Use these free printable valentine cutting and tracing strips in a wide variety of ways. They’re perfect for fine motor practice, and you’ll definitely want to add them to your valentine activities for preschoolers.
You can get the printable at the very bottom of this post.
Related: Free Preschool Printables
Fine motor activities are a staple in preschool. Sometimes because little fingers are itching to explore things like puzzles and LEGO bricks. And sometimes because teachers set up invitations that encourage the fine motor fun.
Why are fine motor skills important? Children use their fine motor muscles for a variety of things. Here are just a few of those things:
- Dressing themselves
- Feeding themselves
- Playing with toys
- Using scissors
Which serves to explain why we like to give preschoolers so many opportunities for fine motor practice.
Valentine Cutting Printable
I put together a simple set of fine motor printables you can use with the kids. They’re great for tracing, cutting, and more!
Materials for the Valentine Printable
We didn’t use too many things with our valentine cutting strips:
You can definitely use different manipulatives than we did! Here are some suggestions:
How to Prep the Valentine Cutting Strips
These strips are pretty easy to prep, so you won’t spend too much time getting everything ready.
First, print off the sheets you’d like to use with your students. This printable has 4 pages, each with 3 cutting strips.
Cut each page apart into individual strips, for a total of 12 valentine tracing strips.
After that, it’s a matter of deciding if you want the strips to be consumable or reusable (or both).
If they’ll be consumable, you can leave the valentine cutting pieces as is.
On the other hand, if they’ll be reusable, you’ll want to protect the strips in some way. You can laminate the tracing strips, or you can place them in dry erase pockets.
This time, we chose to keep some of the cutting strips reusable with dry erase pockets. And we also kept a few consumable.
How to Use the Valentine Cutting Strips
As I mentioned earlier, this printable can be used in a variety of ways. That’s one of the reasons I love printables over preschool worksheets – you can use them in more than one way, and you can incorporate hands-on materials with them.
Below I’ll outline the different ways the kids can trace from the valentine-themed children on the left to the hearts on the right. You can bring in some of your own ideas, too. Or, better yet, get the kids’ input on it. They come up with some very creative ideas, don’t they?
The children can use their fingers to trace over the valentine cutting strips. This will feel extra smooth if the strips are laminated. You can add glitter glue over top of the dotted lines too. When the glue dries, the kids can again trace over the lines.
You can even pair the strips with a simple sensory writing tray. The tracing strips can serve as cue cards, prompting the children to trace the patterns into the sensory materials.
Manipulatives, like mini erasers or glass gems, can be used to trace over the lines too. We used mini erasers because they’re a favorite around here! But anything small the kids can manipulate would serve this purpose.
Related: Valentine’s Day Printables
For a challenge, add some tongs to the mix. The children can use the tongs to place the manipulatives on the dotted lines.
Dry erase markers can also be used to trace over the lines on the valentine tracing strips. For more sensory input, have the kids who are ready for it recreate the patterns using chalk on mini chalkboards.
If your strips aren’t laminated, consider using washable markers or crayons for this. You can even challenge the kids to “rainbow color” each line. Some children love this use of extra color!
Stickers can also be placed along the tracing lines, too! The gives the children even more fine motor skills practice. They have to remove the sticker from the sheet and then place it on the appropriate spot. Plus, I’ve never known a preschooler who doesn’t love stickers!
We used simple red dot stickers, but valentine-themed stickers would be a blast, too.
And, of course, scissors! We can’t forget scissors when we’re talking about a valentine cutting printable right?! The children can use scissors to cut on the line.
To make the line even more obvious, have the kids add stickers to it. THEN they can cut along the sticker path, like we did.
Well, now that I’ve shared some of our favorite ways to use the valentine cutting printable, it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate these into your classroom?
What are the Kids Learning?
I couldn’t leave without touching on what the kids are learning as they use our valentine cutting and tracing strips.
I’ve already said this – these printables are pretty simple. But that doesn’t mean the learning is in any way simplistic!
Here are some of the skills kids can practice with these strips:
- Fine motor skills
- Scissor skills
- Visual discrimination
- Sensory exploration
- Pencil grasp
- Left-to-right directionality
Observe your students as they use the tracing strips. What do you see them focusing on? Each child will, of course, be different. I always find it interesting to see which kids focus on different aspects of a learning invitation.
Valentine Lesson Plans
If you and your students enjoyed the valentine cutting and tracing printable, they’ll enjoy these done-for-you preschool resources from Preschool Teacher 101.
The Valentine’s Day lesson plans has over 100 pages of weekly and daily plans, detailed activity descriptions, book suggestions, and related printables.
Be sure to check out the membership options while you’re there! Preschool Teacher 101 have even more resources at their fingertips.
Get the Valentine Cutting and Tracing Printable
The valentine tracing printable is available to members of Fun-A-Day’s email community. If you’re a member, go ahead and enter your information in the form below. You’ll receive an email with a link to the freebie.
If you’re not a member, don’t stress! You can use the below form to join us, and you’ll receive the printable as a welcome gift.
If you can’t see the above form, click here to access it.
Please note that sometimes school districts interfere with seeing or completing the form, as well as the download links in emails. If that’s the case, you might want to use your home email address. You can read more printing help tips on my FAQ page.