Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Valentine's Day Gross Motor Activities

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This collection of gross motor Valentine's Day activities for kids is so fun and so inexpensive. All you need is something from the dollar store!

With my oldest back in school, I'm trying to avoid falling into a rut again with my four year old. He really doesn't like to play at home without his best buddy, so it's hard to find activities that he will actually engage in.

So after dropping J off at school, we made a quick stop at the dollar store to find some fresh inspiration.

We ended up coming home with a package of felt hearts and spending hours playing and moving with them. The end result is this set of Valentine's Day gross motor activities.

There's zero prep (score!) involved here. Just tons of gross motor play, which is exactly the type of activity my four year old K needed!

Valentine gross motor activities for preschoolers

Valentine Gross Motor Activities for Preschoolers: What You'll Need

Here's what you'll need for these Valentine's Day themed gross motor games:

  • Large felt hearts (or similar) from the dollar store - You could substitute foam hearts, paper hearts, or even cut out your own heart shapes from felt.

When I picked up a package of felt hearts from our trip to the dollar store, I didn't really know what I was going to do with them. But I figured that I would eventually come up with something.

Obviously I did. You're reading about it after all!

What I loved even more though was that my son created his own fun variations of my original idea.

Easy, Peasy Gross Motor Activities for Valentine's Day Using a Package of Hearts

To play, we started off by scattering the hearts on the floor. We set them a fair distance apart to encourage jumping and large steps. 

For extra fun, I told my four year old that the carpet was lava and he had to only touch the hearts. He's really into the whole "the floor is lava" stage of childhood so he loved this suggestion of mine.

Close up of a preschool child jumping on hearts as part of a Valentine's Day activity

Close up of a preschool child stepping on pink and red hearts as part of a Valentine's Day activity

Then, instead of stepping from heart to heart, we varied things up. He tried hopping on one foot from heart to heart. Then he practiced double footed jumps, like below.

Child jumping over red and pink felt hearts

Child jumping to red and pink felt hearts

Another way to play is to move from heart to heart on all fours, only letting one body part touch a heart at a time. Kind of like a moving game of Twister, I guess? Anyway, it was a great way to stretch the body and get my son moving. You can see it in action in the video that's included elsewhere in this post.

Preschool child playing twister like game with felt hearts as part of a Valentine's Day gross motor activity

Preschool child playing twister like game with felt hearts as part of a Valentine's Day gross motor activity

Child with hands and feet on red and pink felt hearts as part of a Valentine's Day gross motor activity

Child with hands and feet on red and pink felt hearts as part of a Valentine's Day gross motor activity

Even More Valentine's Day Gross Motor Activities to Try

Finally, here are some other ways to play with these felt hearts:

  • Arrange the hearts in a snake-like shape to create a game board. Roll a die and use your feet as game board pieces to move from the start to the finish line.
  • Arrange the hearts to make a hopscotch game. You could label the hearts with numbers if you wish. 
  • Make a tic tac toe grid on the floor using tape. Play tic tac toe with the felt hearts instead of X's and O's. One person uses one color of hearts while the other person uses the other color. 
  • Arrange the felt hearts into a tight grid, sort of like a Twister game board. Then grab a die. Depending on what number you roll on the die, that's what body part you place somewhere on the hearts. You can only use one body part per heart though! We used the following:
    • Roll a 1 = Place your head on a heart
    • Roll a 2 = Place your left hand on a heart
    • Roll a 3 = Place your right hand on a heart
    • Roll a 4 = Place your left foot on a heart
    • Roll a 5 = Lift your head up from the hearts
    • Roll a 6 = Kid's choice

Other Valentine's Day Activities You'll Love

Valentine's Day Fine Motor Activity (Using these Same Hearts!)

Free Printable Valentine's Day I Spy Game for Kids

More Valentine's Day Activities for Kids

Valentine's Day gross motor activities for preschoolers and toddlers

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