Work with the kids to create a “You’ve Been Hugged!” Valentine’s Day surprise this February. Heart brownies and a sweet note are great additions to your valentine activities for preschoolers.
You can get the free printable at the very bottom of this post.
Are you following Fun-A-Day’s Valentine’s Day Pinterest board?
Related: Printable Valentine Games
This sweet valentine surprise is something I did with my son. But you can definitely adapt it to your classroom!
Our football brownies inspired the treat, and some good friends inspired the gift idea. We were “boo-ed” around Halloween, which entertained my son to no end!
If you’re unfamiliar with being “boo-ed,” it’s a Halloween tradition! You secretly deliver treats to your neighbors and friends and add a note that asks them to pass along the fun. Our friends at Teach Mama have a great explanation of how to “boo” your friends on a budget!
Based on that surprise, we wanted to create a valentine version of “you’ve been booed.” After chatting a bit, we decided to make heart brownies and add a Valentine’s Day-themed note. We settled on using the phrase, “You’ve Been Hugged!”
Related: Valentine Printable Number Cards
You’ve Been Hugged
I don’t know about you, but I rather enjoy baking and cooking with kids. This includes crafting things in the kitchen with my son, as well as cooking in the classroom.
In addition to all of the fun, which really can’t be discounted, there are so many benefits to cooking and baking. Kids explore a wide variety of concepts, including:
- Following directions
- Fine motor skills
Of course, the above list doesn’t touch on all of the benefits of baking with the kids. Connecting with the children and making memories can’t be overstated either!
Preparation for You’ve Been Boo-ed Valentines
To be completely upfront with you, we didn’t do anything overly fancy to make these Valentine’s Day brownies.
While I know some people enjoy making brownies from scratch, I’ve almost always used a boxed mix as the basis for our brownies.
You can grab a copy of the printables I made to accompany the heart brownies at the bottom of this post.
Related: 20 Valentine’s Day Printables
You’ve Been Hugged Heart Brownie Materials:
- Brownie mix (we used Pillsbury™ Chocolate Fudge Brownie)
- Frosting (we used Pillsbury™ Creamy Supreme® chocolate and vanilla)
- Vegetable oil
- Parchment paper
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Heart cookie cutters (metal, NOT plastic)
Valentine Brownie Directions
Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spray non-stick spray on the heart cookie cutters. Place the cookie cutters on the pan.
Follow the brownie mix directions. If you have a favorite homemade brownie recipe, you can use that instead.
Get the kids involved in as much of the process as possible. My son was excited to show off his egg-cracking skills! He’d been practicing for a while and was sure to let me know he could handle the task.
Once your brownie mix is ready to go, spoon it into the heart cookie cutters. This will allow the brownies to cook into “You’ve Been Hugged” heart shapes! Place the pans in the oven and cook the brownies.
If needed, you can also cook the brownies in a pan as normal! You can cut them into heart shapes after they have fully cooked and cooled. This will, however, result in fewer hearts and more brownie “waste” from the places in the pan you can’t fit the cookie cutter.
Our brownies took about 20 minutes to cook. The timing will likely vary by oven and location, of course. Check the brownies with a toothpick or a knife before declaring them done.
Related: Valentine Math Activities
As you can see, some of the brownie mix did escape underneath the cookie cutters, but it really wasn’t much. We were rather happy with how well they turned out!
Decorating the You’ve Been Hugged Brownies
Once the brownies are cooler, take them out of the cookie cutters. Pull off any bits that escaped under the cutters and gently pull the brownies out.
Apparently I’d forgotten to spray one of the cookie cutters, so that required a sharp knife to remove. Other than that one, the brownies looked lovely and heart-shaped!
After you remove the brownies, make sure they cool down completely. Then grab the icing! We ended up grabbing some valentine-themed sprinkles and candy hearts, too.
Related: Free Printable Counting Hearts Book
Let the kids help you decorate the brownies. My son and I enjoyed just hanging out and decorating the brownies while we chatted about who we wanted to surprise with them. In case you’re wondering, yes, we did “sample” a couple of the brownies. Just for quality control, of course!
Prepare the You’ve Been Hugged Gifts
After the brownies are decorated, it’s time to print out the “You’ve Been Hugged!” notes. You can leave the notes unsigned if you want them to be anonymous. Otherwise, have the kids write their names on the back of the notes. We chose to go the anonymous route with a few of our neighbors.
Then pack up your heart brownies. We placed ours inside some themed boxes, after lining the boxes with parchment paper. Tape the “You’ve Been Hugged notes to the boxes, and then it’s time to deliver the treats!
If this little act of kindness is up your alley, grab the free printable at the very bottom of this post.
What little act of kindness are you and the kiddos going to try this week?
I’d love to see photos of your Valentine’s Day brownies if you decide to “hug” your neighbors or fellow schoolmates. Feel free to share them on Fun-A-Day’s Facebook page!
Preschool Lesson Plans for Valentine’s Day
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets from Preschool Teacher 101! Each set includes book suggestions, printable plans, over 30 learning activities (both whole group and centers) related to the theme, and corresponding printables. Click on the image for more information!
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers.
You’ve Been Hugged Free Printable
This printable is available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. If you’re a member, simply enter your information in the form below to get an email with the printable link.
If you’re not a member, that’s okay! You can enter your information in the form to join us. Then you’ll receive a copy of the printable as a welcome gift.
Please be sure to refer to my printing FAQ if you run into any issues.
If you can’t see the above form, click here to access it.
This post was originally published on February 10, 2016 and sponsored by The J.M. Smucker Company.