Inside: How to make simple toddler Valentine bags for exchanging cards. We stamp red paint onto white lunch sacks and then add their name and photo. So much fun!
Valentine’s Day, like all of our classroom celebrations with our toddlers, is fun and yet very simple.
There’s a reason for that.
Let’s just say that my first 4 years of Valentine’s celebrations as a toddler teacher were … well, almost a disaster. I had too much planned. And yet, I didn’t have a plan in place. I waited until the last 15 minutes of class to try to set everything up and help the children distribute their cards.
When I look back on that, I cringe.
It was a mess.
I was a mess.
The kids were a mess.
Fast forward 15 years later. Thank goodness we learn from our mistakes!
These simple toddler Valentine bags are proof of how much I’ve simplified our celebrations over the years, and yet the children have just as much fun. Probably more, since their teacher isn’t stressing out!
How to Make Simple Toddler Valentine Bags
What we used:
- White lunch sacks
- Red washable tempera paint
- White washable tempera paint
- Heart-shaped cookie cutters
I wrote the children’s names on the bottoms of the lunch sacks prior to the activity. For whatever reason, I always feel a bit more organized when I do this!
For each child, I put together a container with a bit of red and a bit of white paint. This way as they dipped their cookie cutters into the paint, they saw some pink show up, too!
I added a cookie cutter to each tray and put everything out at our art table during centers time.
Okay, so I said we used cookie cutters.
I should also mention that we used this nifty heart stamper that was made by a former co-teacher many years ago. She took a small candy tin and screwed a block on the top to act as a handle. Pretty clever, huh?
The rest were cookie cutters, though.
I showed our toddlers how to dip their hearts into the paint and then stamp them on the paper lunch sack.
This movement is quite easy and extremely fun for 2 year olds. Imagine how our classroom sounded with all that tapping! (Actually, you can hear it if you watch the video below.)
There was no right or wrong way to do this, which is why I love these types of activities. Some started sliding their hearts across the paper so you couldn’t even tell it had once been a heart, and a few got paint on their hands so we had them add some handprints to the backs of the bags. A little extra personal touch, right?
When finished stamping:
Let dry completely.
My added touch:
Since our toddlers cannot recognize names yet, I decided to put their photo on their bags as well as their names.
I found a simple heart shape on Canva and added their names.
I then found our extra copies of photos that were used in our keepsake photo ornaments, and glued them on the hearts.
The morning of our Valentine’s celebration I taped the bags in alphabetical order outside our classroom, in our preschool hallway.
As our parents and caregivers arrived with our toddlers, they helped them distribute their cards before entering the classroom.
I think their favorite part was seeing everyone’s pictures on the bag!
When it was time to go home, the children easily found their bags (thanks to the pictures), removed them from the wall, and took them home.
Simple toddler Valentine bags!
Watch the video here:
More toddler Valentine Crafts!
Check out this popular collection that has lots of fun Valentine’s ideas that are perfect for our younger crowd: