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8 ♥ activities we love! valentine/anytime activities for our Littles!

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Hi Everyone!

We hope you had a great weekend!

We certainly welcomed the sunshine 

when it popped out and stayed a bit on Sunday!

Of course, now it’s back to the gray skies we’ve become accustomed to!


Nothing can dampen our spirits…

Valentine’s Day will soon be here!

Valentine’s Day provides the PERFECT opportunity for us Grands

to celebrate our love with family…

our partners (we ♥ our hubbies), 

our own children (our Middles) and, of course,

our precious Littles!

This quote hit home!

Our Littles,

whether our own grandkids or other special children in our lives,

fill our hearts with joy and hope!

In today’s post,  Laura is offering simple and easy ♥ activities 

that will captivate young Littles

on Valentine’s Day or anytime we want to share our time and love with them!

If you are a Grand - or anyone - who spends time with Littles,

providing childcare, hosting a sleepover or traveling for a special visit,

you may be looking for creative activities to engage them!


Today’s 8 simple ♥ activities  

are perfect for toddler or preschool Littles!

Not only are they engaging, 

most encourage developmental skills, too!

You’ll find that these activities are ideal when celebrating Valentine’s Day

and, equally so, anytime of the year!

Get ready to scroll through and check them all out!

Little L and I had fun decorating her house

for Valentine’s Day during a recent visit!

These suncatchers brighten up any winter window

and they are Little proof - they always turn out cute!

Prep TIme!  

(1) Cut a heart out of the middle of a piece of colored construction paper.  (2) Cut 2 pieces of clear contact paper about the same size as the piece of construction paper.  (3)  Cut out small squares (approximately 1”) of various colors of tissue paper (if your Little is old enough, they can help with this step). 

Project Time!

1. Unpeel one piece of the contact paper.  (We taped the top edges of the contact paper to the table as we unpeeled it and then added an extra piece at the bottom to hold it in place).  That way it won’t move during the next step!!

2. Carefully, place the piece of construction paper (with the heart cut out) on the sticky contact paper.  Make sure before you set the construction paper down, that the heart opening will be centered over the sticky contact paper.

3.  Now it’s time for your Little to have fun!  Your Little can place different colors of tissue paper on the sticky contact paper.  NOTE:  We also had glitter and sequins available, so Little L happily added some of those to her creations!

4.  When your Little is done, carefully peel the packing off of the other piece of contact paper.  Carefully put the sticky side down over your tissue paper heart and the construction paper, too.

A Grand Tip!

We suggest peeling back about two inches of the contact paper

when beginning.

Line that unpeeled section at the top of your project

and then gradually peel away more of the contact paper

as you press the contact paper onto your project! 


It won’t bother your Little and that side will face away

when hanging in the window!

5.  Cut any excess contact paper from the edges of the construction paper.  

6.  Use scotch tape to hang your project on a window!

As a two year old, Little L loves stickers!

She’s also learning to use her fingers to remove stickers from a sheet

and she’s developing her hand-eye coordination when placing the stickers on paper!

All you need is paper, a pen and stickers! 

(We used round ones like these or, our favorite - these).

Little L had fun adding stickers to the heart I had drawn on a piece of paper

and then had even more fun filling it in!

When Little L was 16 months old,

this was an activity that entertained her

while at her high chair or even when standing in her standing toddler tower.

She still loves it now

but has graduated to threading smaller pasta!

I added some holiday touches -

pink playdough, red and white straws and heart shaped pasta (found at World Market).

These all make for some extra ♥ fun!

A Grand Tip!

Older Littles love threading, too!

Invite them to build patterns or to add or take away pasta hearts to solve math problems!

Use pasta (rigatoni or penne) or even colorful straws you've cut up

and let your older Littles thread these onto string to make a necklace!

Little L loves searching for things so I sent her on a hunt for colorful hearts!

She did a great job matching colors!

Prep Time! 

I cut out six colorful hearts (choose any six colors) and then I hid them around the room.  I also used markers of the same colors and drew an outline of each heart on a big piece of paper and taped that to the wall (the dull side of freezer paper works well.)  Finally, I put a piece of rolled tape in the middle of each heart on the wall.

Then it was Little L’s turn to go hunting!

When Little L found a colorful heart she brought it to the big piece of paper,

found the matching color and put it on that heart! 

What a girl!  

Once Little L figured out what to do, she didn’t want to stop!

In fact, once she’d matched all the hearts,

she took them off the big paper, then back on…  and off… you get the idea!

