As she's gotten older, S has gotten more and more interested in holidays. The Dollar Store is an amazing place to get holiday related items! I searched for Valentine's Day items that would be fun for either X or S, or better - both! I tried to come up with items that could be used for open ended play. I set up the table and let them at it!
The first thing S noticed was all the boxes. X went straight for the petals. He's still not stellar with standing, so we set him on the floor with a few petals. He desperately wanted to taste them, but was also just mesmerized with watching them fall to the ground. S quickly decided that most of these items were more fun to play with on the floor...and truthfully it was more fun to play with on the floor...so everything left the sensory table pretty quickly! It was a little like Valentine's Day exploded in our art room (and don't worry, it took less than 2 minutes to clean up because they were all big pieces).
By far the biggest hit, ultimately, for both were the petals. This was just two bags (one white, one red), so for a total of $2, you could have a lot of fun!
S noticed that most of the items dropped straight to the ground, while the petals floated gracefully. I had her make some guesses as to what makes something float vs. drop. Here she is commenting on the different shape, size, and weight of two things - one that dropped and one that floated.
S brought some of her plastic "guys" out to play and had fun enclosing them in various containers and giving them to me for my "birthday". She enjoyed being able to open and shut all the containers by herself - something that she's recently mastered. This was my crab present. He was inside the smaller heart box, which in turn was inside the larger heart box.
Because the lighting isn't ideal in our art room, I couldn't get my shutter speed up enough to capture the falling petals, but S and I were pelting X with handfuls of petals. He thought it was equal parts hilarious (getting them in his hair and on his face) and amazing (watching them float to the ground).
S also enjoyed getting petals dumped on her.
X is always happy when he finds an item he can make music on (preferably if it's an item he can "drum" on).
While we had fun with all the Valentine's Day items, our favorites were the petals. If you get roses yourself for Valentine's Day, you could always strip them once they're done blooming and play with the real rose petals (which have the added bonus of smelling amazing!), as I did with S when she was much younger below. Real rose petals also make a fun special occasion addition to a bath. Petals are just so much fun to watch as they float, and they're such a safe item to throw - they really appeal to infants-preschoolers.
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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children. As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family. I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies). Observe caution and safety at all times. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.