Dollar Tree, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
200 red and pink hearts (table scatter) and 12 red, pink, and magenta heart boxes, that’s how many ways I love thee, o cheap purveyor of holiday sensory bin & craft items (can’t forget a shout out to the Target Dollar Spot, my second favorite materials source, for the “spiky” Valentine’s pom-poms).
The boys sorted pom-poms and hearts into their matching heart boxes, carefully rearranging the hearts to cram more inside. We counted the hearts that fit in each box and added one box’s contents to another’s (7 hearts in one box + 8 in another = 15 total). I would steal some hearts to practice subtraction, although Anthony was quick to demand them back!
John practiced his fine motor skills “capturing” the hearts in his bug catcher and by tonging pom-poms. Anthony enjoyed counting out the hearts and lining them up in patterns and sorting them into groups. The boys played with the sensory bin for about 20 minutes and have been going back to it for 5-10 minutes at a time over the past few days, often bringing me hearts to count (John in particular likes to practice doubling the hearts, bringing me two boxes with the same number of hearts in each).
The heart boxes (part of a Valentine’s gift from my parents last year) did double duty with these sparkly, puffy heart stickers from the Target Dollar Spot for an earlier sorting exercise.
These Valentine’s Day printables (& this one) + some candy heart erasers (hello again, Dollar Spot!) were fun for color matching, sorting, counting, patterning, and memory matching. This printable pack was great for little boys—Valentine’s trucks and cars for Anthony!
The heart erasers didn’t offer the full selection of colors to complete the patterning sheets, so I picked up a big bag of conversation hearts. John immediately starts matching the hearts and patterning, then he looks up at me and says, “Mama, do you have to go to the bathroom?” “No.” “Um, I think I hear baby crying. You should go get him.” The little stinker wouldn’t eat the hearts while I was there (because I told them not to eat the ones in the bowl), but he couldn’t wait for me to step out of the room so he could sneak a few! Meanwhile, Anthony was gobbling them down while John distracted me.
The boys were thrilled to use our Dollar Tree materials to make valentines and Valentine’s wreaths to decorate our house and send to their grandparents.
Glitter! Stickers! Paint! Stamps!
We explored color mixing (making different shades of pink led to mixing yellow, purple, red, and all sorts of crazy combinations), stamped, and painted with Q-Tips (to make dots, swirls, and lines).
We made some Valentine’s Day Wreaths to decorate the house:
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Who could resist these beautiful blue eyes and chubby cheeks? Even if he never sleeps :)