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Recycled trash crafts for kids: Garden tools and sand toys from milk jugs


Hey teachers and homeschoolers, looking for some earth science lesson plans to teach environmental sustainability? How about making recycled trash crafts for kids with plastic milk jugs? Repurpose and reuse milk jugs into sand toys for the beach and garden tools. These crafts for kids work great in preschool science learning center, schools, scout troops, 4H groups, camp and day care and can be made with the youngest learners! 

To make a set of eight recycled trash beach toys or gardening tools, you'll need

-two clean plastic milk jugs per child

-permanent dry-erase marker 

-scissors (children's Fiskars scissors work great)

Draw a line around the base of milk jugs, about three inches from the bottom. Poke a hole anywhere in the line with scissors. Cut along the line to remove the top half (set aside for later). Now you have a sand pail, gardening bucket or plant starter. 

Next make sifter or strainer sand toys or garden tools by poking holes in the bottom of the milk jugs. Recycled trash beach toys are great money-savers. If they get broken, just re-recycle! 

Repurpose and reuse the top of milk jugs to make funnels and sand castle mold beach toys.  Draw a circle around the top, about two inches down from the mouth. Poke a hole and cut around the circle. Use funnels for preschool math learning center or sand and water table, too. 

With the leftover handle piece, make trowel garden tools. Draw along the indentation on the jug where the handle is. Snip the lower end of the handle to separate it form the jug. Poke a hole on the line and cut along the line. Trim the top part above the upper end of the handle to a v-shaped point. You will have a flat surface with a handle to smooth out surfaces and a corner surface for edging. 

Make a small rake and hoe cutting the trowel with a flat edge (for a hoe). Cut it with a zigzag edge to make a a garden rake. These trash crafts provide excellent scissors skills practice.

Make a shovel by drawing a circle around the part where the lower end of the handle attaches to the jug, about an inch or so from the handle. Snip the top end off from the jug. Cut along the circle you've drawn. Now you have handled shovels to use for sand toys or garden tools.

Use garden tools in earth science lesson plans and experiments. Use beach toys in preschool sand and water table learning center. Make a classroom garden or individual student bucket gardens for nature study! 

My favorite way to make crafts for kids is in an intergenerational setting. Visit nursing homes and senior centers to do activities with seniors. Teach students about volunteering, empathy and awareness, with activities that connect kids and elders! Make it part of an Earth Day party! Invite grandparents! This grandma treasures her time spent making craft projects with her beloved grandkiddies! 

Math practice kit activities with printables

 Montessori and Math Their Way teach math in hands-on learning center tasks, as opposed to paper and-pencil lessons. Here's a homemade mini math learning center. Use this shoebox math facts practice kit for independent, on-the-go learning. Retention of math facts and operations is vital for higher math. Use this math homework practice kit to reinforce addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts.

 Children should practice 5-10 minutes 4-5 times a week. In a shoebox or plastic lidded box, place these items 

--color-coded list of digits. For example: 0-yellow, 1-blue, 2-red, 3-orange, 4-purple, 5-green, 6-brown, 7-pink, 8-black, 9-gray. Some 1,983 would be written blue-1, gray-9,black-8 and orange-3. Color coding helps many students visualize and organize numbers, learn place value and memorize math facts, 

--set of dice. Practice math facts by casting die and adding or multiplying two numbers shown. 

--set of dominoes (base 12 set is best) or homemade"domino"flash cards made from index cards. Write domino dot configuration in number color from chart. Student selects a domino and adds, subtracts or multiplies the two numbers. Write answers on back for self-checking. Here are free printable dominoes

--deck of playing cards--student chooses two cards and adds, subtracts, or multiplies them. Face cards are valued as such:(ace-1, jack-10, queen, 12 and king-0) Here's a free printable deck of playing cards

--math flashcards for each fact family. Purchase at Dollar Tree or discount store. Here are freeprintable math flashcards. Make flashcards by writing math fact (problem) in color code on one side and the answer on the back. 

--pencil, eraser and scrap paper squares--student writes out a fact family, or writes story problems, illustrating with items to represent (three apples times seven apples). Use for pop quizzes also.

 --tablet of small stickers or mini-stamper marker-- Child makes his own flashcards with stickers and scrap paper, for the math facts family on which he's working. 

--100 chart or cheat sheet. Student uses to skip count by different numbers (multiply), look for patterns, or practice facts. Here are free printable 100 charts. 

