Valentine’s day fun

IMG_6952Valentine’s Day fun  

There are lots of lovely ideas for Valentines Day on the internet but these are mainly tabletop based.  Why not ring the changes this year and get the children outside to make cards and presents for Valentine’s day.

Here are some ideas:

  • Chalk a heart outline onto the groundThis can be done by either adult or child and can vary in size dependent on the fine motor ability of each child.  The outline can be decorated, using natural materials such as stones, leaves, flowers, twigs etc. Children can also infill them with other materials if desired.
  • GO LARGE by drawing a gigantic heart outside then create a border with children’s bodies, laid head to toe. Encourage children to problem solve how to shape their bodies to the curves. Children can later write their message in the centre of the printed photo. Make this even more special by backing the photo with card that is slightly larger, and decorate the border with natural materials.
  • Create a heart shape wreath – Shape bendy twigs, florist wire or wire coat hangers into a heart shape for children to wrap and weave with natural materials along with twine and ribbon for added effect. Children can write their messages on heart-shaped cards and attach at the bottom with ribbon or string.

BOY APPEAL

Valentine’s day doesn’t have much appeal to boys as it is very pink and female dominated! Provide boys with alternative ways of sending a loving message to their families by:

  • Creating superhero valentines – Photo them in action in different areas outdoors e.g. on a large rope ‘spider’ web, hanging upside down on the climbing frame or climbing a tree! Young children are still very egocentric and love to work with their own images. Print the photos and provide speech bubbles on which to write their message and stick these to their photos.
  • Large-scale drawing or painting creating their own images and messages outside… in the dirt, on a wall, on the ground etc. Use larger mark making implements such as wooden sticks, rollers, large paint brushes or large brushes attached to sticks. Mark making on vertical surfaces also supports the development of the upper arm muscles, needed for writing. Photos can again be used to capture the images/messages created and made more special by the addition of a border (see above).
  • Making mud valentines – create a mud patch and encourage children to mould mud into a heart shape. These can be created on the ground or the mud pushed into the bark of a tree, log or onto large stones. These can then be decorated with natural materials.

Photos of the creation process provide great evidence for assessment, particularly when accompanied by children’s explanation of the process.   Don’t forget to get children to share their creations with one another as this expands their creative repertoire. You can also support the development of self-assessment by encouraging children to say what they like about each other’s creations and what, if anything, they would change about their own.

Written by jackieslaughter1

I have over 20 years experience in teaching and leading the Early Years Foundation Stage, as well as supporting other settings through training and school to school support. I have recently set up a training and consultancy service - Early Years Outdoor Learning - to offer support and training on all things early years but with particular emphasis on outdoor learning.

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