Valentine’s Day Garland Craft Noodle Painting

Valentine’s Day activities are all around!  If you are looking for a few Valentine’s Day activities to add to your OT line-up, I’ve got you covered with activities that pack a developmental punch. Have you been cutting any hearts yet?  Covered a box in paper for a Valentine’s exchange?  Bought cards for the kids to give out at school?  We’ve done a few activities…there was this Valentine’s Day Painting and even a Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin that you may have seen. 
Painting noodles is such a fun creative painting activity that you can use to make bracelets and necklaces while building fine motor skills.
This Noodle Painting activity started out as a fine motor activity for Baby Girl and turned into a pretty Valentine’s Day craft and decoration. 


Fine Motor Craft for kids with painted noodles with a Valentine's Day theme!



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Fine Motor Activity for Toddlers

Painting a variety of noodle types is a great fine motor and sensory experience for Toddlers.

Baby Girl (age 2) LOVES to paint.  She will ask to paint almost every day.  One day I decided to bring out something besides paper for her to cover with paint.  I pulled out a small handful of different dried pastas and put them into a divided dish.  In the center was our spill roof paint cup

with red paint. 

Baby Girl got busy painting.  She explored each noodle and had fun painting!  Manipulating the little pastas was a great fine motor dexterity task…and very sensory too, as she covered her fingers with paint. 
We let the painted pasta dry and ended up using it another day to make our Valentine’s day craft.

Valentine’s Day Noodle Garland craft

Squeezing glue is a great hand strengthening activity for Toddlers.
I cut some hearts from red construction paper and gave Baby Girl glue.  She squeezed the glue all over the hearts…however she liked!
Squeezing glue is a good way to encourage hand strengthening in children.  Squeezing the glue bottle requires a gross grasp on the bottle.  A gross grasp is using the whole hand in a squeezing manner and really strengthens the muscles of the hand.
She put the painted noodles in the glue with a tip to tip (pincer grasp).  Picking up small objects with just the tips of the fingers requires precision and dexterity. 


Create a Valentine's Day heart garland for decoration and fine motor/sensory experience.

The hearts dried and we strung them along a strand of yarn in our dining room.  They make a pretty Valentine’s Day decoration!


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