--yarn strung with 100 plastic beads. This homemade abacus is a great visual for math operations. Give student a problem, like 7x8, She counts out and add seven groups of eight. 

--food snacks with little pieces; fish crackers, breakfast cereal, raisins, candies, pretzels. Students demonstrate math facts with food while eating it. 

Keep math facts practice kit in the car. Use travel time for homework reinforcement.


Medieval history lessons plans: Cardboard castle crafts, princess crafts with printables


I am a self-avowed history fanatic, particularly the medieval period. I also love things princess. And being a teacher, homeschool mom, education blogger and now Omi (gramma), I'm always looking to create hands-on lesson plans.  To that end, here's a guide to making recycled cardboard castle crafts with free printables. Use these are recycled cardboard crafts for kids in many cross-curricular lessons: preschool learning center activities, theater and dress up fun, arts and crafts, STEM and history lesson plans. These medieval crafts include a homemade cardboard castle, costumes and props. Homeschool parents, I promise ways to engage all ages, from baby to teen! 

(Materials are noted in BOLD CAPS within the how-to guide)

1) Make cardboard castle walls. Cut open two large RECYCLED CARDBOARD REFRIGERATOR BOXES along one long side. TAPE (duct tape works best as it resembles grey stone) two boxes together to make an octagon castle "keep." Measure, draw out and cut cardboard castle battlements (great STEM activities). History note: Castle walls had a series of crenellations and merlons (squared edge thingies) along the top. Tim's Printables has free printable recycled cardboard castle patterns for medieval crafts and castle design ideas. Cut cardboard castle keep windows: Draw a four-pane window and cut openings for the princess to look out of. 

2) Decorate recycled cardboard castle. Draw in bricks and family crest to make these medieval crafts for kids look really authentic! For more STEM fun, make moat and drawbridge. Cut drawbridge opening in the side of cardboard castle. Attach YARN or ROPE to both sides of to lower and raise drawbridge. Cut holes in the top to tie drawbridge closed when the royal inhabitants aren't receiving company. Place BLUE BLANKETS around the outside for the castle moat. Fill with STUFFED ANIMALS dragons, fish, alligators and other aquatic creatures. Add some PLANTS to make it more realistic and discuss wetland habitat science. Toddlers and preschoolers can take on the job of gathering and arranging flora and fauna.  

3) Make flags for cardboard castle. Aristocrats and nobles in medieval times had a coat-of-arms or family crest that symbolized their lineage. The design and display of a coat-of-arms is known as heraldry. A coat-of-arms was placed on banners flown when the family was in residence. Banners were carried on standards into battles. Have kids design their royal family crest. Here are free printable heraldry patterns and stencils for medieval crafts for kids. Make banners on  SCRAP FABRIC SQUARES CUT FROM OLD BED SHEETS OR TOWELS. Attach to YARD STICK OR HOT DOG STICK. Draw or paint family crest using MARKERS OR FABRIC PAINT. Older kids can make these as history lesson plans. 

4) Make secret entrances for your recycled cardboard castle (my grandkids favorite part!)  Line chairs up to make a crawl-through tunnel entrance into castle. Drape sheets, blankets and bed linens over tunnel. Establish cardboard castle dungeon. Make a parapet (walkway) by placing several chairs or a bench along the inside edge of the castle. Soldiers keep lookout here and send prisoners to sit under the chairs in the dungeon sit under bench. Fashion a turret. Put a collapsible net laundry hamper upside down on a chair inside the castle. Children crawl into hamper and onto chair to look out of the turret. These are perfect jobs for youngers. They will love exploring, arranging and guarding the cardboard castle as part of their dramatic play learning center activities. 

5) Outfit your royals. Haul out the DRESS UP BIN and collect OLD TOWELS, BED SHEETS AND BLANKETS. Donate JUNK JEWELRY and OLD FANCY DRESS. Make recycled cardboard crown crafts for the princess with these free printable crowns from First-Palette. Use this guide to make a suit of armor cardboard crafts for a knight. More STEM lesson plans! 

6) Equip the keep. The keep is the living area of a castle. Let kids fill their cardboard castle keep with snacks, blankets, pillows, coloring supplies, books and pets. When the novelty of guarding the castle wears off, kids can use it as a cozy play fort. Set your homemade castle up in a place where it can be left up for other rainy day fun or make it convertible to go outdoors on nice days!

