Preschool Valentine’s Day Card Holder: Early Childhood Holiday Activity

A classroom card exchange is a Valentine’s Day holiday tradition in many schools. This article features simple how-to steps for young children to create heart shaped card holders. This preschool activity encourages young learners to explore math concepts such as shape and size and experiment with art process.

Valentine’s Day Card Holder Lesson Objectives

  • Learn about the Valentine’s Day holiday.
  • Explore art materials and processes.
  • Develop color and shape recognition skills.
  • Increase fine motor skills.
  • Explore math concepts such as geometry and size/scale.

Grade/ Age Level

This holiday art activity can be used with children ages three and up. Teachers should adapt the lesson to fit specific classroom needs. This includes age and developmental level.

Materials Needed to Create Valentine’s Day Heart Art

  • Construction paper in red, pink, and white
  • Scissors
  • Heart template or stencil
  • Crayons or markers
  • Clear drying, non-toxic glue
  • Tape
  • Tempera paint
  • Paint brushes

Steps to Create Heart Card Holders


Before beginning this activity, teachers should locate appropriately sized heart stencils or templates. Each child will need at least two hearts of two different sizes (more can be used if wanted). The larger heart will need to be almost the same size as a standard sheet of construction paper. The second (which will create the pocket) should be smaller.

There is no need to purchase fancy templates or stencils. These can be created by drawing a heart shape onto a thick paper such as card stock, and then cutting it out. Encourage the children to share. This will mean that each child will not need his or her own.

Process Steps

  1. Give each child a heart template. Have the children trace the heart onto a piece of construction paper.
  2. Give the children a second heart (either larger or smaller than the one just traced). Repeat the tracing step.
  3. Help the children to cut out both hearts.
  4. After the hearts have been cut, ask the children to compare the sizes. Have them place the larger heart on the bottom, and the smaller heart on the top.
  5. Glue the bottom and sides of the smaller heart to the larger one. Make sure that the children only place glue along the edges of the smaller heart. The top should be left glue free and form an opening for the cards to go into. If the glue is not sturdy enough to hold the heart pocket, a layer of clear tape may be applied to secure it together.
  6. Invite the children to decorate the hearts using tempera paints and brushes. They can create abstract color designs or try to make hearts.
  7. Set aside to dry.
  8. Fill with cards!

Holiday Activity Lesson Wrap Up

After the heart card holders have dried, ask the children to discuss how they created this holiday art project. Talk about shape, size, and color. Discussion starters include:

  • How will we use this artwork?
  • What shapes make up the card holder?
  • Who can point out the smaller heart? The larger one?
  • What colors were used?

Valentine’s Day Enrichment Activities

The heart shaped card holder is a great compliment to other holiday and classroom activities.

  • Holiday Party: Use the card holder during a Valentine’s Day classroom party.
  • Bulletin Board: Add this holiday art to a February bulletin board display.
  • Math: Try a similar activity using other shapes in different sizes.
  • Art: Continue the heart theme and give the children the opportunity to create hearts using pencils, markers, or crayons.

The Valentine’s Day card holder activity is a great way to make usable art. Preschool aged children will have fun exploring the art process used (such as cutting, gluing, and painting) and will end up with a unique way to carry special notes from class friends.

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