Are you looking for a mess free Valentine’s Day activity for young children? You’ll want to check out our Valentine sensory bags for toddlers.
They are super easy to put together and my kids just love to play with them.
Disclosure: There are Amazon Affiliate and other affiliate links in this article which means, at no additional cost to you, we could receive compensation for our recommendations. You can read our full disclosure policy on our Disclosure Page for more details.
Table of Contents
Valentine Sensory Bags for Toddlers
A sensory bag allows children to experience different textures and manipulate small objects while being contained in a bag. This means it’s mess free and safe for toddlers who tend to put things in their mouths. (You’ll still need to supervise just in case the bag comes open.)
Supplies Needed for the Valentine Sensory Bags
- Zip top plastic bag (gallon or quart size works well)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Paper towel or cloth
- Water beads
- Hair gel
- Craft foam sheets
- Plastic hearts (This is the link on Amazon but you can find them at Dollar Tree for a $1.)
How to Make a Valentine’s Day Sensory Bag with Water Beads
Select a zip top plastic bag. I used a gallon size freezer bag but a quart size bag can work, too. Use rubbing alcohol and a paper towel to remove any labels from your bag.
Follow package directions to hydrate your water beads. (It might take a couple hours.) Add the hydrated water beads to your zip top plastic bag. I found my water beads in the craft section of Walmart. Amazon sells water beads for a good price as well. You can find some water beads already hydrated like the Orbeez brand at several retailers or online.
You can add extra water to your plastic bag or just the water beads. Adding water will change the sensory feeling just a little bit.
I drew a heart on the plastic bag for an added valentine element. Encourage your child to push the water beads into the heart or away from the heart. This focuses on fine motor control.
Here’s a great opportunity to practice counting. How many water beads will fit inside the heart?
You can tape the plastic bag shut if you’re worried your child might try to open it. Taping the bag shut may also help keep the bag from popping open when your child pushes on it. I like to use the freezer bags because they are a bit more sturdy and their zippers tend to be stronger.
If the bag moves around on the table while your child is playing, tape it down.
How to Make Valentine Sensory Bags with Gel
Instead of filling the sensory bag with water, you can use hair gel. I found a bottle of clear hair gel at Dollar Tree.
Using hair gel changes the way the sensory bag feels. It’s more squishy than water. Water will work for this sensory bag, too. Just be careful how full you fill the bag. It may pop open if your child pushes too hard.
Feel free to use tape to seal the top of this bag as well (especially if you’re using water instead of hair gel). You can also tape this sensory bag to the table to prevent it from sliding around while your child plays.
Use rubbing alcohol and a paper towel to remove any labels from your zip top plastic bag. Add the bottle of gel to your bag.
Cut out foam hearts and place them in your plastic bag.
Add plastic hearts to the bag. I found our plastic hearts at Dollar Tree.
Encourage your child to push the plastic hearts around. I started with the plastic hearts on top of the foam hearts. My toddler immediately pushed them all off.
Then, I asked him to push the red hearts back on top of the foam hearts.
Practice counting the hearts. How many red hearts are on the blue heart?
More Toddler Activities for Valentine’s Day
Valentine Crafts for Toddlers – Check out this collection of easy craft ideas for little ones.
Make and play with these fun Silly Heart Puppets!
Frozen Vinegar Hearts – Combines two ingredients kids love: baking soda and vinegar. Add some frozen hearts and you have a perfect Valentine’s Day science activity.
Guess How Much I Love You Movement Game – Have fun moving around and doing the actions from the book with this fun game.