Stay tuned for more medieval crafts! Picture is courtesy of Free Coat of Arms (couldn't find my last name, alas!) 

Health lesson plans to prevent juvenile obesity without mentioning weight loss


Increasing juvenile obesity is the elephant in the living room that everyone sees and no one want to address. More and more children are overweight and headed toward obesity. But discussing it or even be concerned is often regarded as fat-shaming or bullying. Here are lesson plans to prevent and treat childhood obesity without ever mentioning weight loss. 

Childhood obesity is tricky to deal with for two reasons. First, many tweens get heavier and may even be called overweight by a doctor. But after puberty they slim down. This was my experience. Weight loss diets and calorie restricting may actually be dangerous. Calorie restricting such as the 1000 calorie diet I was put on at age 8, deprived me of nutrients needed for a growing body. It also caused eating disorder issues. Also, the extra weight is necessary for health after they lose weight in puberty. 

What is chronic obesity and what is overweight that will right itself after puberty? There are several factors. Is the entire family overweight? Is the child active or sedentary? How old is the child? A three-year old with obesity is more at risk than, say, a normal weight child who becomes overweight as a tween, as I did. This overweight period is usually temporary. And some kids are just bigger than others. 

Another issue is that overemphasis on weight loss can be a form of fat-shaming and bullying. It can also lead to eating disorders, low self esteem, anxiety and depression.  But yet, children with chronic obesity that will not disappear in puberty, are at risk of many other health problems including diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension and other issues. Movement and exercise are more difficult. 

So how to prevent or treat juvenile obesity without discussing weight loss? 

1) Food lesson plans aimed at healthy eating. Teach the food pyramid and food groups, using these free printable lesson plans.  Nutriton.gov has many free nutrition printables including recipes, My Plate activities, coloring pages, food diaries and lesson planners. Here are free printable food journals and nutrition trackers. 

2) Engage students in physical activities and active learning as much as possible. Use these free printable DEAM (Drop Everything and Move) activities. DEAM is like DEAR (Drop Everything and Read), which intersperses the school day with unplanned exercise or reading activities. I especially like DEAM because they are random surprise fun activities that get kids out of desks and moving. These might include dancing, calisthenics or active games.

3) Go off screen and hands-on. Most children spend more time watching than doing: TV, online on phones, computers and video game systems. I'm a Shipt shopper and its a sad commentary that when I drive thru neighborhoods in the summer, I see very few children out playing but TVs on or kids playing on phones. Utilize these free printable lesson plans on screen time dangers. Kids Health offers printables and resources to help kids understand why too much inactivity is harmful and how to monitor their screen time. 

4) Provide active activities in lieu of sedentary seat work and workbooks. Montessori type learning centers get kids off the seat and actively learning. Check out this blog for a gajillion learning center activities for science, math, reading, writing, social studies and more. Here are fitness activities to keep kids actively engaged. 

Will these activities end childhood obesity? Not alone. But with support, guidance, education and care, kids can learn to be their  healthiest selves. 


Free Printable Earth Day Insects and Bugs Coloring Pages, Spring Lessons

Do you like insects and spiders or do bugs bug you? Whether you're a hexapoda aficionado (bug lover) or a you have a arachnophobia, it's important to understand insects and spiders and their place in the environment. Here are free printable insects activities and bugs lesson plans. If there's something creepy crawly in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Bug Busters, aka Orkin Pest Control. Check out Orkin's online learning center for free printable insects lesson plans, bug identification charts, insect coloring pages, bug information, insect activity booklets, games, puzzles and worksheets.
Here's a beautifully illustrated free printable Insect Identification booklet. This free printable guide to insects features detailed images of bugs, plus information on bug habits and habitats. This will help identify safe and dangerous insects in the home, yard and environment. There are free printable insects lesson plans. Click here for the Orkin Pest Library with free printable insects diagrams, charts, images and activities. There are materials about ants, flies, cockroaches, rodents, termites, spiders, stinging pest, other pests and wildlife. Here's a free printable insects booklet with bug coloring pages, games, puzzles, experiments and crafts.
The Orkin Insect Zoo at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History offers free printable lesson plans spiders, butterflies and insects booklet. Here's a free printable butterfly coloring pages. Insects, bugs and spiders are perfect spring science lesson plans. Explore caterpillars, butterflies and cocoons, spiders and spider webs. Here are free printable insects and spiders coloring pages. Print coloring pages of caterpillars, butterflies, ladybugs, bees, ants, dragonflies, moths, grasshoppers, beetles, praying mantis, mosquitoes, scorpions, flies, termites and fireflies or lightning bugs.
Spiders are not insects, but arachnids. Use free printable spider coloring pages to compare and contrast spiders and insects. Free Printable Coloring pages has nearly 50 insects and spiders coloring pages. Some are cartoon bugs but most are realistic images. Click this link for beautifully detailed butterfly coloring pages. Each butterfly species is labeled. Images look like stained glass windows coloring pages. Use them for science lessons on insects, butterflies, spring, metamorphosis or new life.
Coloring Castle has free printable coloring pages of bees and butterflies, There are also free printable ladybug coloring pages and lesson plans of a ladybugs 100 chart and a numbers 1-10 pyramid. Coloring Book Fun has free printable insect coloring pages, mostly cartoons.
Edupics has over 100
 free printable insects coloring pages and 41 butterflies coloring pages. For more coloring book fun, visit the Grand Rapids Parenting Examiner at Free Coloring Pages 4U 

