Thursday, February 7, 2013

Easy Valentine Sorting Activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Valentine's Sorting Activity
In my experience with my kids, anything that involves taping something all over your body= MORE FUN. Thus came my inspiration for this Valentine's Sorting activity. 

little bodies!
construction paper
white board, wall or floor

First cut out lots of hearts in different colors that vary in size. I used five different colors and cut about six different sizes, small to large.
Then stick them all over a little body that is close by. My kids think this is hilarious. My two year old kept peeling them off, so we put most of them on my four year old and then later, all over me!
Then I explained a little bit about "order." My four year old has been learning about this in Joy School where they were challenged to create their own "morning order." They got to choose the order in which they brushed their teeth, got dressed, made their bed, ate breakfast, etc. We've also talked about how things in nature have an "order" such as the sun and moon and the way a seed turns into a plant, or the order in which a house is built.
We started with colors, for my two year old. 
I told them that a love bug had sneaked into Charlotte's room last night and kissed her! Now she is covered in kisses that we need to put in order, according to color.
We sang a little song that I made up (if you couldn't tell) that goes like this:
Love Bug, Love Bug
He kissed me!
Look at this heart,
What could it be?

Then my two year old would pick off a heart and I'd ask her what color it is. After she identified the color, we'd tape it up onto the board. Once we had one or two hearts of each color on the board, it was easier for her to know where to put them on the board, in order. You might place a piece of construction paper of each color on the board so that it's easier for your child to know where to put each color initially. 

(I'm not ashamed)
Then we put the little one down for a nap and got back to work. My four year old covered me in kisses and this time we put sorted them by size, smallest to largest.
Again, this was easier once we had one or two hearts of each color up on the board. Then I'd ask her, "Is this heart smaller or bigger than this one?" When all the hearts were up, we pointed at each one and said, "Small, bigger, bigger....biggest!"
And lastly, we sorted the hearts by uppercase and lowercase letters. I wrote A-M in both upper and lower case on the hearts in random order. We laid the hearts on the floor and picked up one at a time, starting an upper case pile and a lower case pile.
In the beginning, this was a little tough for her, so I'd match them up and have her 1) identify the letter and 2) tell me which one was upper or lower case.
You can use this idea for almost anything. And hearts are easy to cut out quickly while your kids are catching a morning episode of Curious George or Word World (our favs). You could have them help you cut them out by drawing the half-heart line on a folded piece of paper. That would be excellent practice with scissors for those little hands!

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