Making valentine critters in preschool

I just love seeing all the bright colors of hearts in my classroom right now!

They make my whole classroom look so cheerful.

Today would have been the perfect day to read the book “My Heart Is Like a Zoo” by Michael Hall but of course, I couldn’t find my copy so I had to improvise a bit.

Introducing the colorful project

To introduce our valentine critter collages, I placed a set of colorful construction paper hearts in a loose pile on my black flannel board.  I asked the children to take a guess as to how many paper hearts they think are on the board. One of my students immediately shouted, “Oh, you mean estimate!”

I was so excited because each of my students made a guess today without hesitation. They shouted out guesses anywhere from 4 to 100. My Pre-K student guesses were pretty close to the actual number which made each of the children quite happy!  After all the guesses were shouted out, I reorganized the hearts on the board and we counted them all together.

After counting all the hearts, I rearranged the hearts on the board and asked the children if they could tell me what new shape the hearts made when I “put them together like this!”  I didn’t worry about a right or wrong answer, any guess worked quite well.

The children all made great guesses including clover, butterfly, and flower.  I made several more shapes and the children continued to guess what shape the hearts would make each time I rearranged them on the board.

When I put the heart shapes across the board this way, one of my students shouted, “Look Mrs. Stewart – You made a pattern!”  Okay – now talk about feeling quite proud of a bunch of kids today!

And when I put the shapes this way, the children immediately decided that this was a caterpillar or worm.

And for this final heart critter – the children easily guessed that this was a person.

How to make your own colorful collages

Once we finished our circle time, the children were invited to make their own critter collage with construction paper hearts and glue.

On the table were a bunch of pre-cut hearts (of various colors and sizes) and glue. The children selected the hearts they liked and went to work making their own critter collages.

Every child chose their own way to arrange their hearts and glue them down. Some of the heart collages were very simple in design and others were more complex.

Some of the children really focused on making a critter and other children preferred to just glue their favorite colors of hearts on their paper rather than trying to actually make something specific.

Once all the heart critter collages were all completed, I had the children print their own names on their paper then set them aside to dry.

Not everyone can print their names but all the children like to “write their own name” on their paper – especially since we use permanent markers to write our names.

I hung all of the children’s critter heart collages on my wall using a sheet of black construction paper for the backdrop.

Made my entire classroom look cheerful!

Links to Grow On

  1. Here’s how to plan a Valentine’s Day party in your classroom.
  2. Save your Valentine Chocolate box for preschool.
  3. Create 3D Paper Heart collages for Valentine’s Day!

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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