A little boy placing his hand on a foam heart on the wall with numbers written on them


Valentine’s Themed Gross Motor Learning Games

Feb 13, 2017

One of my favourite materials to keep on hand for the kids is a package of craft foam shapes. They're inexpensive to buy and can be used for a variety of activities from sensory bins, crafts, water play ideas and more! But one of our favourite ways to use the foam shapes is to create gross motor learning games like this Valentine's Day themed high five game.

It's a simple and active way for kids to learn!

For this simple Valentine's gross motor activity, you will need:

  • a package of foam hearts (or make your own out of craft foam)
  • a permanent marker
  • tape
  • a large space to run and move

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You can use this activity to target any skill you wish such as number identification, letter identification, sight word practice, math facts, skip counting, spelling, etc. So feel free to tailor the activity towards your child's needs.

Foam hearts on the wall with numbers written on them

Label the foam hearts with the desired target skill (we chose skip counting by fives and tens) using a marker. If you'd prefer to be able to reuse these foam hearts for other activities, then simply use a dry erase marker on the foam or try using dot stickers to label the hearts.

A little boy placing his hand on one of the hearts on the wall

Once the hearts are all labeled, stick them to the walls in an open space using tape. Place some hearts slightly out of reach so that your child has to jump and stretch to reach them. Put opposite numbers or letters across the room from each other to encourage your kids to move and learn.

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The kids can then run around searching for the next heart in the sequence and give it a big high five. If you are doing the sight words variation, then simply call out a word for them to find.

A child's hand on a heart on the wall

For another fun variation, try playing this game in the bathtub (obviously without the running around!) and a spray bottle. When wet, craft foam sticks to the bathtub or tile walls. Simply wet the foam hearts and stick them to the wall around the bathtub. Then fill up a spray bottle with water and encourage your child to spray the different hearts and read the word, name the letter, solve the math equation, etc.

Article Author Dyan Robson
Dyan Robson

Read more from Dyan here.

Married to her high school sweetheart, Dyan is mom to two boys, J and K, who also teaches piano out of her home. On her blog And Next Comes L, Dyan shares her story of raising a child with hyperlexia, hypernumeracy and autism, amongst a variety of sensory activities for kids. You can find out more about their story on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.


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