Ready for a fun valentines day hat craft? This paper craft is a great color, cut, and glue craft for kids that builds fine motor skills, coloring skills, and tool uses! Print off enough for your whole caseload or classroom because this printable party hat is great for a Valentine’s Day party activity or to use in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. Add this paper hat craft to your toolbox of occupational therapy activities for Valentine’s day!
valentine hat craft
This Valentine’s day hat (I like to think of it as a crown), is an excellent catalyst not only for working on visual motor skills, but giving learners a chance to get much desired positive attention. Of course not all people want attention, some shy away from being noticed. That is a much deeper issue and can be addressed in another post.
Today we are celebrating Valentine’s Day and feeling special.
What is it about hats and crowns that make children feel so special? For that matter, adults who wear a crown feel mighty fine also! Just look at the royal family. I would gladly don a crown daily to be a princess or queen.
For children, it seems the added attention and smiles brought on by a lovely crown is all the draw they need. Without going into the psychology of attention, extrinsic motivation, or whatever children are lacking, it is nice to be noticed for something positive.
While this is a Valentines day hat/crown activity, it could easily be about so much more. When asked what their favorite holiday is, most people love Christmas. Probably for the sheer joy and magnitude of it all. For myself, my birthday ranks number one. In my daily life I am a therapist, mother, wife, chef, dog mom, daughter, friend, and all around giver. But one day a year, it is all about me. It is not about being showered with gifts, but just a little special attention and notice for one day a year.
Valentine’s day can feel the same for many. One day a year, to feel special by your “person”, can rejuvenate stagnant relationships. Even though Valentine’s day is another obligation of sorts, it is just the motivation some people need to express their feelings to a loved one. While there are true givers who express gratitude and love on a daily basis, there are others who need a little nudge now and again.
My favorites are:
- Valentine’s day is a great excuse to douse everything in sparkles!
- You can eat an entire heart shaped pizza because you are worth it.
- Buy yourself some chocolates
- Love isn’t always easy, so it’s nice to have a day dedicated to the fun, sweet, lovely parts of love.
Valentine’s day is more than romantic love. It is the love for anyone, including your dog!
Show your love for the younger learners by making this adorable Valentine’s crown.
Now, to the serious side of treatment planning; the why, what, and how of using this, or any other activity you choose to share with your learners.
Why Use this Valentine’s Day Hat Craft in OT?
There are many reasons why this printable hat craft are a perfect tool to support skill development:
- It’s fun, that is number one. Fun things are motivating
- It can put a smile on other people’s faces
- It can make the wearer feel special
- Kinesthetic awareness – This means learning by doing.
- Hand strength and dexterity – staying inside the lines builds hand muscles and develops muscle control.
- Visual motor skills –Combining what is seen visually and what is written motorically. This takes coordination to be able to translate information from visual input to motor output. Coloring, drawing, counting, cutting, and tracing are some visual motor skills.
- Visual Perception – Developing figure ground to see where the borders to each item are, scanning to find all items to color, and visual closure to understand this flat paper will create something.
- Strength – Core strength needed for sitting, shoulder/elbow/wrist stability, finger strength, and head control all play their role in writing.
- Bilateral Coordination – Be sure your learner uses their helper hand for stabilizing the paper while using their dominant hand for writing.
- Social/Executive Function – Following directions, turn taking, task completion, orienting to details, neatness, multi-tasking, attending to task, and impulse control can be addressed
Extend the Activity using this Paper Hat Printable
Print off a few copies and get ready to build skills! This printable party hat can be used in so many ways:
- Laminate the page. This can be useful for reusability, if using wipe of markers, or sturdiness when coloring first.
- Different colored paper may make it more or less challenging for your learner
- Cardstock will be easier to handle than copier paper
- Enlarging the font may be necessary to beginning writing students who need bigger space to write and color.
- Create another page with all of the alphabet letters for copying or reference
- Make changes to the type of writing utensil, paper used, or level of difficulty
- Bingo markers are a fun tool for younger learners who can not color yet
- Have students write on a slant board, lying prone on the floor with the page in front to build shoulder stability, or supine with the page taped under the table
- More or less prompting may be needed depending on the level of the task and learner
- Make this part of a larger lesson plan including gross motor, sensory, social, executive function, or other fine motor skills
- GLITTER! Don’t forget that everything is better with glitter!
The printable hat template is great to use as a valentine hats for preschoolers, but also older learners, too. So many skill areas can be covered with this one activity.
How? How do I document or write about this session or activity?
- Determine what goals and skills you are addressing. Are you looking strictly at visual motor skills? Or something else entirely such as executive function and behavior?
- Focus your observations on the skills you are addressing. It is alright to address one or ten skills at once, just be sure to watch for those skills during the activity. This can take practice to watch everything all at once. Newer clinicians often videotape sessions to go back and review clinical observations they may have missed.
- Use data to back up your documentation. Avoid or limit phrases such as min assist, fair, good, some, many, etc. They are vague and do not contain the numbers and data critical to proficient documentation. Instead use percentage of area colored, number of trials, number of errors, exact sizing, how many errors outside of the lines, number of reversals, number of prompts, minutes of attention. You get the idea.
- This type of documentation may feel foreign at first if this is not what you are used to, however insurance and governing agencies are becoming more strict on accurate documentation.
If you are a frequent reader of my posts, you may notice some patterns to my writing, or recurring lists. This is done for two reasons. One, so this post stands alone and does not need to be part of a larger workbook; and two, this may be your first glimpse at the OT Toolbox, and you will be looking for information you can use right away.
If you are totally jazzed about Valentine’s Day, the OT Toolbox has a cool fine motor bundle for you! The Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit has resource and activities to support handwriting, scissor skills, fine motor development, coloring, and much more.
I encourage you to scroll through the archives if you are looking for a certain theme, skill, goal, or just to read my witty prose. There are several contributing writers on the OT Toolbox with a wealth of knowledge to share. Stick around a while and browse…..
Don’t be shy, make yourself a crown to don proudly with your young learners. If you can not have fun at work, then it is just work. Don’t forget the glitter!
Free valentine paper hat craft
Designing my crown now…
Victoria Wood, OTR/L
Victoria Wood, OTR/L has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.