Friday, February 10, 2012

Toddler Valentines & Fine Motor Skills

Valentine's Day is coming up quickly, and our family loves to celebrate this holiday.  Michael & I try to sneak out for a date night (any excuse for a date night), but the kids get more excited than us about Valentine's Day.  You can read more about our Valentine traditions here
Every year I bring out a box of Valentine crafts.  It's a simple collection to put together.  In the box I have paper of all sizes (scraps from my card-making and scrapbooking) - some are patterned, some are plain, most are red & pink.  I also have bunches of heart stickers (which you can find for 50% off at Hobby Lobby sometimes).  Another thing I've added are paper doiles or old valentines.  Then I pull out the crayons, tape and scissors and it's the perfect Valentine Craft Kit!
This week I spent some time with a couple cute toddler boys and decided it would be fun to make paper valentines.  It was not until we started working that I realized it was more than was great fine motor practice for the wee ones.  Peeling stickers & writing with a pencil strengthens their fine motor skills & takes patience and practice and dexterity.  And Sam had an opportunity to work on his fine motor skills by cutting out hearts with my funky scrapbooking scissors.  Little did they realize while they were crafting that they were also honing skills that will be so important for them as they grow.  Other activities to encourage fine motor skills in young children is to let them clip coupons with you, sew with yarn on plastic canvas, use small tongs (like the kind in Operation games) to pick items up (like cotton balls) and put them into a container, play with playdough, and don't be afraid to let young ones explore with crayons, pencils, markers & scissors...this is how they learn!


Banana said...

Katie- you are such a great crafty mama! Looks like those boys had a blast :)

Anna Merlo said...

Another great thing to add to your box is valentine cupcake wrappers. Buy them on clearance after valentines day. Makes for some cute crafts.