Valentine’s Day is coming!  Marking this occasion with a little one while also practicing speech and language sounds is an easy combination for LOTS of kisses “mmmmwah” and hugs “awwwe”.

Giving Valentine treats and cards is something that fits perfectly with the idea of a MAILBOX and toddlers love putting things in interesting places – ha! Pretending to send cards or distribute items to family members, family pets, stuffed animals, or imaginary friends is a fun way to play Valentine’s Day.  Saying the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” while making deliveries may be a stretch for little ones, but try “here you go” or “for you”.  Better yet, you start the phrase and then let them finish “it’s for… (YOU)”.  Keep the same phrase or sentence for all of the deliveries – that way your little one gets lots of practice with the same word/phrases.  If you have a toy mailbox (or any box with a slot for “mail”) then you can send your toys, doodles/artwork, flashcards, cut out pictures from old books/magazines to those we love on this special day.

Phrases to repeat and practice (pick one and say it the same way again and again and again):

  • “This is for…(Grandma, Daddy, etc.)”
  • “Send it to…(name)”
  • “bye bye (name of item, picture)”
  • “Here you go”
  • “Put it in”
  • (name of item, picture) for (person) “apple for Daddy”

Setting up LOTS of mailboxes around the house or play area can get your little one moving.  Put a mailbox in different rooms of the house or at least near different stuffed animals and then give directions for your little one to follow: “Give the car to teddy”.  Better yet, offer a choice so that your little one can practice their own words: “Should we give teddy the car or the bus?”

For an easy art activity, IMG_20180126_110845 use white paper plates as mailboxes.  Cut a slot in each, set it on top of a container of some kind and let your little one decorate each mailbox with heart stickers, crayons, markers, paint… etc.  Then they can continue to deliver Valentine cards over and over again!

Make up your own Valentine’s Day song!  Take the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and change the words:

  • When it’s Valentine’s Day, I give you a kiss “mwah, mwah” 
  • When it’s Valentine’s Day, I give you a kiss “mwah, mwah” 
  • When it’s Valentine’s Day, When it’s Valentine’s Day
  • When it’s Valentine’s Day, I give you a kiss “mwah, mwah” 

Change the song to add “When it’s Valentine’s Day, I give you a hug “squeeze, squeeze” or -“When it’s Valentine’s day, I love you – HOORAY”

Books are always good ideas for any day – but don’t worry so much about reading all of the words (Playing with…BOOKS!) Just give a kiss to all of the animals or people you see on the pages.

Valentine’s Day book and toy ideas from Amazon…

(Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.)

                                  

Other posts you may be interested in:

Two little words to encourage communication

Toys that do nothing

Mystery Boxes and Sensory Bins

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