Last Spring, Little L was challenged by the task of adding flowers to a colander

(another great idea)...

Her skills have developed so much since then

and now she’s ready for a more difficult version of the same task!

Here’s what I’ve got for her!

Gather some silk flower stems and a styrofoam block or simply an egg carton

and your Little will be ready to create a few valentine bouquets!

I love watching how Little L’s mind works!

These days our sweet 2-year old is ready for new challenges

so I created this Memory matching game.

Don’t be surprised if your Little wants to help you make this game!

Remember… Littles love stickers!

Prep  Time!  

All you need are some hearts cut from construction paper (even numbers of the same color - I used pink, red and purple) and some valentine stickers (2 of each kind).

When the materials are ready, put one sticker on each heart, building pairs of cards - same heart colors/same stickers.

Play Time!

Your Little will be able to use these matching cards over and over again…  They can simply match the cards or sort them by color.  Together, you can play Memory - remember the game, Concentration?  You can also play Go Fish, a favorite card game!

A Grand Tip!

For younger Littles,

limit how many pairs you use at a time.

You don’t want to overwhelm them as they build new skills.

Start with 3 pairs (6 cards) and play with those.

Then once your Little has mastered that, add 1-2 more pairs!

For this classic activity, 

your Little will move an object from one place to another

while building muscle strength and hand-eye coordination at the same time!

Prep  Time! 

To add a valentine twist, I used heart marshmallows I found (at Target)!  You could also use pink and red pompoms, too, or regular marshmallows!  To “transplant” or transfer the “hearts” your Little can use their hands (young toddlers), a pair of tongs (older toddlers/preschoolers) OR a straw (challenging for preschoolers and school agers)!

NOTE:  If you don’t have tongs, your Little can use a clothespin and to make it extra fancy, use a glue gun to attach a craft stick to either side of the clothespin, as shown.

Play  Time!

There are 2 basic ways to complete the task of “transplanting” the “hearts”.

#1 - With Hands OR a Pair of Tongs (Toddlers and Older)

We put heart marshmallows on a plate and then had a bow/mug nearby to collect the transferred hearts!  Standing or sitting, your Little will move the hearts from the plate to the bowl/mug, using his/her hand or a pair of tongs to do so.  Make the game more challenging by having your older Little put one hand behind his/her back while completing the task!

#2 - Using a Straw!  (Some Preschoolers and School-agers)

This version is harder than it looks!  Again, have the plate of marshmallows ready as well as the bowl/mug.  If desired, place the bowl/mug further apart for older Littles.  To “transplant” the hearts, an older Little will put a straw in his/her mouth and suck in to pick up the heart with the straw while moving to the bowl/mug and then releasing it.  To add extra incentive, set a timer to see how many hearts your Little can transplant before time runs out or set up a race between two or more Littles!

Geometric shapes?  A tower?  A bridge?  A house? An animal?

Your Little’s ideas could be endless!

Building structures is always an engaging activity for most Littles,

especially older preschoolers and school-agers!

This activity will keep them busy 

designing and problem solving as they build!

Toothpicks and soft candy work best for building!

Candy hearts or marshmallows are both great options!

A Grand Tip!

You can also use playdough instead of soft candy,

but we haven’t found that to be as successful,

especially once it dries!

Instead, we’ve found that if we set up parameters before we begin…

“You can eat 3 marshmallows once your structure is built.,”

most Littles are able to abide by these ground rules!

Give it a try!

Let the engineering begin!

Are you a Distant Grand?

As  many of you know, I’m a Distant Grand…

Little L and her family live about 4 ½ hours away by car.

We see them fairly often (YAY for retirement)

and can often stay multiple days when we are there!

Such a blessing!

I’m all set for our next visit, complete with valentine - anytime ♥ activities

for Little L and me!

Whether you are a Grand who lives near your Littles

or a Distant Grand like me,

we hope our ♥ activities have inspired you to try 1-2 ideas with your own Little(s)

Valentine’s Day provides a wonderful opportunity

to connect with Littles in memorable ways!

Actually - ANY DAY - is a great day to do so!

After all, you know that we’re all about

creating memories that the heart holds forever!



The BIG game is Sunday and if you are still looking for ideas

we've got fun ideas for you here and here as well as highlighted on

You'll find lots of Valentine's Day inspiration there, too!


❤️ 🏈 ❤️

Thanks, as always, for your support!

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You'll want to stop back next Tuesday

when we share a final Valentine’s Day post,

Last Minute  Faves!

❤️ We are delighted to join these link up parties and blog hops this week:

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