Free Printable Blank Checks and Banking Slips for Money Math

Money math, banking and finance are some of the most practical math applications. Students learn real-world math lessons by writing checks, balancing checkbooks and managing debit and credit cards, savings and checking accounts. To help, here are free printable blank checks, play money, check register forms, banking slips, deposit slips and withdrawal slips. Use to teach hands-on money math lessons Use for consumer math classes, special education lesson plans and homeschool math activities.
DL-TK has several pages of pretend free printable blank checks and banking slips for play. There are two free printable check varieties, using the American "check" and Canadian "cheque" spelling. Both are available to print in color or in black and white. Visit Free Stuff 4 Kids for free printable blank checks for play and for math lessons. Use these in combination with free printable play money. These links provide free printable play money in denominations of one, five and ten dollar bills. Use these free printable checks to set up a classroom bank, preschool math learning center or token economy. Use banking slips and play money to teach economics, math skills, banking, counting changes and money math lessons.

Money Instructor has many free printable money math lesson plans, blank checks, play money, banking slips and money math lessons and worksheets. Not all printables are free but there is a nice selection of free printable samples. Print free banking slips, deposit slips, withdrawal slips, check registers and checking account slips. Money Instructor has interactive money math lessons, check writing, check endorsing, checkbook balancing tutorials also. It is recommended that teachers of economics, consumer math, life skills, special needs, accounting and personal finance subscribe to these sites. This link will take you directly to a page of free printable practice blank checks.

Free Printables Insects and Spiders Lesson Plans and Activities


Spring is in the air--time for insects to make their appearance. Do you like insects and spiders or do they just bug you? Whether you're a hexapoda aficionado (bug lover) or a you have a arachnophobia, it's important to understand insects and spiders and their place in the environment. Here are free printable insects activities and bugs lesson plans. If there's something creepy crawly in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Bug Busters, aka Orkin Pest Control. Check out Orkin's online learning center for free printable insects lesson plans, bug identification charts, insect coloring pages, bug information, insect activity booklets, games, puzzles and worksheets.
Here's a beautifully illustrated free printable Insect Identification booklet. This free printable guide to insects features detailed images of bugs, plus information on bug habits and habitats. This will help identify safe and dangerous insects in the home, yard and environment. There are free printable insects lesson plans. Click here for the Orkin Pest Library with free printable insects diagrams, charts, images and activities. There are materials about ants, flies, cockroaches, rodents, termites, spiders, stinging pest, other pests and wildlife. Here's a free printable insects booklet with bug coloring pages, games, puzzles, experiments and crafts.
The Orkin Insect Zoo at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History offers free printable lesson plans spiders, butterflies and insects booklet. Here's a free printable butterfly coloring pages. Insects, bugs and spiders are perfect spring science lesson plans. Explore caterpillars, butterflies and cocoons, spiders and spider webs. Here are free printable insects and spiders coloring pages. Print coloring pages of caterpillars, butterflies, ladybugs, bees, ants, dragonflies, moths, grasshoppers, beetles, praying mantis, mosquitoes, scorpions, flies, termites and fireflies or lightning bugs.
Spiders are not insects, but arachnids. Use free printable spider coloring pages to compare and contrast spiders and insects. Free Printable Coloring pages has nearly 50 insects and spiders coloring pages. Some are cartoon bugs but most are realistic images. Click this link for beautifully detailed butterfly coloring pages. Each butterfly species is labeled. Images look like stained glass windows coloring pages. Use them for science lessons on insects, butterflies, spring, metamorphosis or new life.

