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….

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…

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!

Be sure to stop by and enter the 12 Piece Craft puzzle give-away. Give-away ends February 13th at 10:00pm EST 


By |2012-02-09T23:10:53+00:00February 9th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Grace February 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    I just want to say that I always love everything that you do in the class 🙂 How old are the children in your classroom?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm - Reply

      Hi Grace – the children are age 3 through age 5 🙂

  2. Esther February 9, 2012 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    That’s a beautiful collection heart critters! I love the way you organized the activities!
    Just in case you want to have a look at some pages of book, you can check the book website

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 10, 2012 at 8:41 am - Reply

      Thanks for the link Esther!

  3. Amber February 10, 2012 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Beautiful Collages/Critters! 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 10, 2012 at 8:41 am - Reply

      Thank you Amber!

  4. Annette {Simple Mom} February 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    We made heart owls a couple years ago. They turned out well, but it was guided. I think your kids’ creations are sweet! if you are interested.

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