I’m always looking for simple prep (or, even better, no prep) activities for my kids to do. One of my measurements for how good an activity is, is whether it entertains my children for longer than it takes to set up. Because, seriously, who has time to spend 20 minutes setting up an activity when my kids’ attention spans are usually 3-5 minutes?
That’s why I loved doing this Valentine’s activity. It took me less than 5 minutes to prep, and then we were able to make five different games out of it.
Here’s what you need:
- construction paper in nine different colors
- a marker
- tape or sticky tacky to secure hearts to the floor
The basic prep: Cut large hearts out of nine different-color pieces of construction paper. I just folded the paper in half and eye-balled the shape. Number the hearts 1-9 (or you could use letters or sight words…whatever you want to focus on teaching your children).
Game #1: Musical Hearts
Additional materials needed: music (Pandora on a phone works great, or whatever is convenient for you)
Directions: Lay out the hearts in a large circle on the floor. Just like musical chairs, play music and have kids walk around the circle of hearts. When the music stops, each player must stand on the nearest heart and take turns calling out the number and/or color of his or her heart. You could also use letters or sight words instead of numbers
Game #2: Color Matching Heart Hunt
Additional materials needed: toys and other objects from around the house
How to play: Lay out the large hearts and have your child hunt around the house for things that match the color of each heart. You could even see if they could find “five yellow things” and “six red things” to reinforce the numbers, too!
Game #3: Simple Heart Hopscotch
Additional materials needed: a die (I feel awkward typing that. Does anyone else think that the singular form of “dice” is weird?)
Directions: Lay out the numbered hearts in a line, like hopscotch. Take turns rolling the die, then hopping down the line of hearts, calling out each number (and/or color) you land on, jumping over the one that matches the number on the die.
Game #4: Heart Stomp
Additional materials needed: None
Directions: Call out a number or color on one of the hearts, and have kids race to see who can find and stomp on it first.
Game #5: What’s Missing?
Additional Materials Needed: None
Directions: Lay out and review all the colors and numbers on the floor. Have your child(ren) close their eyes, while you remove and hide one of the hearts. Tell them to open their eyes and see if they can figure out which one is missing.
These are super simple games, but they kept Little Man engaged for almost an hour. Parenting win!
Can you think of any other simple games to play with my 9 colorful hearts?