Coloring Castle has free printable coloring pages of bees and butterflies, There are also free printable ladybug coloring pages and lesson plans of a ladybugs 100 chart and a numbers 1-10 pyramid. Coloring Book Fun has free printable insect coloring pages, mostly cartoons.
Edupics has over 100
 free printable insects coloring pages and 41 butterflies coloring pages. For more coloring book fun, visit the Grand Rapids Parenting Examiner at Free Coloring Pages 4U and for educational activities, Free Printable Lesson Plans

Free Printable Geography Lessons for National Geography Bee


A hilarious "Wheel of Fortune" geography fail prompted much laughter and some concern over larger fails in education. WSB-TV reported on Feb. 20 that David Dalley thought his prize trip to Venice was taking him to Paris! This situation may be funny, but it also underscores why older folks bemoan that school don't teach geography anymore. To remedy that, here are free printable geography lessons, landforms geographical features maps and topography maps and earth science activities. There are even maps on Venice, France and Italy for poor David Dalley!
What in the world are landforms? A better question is where in the world are landforms. Landforms are geographic features that define the terrain and topography of an area. Terms for geographical landforms include: mountain, mesa, butte, plateau, dune, hill, bluff, cliff, promontory, valley, canyon, strait, peninsula, cape, delta, river, tributary, lake, bay, sea, ocean, key, island, isthmus, archipelago and atoll, Geographical landforms, also called terrain or topography, are formed by weather and climate factors. Landforms affect and are affected by biome or natural habitat of the region--desert, savanna, rainforest, forest, polar or arctic tundra. eastern woodland, swamp, meadow. To some extent, the plant and animal life affect and are affected by geographical landforms.
Discovery Education free social studies lesson plans, including free printable geography worksheets, landforms coloring pages, terrain and topography maps. worksheets, diagrams, labeling pages, coloring pages, puzzles, maps, quizzes and activities. Teacher Planet has free printable geography worksheets with matching activities to teach geography and landforms vocabulary. There are geography worksheets for different regions, states in the United States, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome and as well as some Jewish terms are included. Here are more landforms worksheetsand coloring pages from Printable Worksheets. Super Teacher Resources has some free printable geography worksheets.
Eduplace is Houghton-Mifflin's resource center for learning printables, including free printable geography worksheets and outline maps. There are free printable maps from every continent and country around the globe. Eduplace has free printable labeled and blank maps to use for answer key and tests. ABC Teach has lots of free printable geography worksheets, landforms lesson plans, topography maps, political maps and social studies lesson plans. Students can use maps to draw in landforms. Assign special needs and younger students to color code labeled maps to help them learn about geography. You might also laminate the map and assign students to cut out the countries and states in the map to make a map puzzle.

ESL Tower has many free printable geography worksheets, landforms coloring pages, diagrams, puzzles and topography maps.
Edupics has 
free printable social studies coloring pages, world maps, landforms coloring pages, biomes, habitats, nature scenes, political maps, topography maps to use as geography worksheets. Edupics boasts the largest, most comprehensive collection of detailed educational diagrams and coloring pages.

Free Printable Preschool Valentines Day Lesson Plans

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, Pinterest, email, and blogs overflow with valentine crafts. Alas, many are also costly. So, don't pay. Here are free printable preschool valentine worksheets, games, crafts, learning activities and lesson plans. Fru-gals and fru-guys, use these for Valentine's Day fun.
Over the Big Moon is a mom-blog with 31 pages of free printable preschool Valentine's Day worksheets. They've added an extension pack with even more free printable preschool Valentine lesson plans for children. These kits are perfect for little ones ages 30 months to six. The activities are mostly for pre-readers and emergent readers. All the activities have a valentine theme.
To practice literacy and writing skills, there are letter tracing sheets focusing on the letter "V", vocabulary cards, phonics activities, word and sound matching and shadow letter tracing activities.
For early math skills reinforcement, there are valentine-themed counting worksheets, sorting activities, pattern extensions and sequencing games. There are several activities to develop visual acuity and eye hand coordination, including spot-the-difference games, coloring pages and four-piece puzzles. There are also several pages of cutting lines in different patterns to help children practice scissor skills.
The packets are free to print from the Over the Big Moon website. Or here's an alternate website with the same valentine printables. Directions are available. Valentine graphics could be reused as DIY valentines. Have children cut out pictures and glue on construction paper hearts.

