## Valentine’s Day Math Activity

This Valentine’s Day math activity is an easy activity designed to promote hand eye coordination and other fine motor math activities. Hand eye coordination, otherwise known as eye hand coordination, is a visual motor skill needed for so many functional tasks in children. This particular hands-on math activity was created to not only help with math skills around Valentine’s Day, but also to develop the essential coordination skills that kids need. It was easy to throw together and made working on a few Kindergarten math concepts more fun for my kiddo.

Add this idea to your Occupational therapy Valentine’s Day activities along with our new printable Valentine’s Day cards, too!

## Hand Eye Coordination Activity

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To create this Valentines math activity, I cut a piece of cardboard into smaller pieces and then used them to make small heart shapes. On those hearts, I wrote numbers 1-20.  The hearts that we used were about 1 and a half inches tall but, you could create larger hearts, if coordination skills are something you need to address.

In our hand-eye coordination activity, we used a large red tweezer to work on picking up the hearts from a small container.

Typically, using tweezers is a great way to work on fine motor skills like hand strength, tripod grasp, and arch development.  Here is information on the fine motor skills that tweezers help to establish, especially when using a smaller, hand-sized tong or tweezer.

With these extra large Jumbo Tweezers, the actual tweezer tool is larger than the hand. Because of this, different muscle groups are working.

The size of the Jumbo Tweezers requires the hands to open and shut with the thumb and all of the fingers.  This adduction and abduction of the thumb and slightly flexed MCP joints uses encouraged more of opposition of the thumb.  The wrist is extended and in an effective position for functional tasks.

Grabbing up the cardboard hearts requires hand-eye coordination or visual motor integration.  The ability to effectively use hand-eye coordination in activities like handwriting, scissor use, games, and play allows children to write within given spaces, cut along lines, and move game pieces in a coordinated and fluent manner.

## Free therapy resources for Valentines

If eye-hand coordination, visual motor skills, and handwriting are tasks that you are working on with children, you’ll love both of these free therapy slide decks. Use them to outline occupational therapy interventions or to use in teletherapy sessions this time of year.

Free Spot It Handwriting Slide Deck

Free Gross Motor Valentine’s Day Activity Slide Deck

## Valentines Math Activity

These number hearts worked well with a few different hands on math activities, especially kindergarten math concepts. And, the heart counters made a great Valentines math activity for this time of year.

The activity is very open-ended, so there are many ways you could use this activity to work on math concepts at different levels. Here are some of the hands-on math activities that we completed:

Practice odd/even numbers- We then did a round of looking for and picking up the even numbers and then the odd numbers with the tweezers.

Number order- To practice our hand-eye coordination with these hearts, I had my son try to find and pick up the hearts in number order.

Counting by 10s- Practice counting up by tens and then count by tens into 100.

Number bonds- You can use the number hearts to build and take apart numbers to build and understanding of addition and subtraction facts. My son’s favorite was using the side without numbers to build and take apart numbers.  We did a snowman version of number building when my older daughter was in Kindergarten.

Composing and decomposing numbers- With the cardboard hearts, we practiced composing and decomposing numbers.  I named a number, like “7” and my son had to use the hearts to build number 7 in many different ways.  He pulled out 7 hearts and separated them into two piles: one with 3 hearts and one pile with 4 hearts. We used more hearts to make other ways to take apart 7, too: 6 and 1, 5 and 2, 4 and 3, 2 and 5, and 1 and 6.

## More Valentine Math activities

Try some of these ways to play and learn using the

• Practice number formation: pull out a heart with the Jumbo Tweezers
and have your child write that number.
• Ask your child to pull out a pile of hearts. They can count with one to one correspondence and then write the number.
• Use the hearts in a ten frame.
• Practice counting the hearts, starting at different numbers.

Here are more Valentine Math Activities:

## Valentines Fine Motor Activities

If you need more hand eye coordination activities for Valentine’s Day fine motor fun, try the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit.

The Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit is here! This printable kit is 25 pages of hands-on activity sheets designed to build skills in pinch and grasp strength, endurance, eye-hand coordination, precision, dexterity, pencil control, handwriting, scissor skills, coloring, and more.

When you grab the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit now, you’ll get a free BONUS activity: 1-10 clip cards so you can challenge hand strength and endurance with a counting eye-hand coordination activity.

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making \$3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

## Valentines Fine Motor Activities

If you are looking for a low-prep Valentines fine motor activities, then this is it. Sometimes, a quick and easy activity falls together without any plans. This Valentine’s Day Math activity just kind of happened one afternoon after we had some hot cocoa with sprinkles. It’s a kindergarten math or preschool valentine fine motor activity with a heart theme that will align perfectly with your Valentine’s Day occupational therapy plans.

For more Valentine fine motor fun, use these printable Valentine cards for folding, coloring, and cutting.

Heart math activities like this one bring on the fine motor love with big benefits! For another heart activity that develops skills, try this heart visual perception maze.

I know when we have sprinkles on anything, that they go crazy for any misplaced sprinkle.  Is it just my kids???   I gathered up the random sprinkles (really, why do sprinkles end up everywhere??!) and a handful of hearts and we did a little Valentine’s Day math.

## Valentines Fine Motor Activities

We started with the leftover valentine’s day sprinkles from a hot chocolate treat. I gathered up the stray heart sprinkles
and had Big Sister pick out the other hearts from the tray of mixed sprinkles.

This is a fabulous fine motor activity with a big motivator (SPRINKLES!) and a fun way to practice pincer grasp (tip to tip grasp of the thumb and pointer finger).

You can encourage your child to tuck away a few sprinkles into their hand as they pick out the hearts.  This is called translation from fingers to palm and is an important part of in-hand manipulation (manipulating items within the hand).

These skills are important in pencil grasp and positioning in handwriting.

We used hearts that we had leftover from another activity.  These are just little hearts cut from pink cardstock.  I wrote numbers on the hearts and had the kids put the correct number of sprinkles on each heart.

This was a fun (and tasty) math and fine motor activity for all of the kids, but my 5 year old was able to do some beginning math as he counted out the sprinkle manipulatives and matched them to the correct number (number identification) and my 3 year old counted along aloud.

All three kids were very happy with the end result of this math and fine motor activity…more sprinkles to eat!

## more Valentines Fine Motor Activities?

Heart Fine Motor Math Activity

Heart Fine Motor Sorting Activity

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

One Zillion Valentines Craft

Want to add more Valentine Fine Motor activities and movement tools to your skill-building?

The Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit is here! This printable kit is 25 pages of hands-on activity sheets designed to build skills in pinch and grasp strength, endurance, eye-hand coordination, precision, dexterity, pencil control, handwriting, scissor skills, coloring, and more.

When you grab the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit now, you’ll get a free BONUS activity: 1-10 clip cards so you can challenge hand strength and endurance with a counting eye-hand coordination activity.