together prior to the activity). Glue the remaining 3 pairs of hearts together (point to point). Set all 4 pairs of hearts aside to dry.
While the hearts are drying, place orange tempera paint on paint trays or paper plates. Have the children paint one clothespin orange (to resemble the butterfly’s body). Let the clothespins dry thoroughly.
To assemble the butterfly craft:
Wrap a pipe cleaner or Wikki Stix around the back side of the clothespin head. Form the remaining ends to resemble antennae. Have the children sort their hearts (largest pair to smallest pair) and place the hearts on top of each other (see photo above). The children can then use the clothespin and clip all of the hearts together. Place a craft magnet on the backside of the clothespin to make the craft into a magnetic note holder.
Have the children cut out the caption (linked above). The caption can be clipped with the hearts for a unique Valentine’s gift for parents, grandparents, family, or friends.
Heart Animals on Sticky Boards
Materials needed: Individual dry erase boards covered with clear contact paper (sticky side out) or a work table covered with clear contact paper, assorted hearts cut from tiger or large cat printed felt (use the heart patterns linked above), and black craft foam cut to resemble the cat’s noses/whiskers.
Set out containers of felt hearts, black craft foam noses, and whiskers. Ask the children to work with the items on their sticky boards/table to create a large cat! It is FUN to see the cats the children design and HEAR the noises that accompany their creations! GRRRRR!
If desired, the children can also make ELEPHANTS on their sticky boards/tables! Cut out hearts and elephant trunks from grey and pink felt. Set the hearts and trunk out to watch the children create wonderful elephants!
Our kids ADORE the Alphabet Book from the Wright Group/McGraw-Hill.
Our book is well-worn as we read it almost everyday! Our preschoolers have most of the poems in this book memorized and say them frequently!
We will use the Saucy Little Ocelot by Jack Prelutsky for letter review. The poem is a great one to use for the Letter O!
The book also contains an elephant poem called, Eletelephony by Laura Richards that is fun to read and recite while working on the sticky board elephant crafts above.
For more ZOO-themed activities, we have free resources available at: Squidoo!
For more Valentine’s Day Literacy, Math, Science, Art, and Large Motor suggestions, see our Valentine’s Day Thematic Unit at: The Preschool Toolbox!