Simple Fine Motor Valentine Box
Seriously felt like I hit the jackpot when I saw this heart-shaped Valentine box in the holiday section of Target. It was back by where they keep all of the Valentine candy, heart-shaped cookie cutters, baking supplies and Valentine cards. I immediately thought of using the box with the millions of different material hearts that I've collected over the years for a fine motor activity.
We have felt hearts and foam hearts from the dollar spot (also at Target), and I also had some laminated cardstock hearts that I'd used at school in the past. I pulled them all out and stuck them in a pink bucket next to the box. I love this activity because it is so simple, no mess, no prep, and it can be left out (unlike paints, play doh, food, or any other random items that are fun to use for toddler activities).
Speaking of paints, I also thought it might be fun to have your child help decorate this heart-shaped box before using it to make it more personalized. You could use stickers, paint, markers, do-a-dot markers, etc. I'm sure there are plenty of other things that you could have your child push into that little slit in the top of the box to help build fine motor skills. I also thought of those cute little erasers you can get in the dollar spot or using the box to collect any special Valentine mail they receive.
Here are some pictures of Kade doing this activity:
I'm not sure if it's just the age, or if it's a boy thing, or if it's just human nature in general, but Kade sometimes gets frustrated when he can't do something or when something is not working out the way he wants it too (ok now that I write that out it's definitely not a boy thing because I've so been there- I just don't throw myself on the floor and have a meltdown over it). I was really proud of him with this activity because he had some trouble at times getting the hearts to make their way into the box and he was so very patient to keep trying and not get frustrated. The laminated hearts had to be turned on their side in order for them to fit so he really had to problem solve and manipulate the hearts to get them to fit. With the felt hearts, he preferred to crumble them up and shove them in rather than to just slide them in nicely. I let it fly because why not? Overall, he did great with this activity and really seemed to enjoy it. We keep it out and he definitely goes back to it from time to time!