Welcome to the “Little Heartbreakers” blog hop, led by Devany of Still Playing School and Laura of LalyMom. My preschoolers and I had a lot of fun with a heart-themed fine motor activity. I know Valentine’s Day isn’t until next month, but I wanted to test everything out before trying it on a larger scale.
Breaking Hearts Fine Motor Activity for Kids
I tend to buy locally, but I’m including Amazon links to comparable items for your convenience.
How we set up this fun fine motor invitation
As I mentioned last year, I’m not a big fan of conversation hearts. Yet I always seem to have a bag or two on-hand in the classroom, and they’re usually stale. I placed some of the mostly-stale candy hearts in a simple sorting tray, along with a nutcracker. I placed the larger hearts on one side, with the smaller hearts on the opposite side.
What the kids did
I asked the kiddos if they wanted to help me with an experiment in breaking hearts. They enthusiastically agreed, as I knew they would!
I explained that we were going to use a nutcracker to break apart some hearts. I showed how to take a candy heart, place it in the nutcracker, and then squeeze the nutcracker.
Once I showed the children what to do, I let them have at it! I sat with them as they broke apart the candy hearts, chatting back and forth.
Since nutcrackers can hurt little fingers, I made sure to keep a close eye on what they were doing. I’m proud of them – they treated the nutcracker carefully, as I’d instructed.
What were the kids learning with this activity?
As I always say, simple activities can still lead to a lot of learning! With our heart-breaking, we managed to cover a lot of ground – almost all of it through talking with the children, letting them ask questions and talk about their observations.
The children exercised their fingers and hands quite a bit with this fine motor activity. Some were able to use the nutcracker with one hand, while many others needed to use two hands to wield it.
We worked literacy into our heartbreaking pretty easily. The children pointed out letters as they looked at the hearts, mentioning which letters were in their names. They asked me what different phrases said, which led into all kind of discussions. I love that this aspect came about organically, with the kids comments and questions.
Math was discussed at the children broke candy hearts, too. They guessed how many pieces some of the hearts would break into, then went back and counted to see how close their guesses were. It would be interesting, next time, to keep a record of the kids’ guesses and the actual answers.
Our breaking hearts fun led to a science discussion, too. We talked about pressure – specifically how much pressure we had to exert to break the hearts with a nutcracker. This led to a discussion about how much pressure we’d need to break them with our fingers.
Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day fine motor activity? If so, be sure to share it in the comments below!
The rest of the Little Heartbreakers crew
Be sure to check out the amazing activities my buds came up with for this series –
Anti Valentine’s Day Baked Cotton Balls |Lalymom
Breaking Hearts: Fine Motor Play |Still Playing School
Fine Motor Gelatin Heart Sensory Play |And Next Comes L
Catapult Science for Kids- Can You Break My Heart? |Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tail
Heartbreaker Smashing Peanut Shells |Sugar Aunts
Color Mixing with Heart Snowball Smashing |How Wee Learn
Bubble Wrap Heart Breaking |House of Burke
Preschool Lesson Plans for Valentine’s Day
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes book suggestions, printable plans, over 30 learning activities (both whole group and centers) related to the theme, and corresponding printables.
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