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.
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.
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:
- Love Heart Number Bonds to Ten by Adventures of Adam to add a fine motor eye hand coordination component to adding up to 10.
- Kindergarten Valentine’s Day Activities from Something 2 Offer to incorporate more hand eye coordination activities into math.
- Valentine’s Day Initial Sound Matching Activity and Kindergarten Valentine’s Day Reading List and Story Extension are literacy activities but can be added to the heart theme.
- Kindergarten Perfect Valentines Experiment by Thriving STEM
- Printable Valentine Coloring Book Pictures from Sight and Sound Reading can be used for coloring and fine motor skills.
- Scratch Art cards by Castle View Academy can be used to create marks in counting.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.