A party is not a party without some fun games to play. Choose one or two games to include in your day's activities. If your party is running all day, choose a game for in the morning and a different game for in the afternoon. This list of games is specially picked to be appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers. You want to have games that include everyone and waiting time for their turn is not very long. Remember that when you are working with kids this young who are excited at a party, their attention span will be very limited.
12 - 24 metal juice can lids
Valentine clipart (I went to Google)
Draw or print out two copies of six to ten Valentine related clipart photos. Glue photos on a juice can lid. You will need matching lids, so each photo you use has to have two lids with that photo. After the photo has dried, completely glue over the entire lid to seal the photo on the lid.
The number of playing pieces you use should be determined by the age of the players. Older children can handle more playing pieces. Arrange the pieces face down on the table. The first player turns over two lids to try to make a match. If the photos match, the player removes those pieces from the play area and takes another turn to attempt another match. If the photos don't match, the player turns the pieces face down and play goes to the next player. When the last match is made, the player with the most matches wins.
Arrow point and feathers cut from foam sheet
Cut the plastic straws down to five inches long. From the foam sheet, cut a triangle for the arrow's point and a heart shape for the feathers. Staple together.
Hide the arrows around a room or the house and have the kids find them. For younger kids, make the hiding spots quite obvious. To keep score, make one arrow a different color from the rest. Kids score one point for each arrow and five points for the special arrow.
Paper - white, pink and/or red
Markers, water color paints, stamps
Give the kids whatever supplies you have on hand. Teach them to cut hearts out of paper and let them decorate to their heart's desire! Kids will do this activity for hours and love being able to make "personal" valentines for their mom and dad.
Just like the game of Simon Says, but Valentine Says.
A leader stands in front of the group and gives simple instructions to do different things such as stand on one foot, pat your head, rub your tummy, etc. Sometimes these instructions start with St. Valentine says and sometimes they don't. Kids should only follow the instruction if the leader started it with St. Valentine says. They continue to do the instruction until the leader says St. Valentine says stop. If they simply hear stop, they should continue. When a kid makes a mistake and starts or stops without hearing Valentine says, they leave the game area. The last child standing, wins the game.
Any size box will do. Paint it red. Cut out different sized hearts.
Set the box on your playing service. Measure three to four feet from the box depending on the age of your kids. Mark the line with masking tape. Have the kids stand behind the line and toss valentine candy into the heart cutouts. If you want to keep score, you can appoint values to each heart.
Give each child a bingo card. The adult places the number tokens face down in front of you. Draw a token, announce the number and show the number so the kids can match it on their bingo card.
If the number appears on their card, they cover it with a candy heart. When they fill their card, they win!
If you have Valentines Day Games you play with toddlers and preschoolers, please submit them here to share with other providers and parents.
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Marcia Reagan is the creator of DaycareAnswers and lives in Central Minnesota with her husband and two children. She's been an in-home daycare provider for over twenty years and loves to share her experience and passion for daycare with other providers.