For preschool classroom use, print activities in the craft center. Or put printed activities in a folder. Use as homework or vacation activities. Give as Valentine's Day gifts. Roll in recycled paper towel tube. Add a cute valentine pencil, a few crayons, scissors and glue stick. Wrap in recycled paper that children have decorated and tie the ends. Use for Valentine party favors. Senior citizens may enjoy these activities too,

Free Printable Maps, Geography Landforms Coloring Pages and Lesson Plans


What in the world are landforms? A better question is where in the world are landforms. Landforms are geographic features that define the terrain and topography of an area. Terms for geographical landforms include: mountain, mesa, butte, plateau, dune, hill, bluff, cliff, promontory, valley, canyon, strait, peninsula, cape, delta, river, tributary, lake, bay, sea, ocean, key, island, isthmus, archipelago and atoll, Geographical landforms, also called terrain or topography, are formed by weather and climate factors. Landforms affect and are affected by biome or natural habitat of the region--desert, savanna, rainforest, forest, polar or arctic tundra. eastern woodland, swamp, meadow. To some extent, the plant and animal life affect and are affected by geographical landforms.
Discovery Education free social studies lesson plans, including free printable geography worksheets, landforms coloring pages, terrain and topography maps. worksheets, diagrams, labeling pages, coloring pages, puzzles, maps, quizzes and activities. Teacher Planet has free printable geography worksheets with matching activities to teach geography and landforms vocabulary. There are geography worksheets for different regions, states in the United States, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome and as well as some Jewish terms are included. Here are more landforms worksheetsand coloring pages from Printable Worksheets. Super Teacher Resources has some free printable geography worksheets.
Eduplace is Houghton-Mifflin's resource center for learning printables, including free printable geography worksheets and outline maps. There are free printable maps from every continent and country around the globe. Eduplace has free printable labeled and blank maps to use for answer key and tests. ABC Teach has lots of free printable geography worksheets, landforms lesson plans, topography maps, political maps and social studies lesson plans. Students can use maps to draw in landforms. Assign special needs and younger students to color code labeled maps to help them learn about geography. You might also laminate the map and assign students to cut out the countries and states in the map to make a map puzzle.
ESL Tower has many free printable geography worksheets, landforms coloring pages, diagrams, puzzles and topography maps.
Edupics has 
free printable social studies coloring pages, world maps, landforms coloring pages, biomes, habitats, nature scenes, political maps, topography maps to use as geography worksheets. Edupics boasts the largest, most comprehensive collection of detailed educational diagrams and coloring pages.

Free printable preschool Valentine worksheets, games, crafts, activities


With Valentine's Day right around the corner, Pinterest, email, and blogs overflow with valentine crafts. Alas, many are also costly. So, don't pay. Here are free printable preschool valentine worksheets, games, crafts, learning activities and lesson plans. Fru-gals and fru-guys, use these for Valentine's Day fun.
Over the Big Moon is a mom-blog with 31 pages of free printable preschool Valentine's Day worksheets. They've added an extension pack with even more free printable preschool Valentine lesson plans for children. These kits is perfect for little ones ages 30 months to six. The activities are mostly for pre-readers and emergent readers. All the activities have a valentine theme.
To practice literacy and writing skills, there are letter tracing sheets focusing on the letter "V", vocabulary cards, phonics activities, word and sound matching and shadow letter tracing activities.
For early math skills reinforcement, there are valentine-themed counting worksheets, sorting activities, pattern extensions and sequencing games. There are several activities to develop visual acuity and eye hand coordination, including spot-the-difference games, coloring pages and four-piece puzzles. There are also several pages of cutting lines in different patterns to help children practice scissor skills.
The packets are free to print from the Over the Big Moon website. Or here's an alternate website with the same valentine printables. Directions are available. Valentine graphics could be reused as DIY valentines. Have children cut out pictures and glue on construction paper hearts.

For preschool classroom use, print activities in the craft center. Or put printed activities in a folder. Use as homework or vacation activities. Give as Valentine's Day gifts. Roll in recycled paper towel tube. Add a cute valentine pencil, a few crayons, scissors and glue stick. Wrap in recycled paper that children have decorated and tie the ends. Use for Valentine party favors. Senior citizens may enjoy these activities too,