Happy Valentines Month!
Whether you love Valentines day or hate it, these Valentines Day STEM Activities will be a hit with your preschoolers! I was never a fan of the holiday until we had our daughter, now I am all aboard the silly holiday bandwagon… Without the pressure of making extravagant date night plans or romantic gestures, I find myself really enjoying the holiday actually. I mean, making messy construction paper cards to tell people you love them or creating a pink lava lamp explosion while eating chocolate, what’s not to love? I’m not particularly crafty, nor inclined to spend a lot of time making perfect looking crafts my kid has little interest in. She DOES love a good science experiment though, so here are our favorite easy Valentines Day STEM Activities!
I Lava You
If you haven’t seen the adorable little Disney short about the Volcano, go check it out, my daughter loves it:) We’ve done lava lamps before, but adding a little glitter and/or making it in shade of pink and purple was a fun way to make the activity new again. Simply put a bit of water in the bottom of a jar, top it with cooking oil. Put in a few drops of your Valentines colored food coloring and wait till they make their way to the bottom. Once the coloring drops are on the bottom let your little one drop in an antacid table like Alka Seltzer. Observe the reaction! I like to set all the ingredients out and walk my 4 year old through it. Once she is a bit older we will try writing down the instructions/using a picture ‘recipe’ for her to follow. This science experiment is so mesmerizing to watch! Read on for more ways to introduce science concepts while doing fun Valentines day stem activities!
Another simple update to a classic baking soda/vinegar experiment! I froze baking soda mixed with just a touch of colored water to make a paste. I already had this heart shaped silicone mold, but you can also use cookie cutters on parchment paper and mold the baking soda paste into it for a larger heart. This would be a great color mixing activity too, simply add a corresponding color to your vinegar solution (ie red hearts plus blue vinegar for a Valentines-y purple fizz!) I’ve also found that using a touch of dish soap can make the baking soda vinegar reaction more bubbly and longer lasting. Next time I’ll try adding dish soap instead of water to make the hearts. Another Valentines day STEM activity you can do with just materials you find in your kitchen!
Building With Dots
Yep, in case you hadn’t noticed, I recycle activities like no bodies business haha! I think too often we throw new things at little ones when they can learn so much from deeper, repeated exploration. At least that’s what I tell myself, and the little one seems happy so that’s that:) I let my little one have sweets on occasion, so I put a few of these dots in a dish for her to eat, while the rest were for building only. If you aren’t into hyping your child up on sugar you could also use fruits. Strawberries and apples or grapes make for a great building material!
Plantable Seed Paper
We’re currently in a construction paper/cutting phase, meaning there are a TON of little scraps that I feel kind of bad just throwing out. So we made a few early Valentines, then I collected the leftover pieces in a bowl and we tore them up even smaller. I added a bit of water to cover the paper, then left to soak overnight. We blended the paper in the blender, then followed the instructions here for making seed paper hearts. Still waiting on them to dry! If all goes well they will be our Valentines for our classmates, a great zero waste non candy option!
We had a lot of fun looking at the seeds in our wildflower pack. She sorted them with tweezers and then tested a few in a jar of water to see which ones floated. When we noticed a few had stuck to her sleeve we talked about all the ways seeds travel! So much learning through observation with this one. To expand on this Valentines day STEM activity you can check out my post on 10 Plants anyone can grow with kids!
Chocolate Ooblek (kind of…)
This stuff smells delicious, and it is taste safe (just cornstarch, water and unsweetened cocoa powder.) I originally was trying to make a traditional liquidy oobleck, which didn’t quite work because I added to much chocolate powder, but it was a hit nonetheless! I added the sprinkles so it didn’t just look like poop… Throw in a few cupcake liners and some candles and you have a great sensory play tray!
Also, I am very proud of myself for thinking to buy a cheap box of chocolates and eat them all myself, so I could give the empty box to my kid for pretend play with this dough. We filled it with the oobleck and convinced my husband it was real chocolate… mwahaha I’m just a mom living my best life;)
This is the best use of an old bouquet I’ve found yet! For those of you lucky enough to receive some beautiful flowers for Valentines day, give those flowers one last hurrah before they die! New materials + paint is always a great interest catcher for kids. Depending on the flowers you can get some great prints too! Check out this tutorial we did last year. I’ve since learned that using complementary colors makes for a prettier result, although this one is really all about the process. This would be gorgeous using red and white for a Valentines-y feel!
Valentines Day STEM Activities
What are your favorite ways to celebrate Valentines day? Do you have family traditions you are creating for your children? I’d love to hear them in the comments! We’re just warming up this year with these Valentines day STEM activities, follow us on Facebook to see what other projects we do to celebrate the season of love! Or check out our instagram feed for every day activity inspo!