Five Dollars, Five Ways is a series that explores a variety of activities for your kiddos based on a trip to the dollar store with a five dollar budget. We show you how to maximize a few bucks for hours of fun and entertainment!
The dollar store is simply bursting with Valentine’s Day items right now! Besides Valentines for your kid’s classmates and party decorations, there is a wealth of items waiting to be used in creative, fun, and educational ways.
With your budgeted five dollars, you will need to purchase a package of Valentines and a package of conversation hearts.
You should purchase some table scatter or other small objects.
A package of foam hearts and some pipe cleaners are also needed.
If you have some extra funds, buy some stickers. You can make Valentines with the stickers and your leftover supplies!
Activity 1: Valentine Memory Game
Glue Valentines to individual rectangles of paper, so that from behind all of the cards look the same. Place them face down, and take turns turning over two at a time in an attempt to find a match. Go Fish and Old Maid (be sure to remove one card, so there is an “Old Maid” card) can also be played.
Activity 2: Red, Pink, & White Sensory Play & Exploration
Fill a plastic shoe box, bowl, or small bin with white rice, red and/or pink rice (see HERE for the how-to!), red and/or pink play dough (see HERE for instructions), or white beans. Add Valentine’s table scatter, pom-poms, erasers, beads, and other small objects. Your child can use their hands or a spoon to explore away! (Keep an eye on small children who may put small items in their mouths, nose, or ears!)
Activity 3: Hearts on the Floor
Attach hearts to your floor in a circle or a grid. (Foam hearts will hold up the best. I used doilies, but you could also make hearts from construction paper.) I used washi tape for attaching because I knew it would come up easily when we were finished. We practiced following directions and worked on our gross motor skills. (“Jump on a pink heart.” “Run to a Purple Heart.”) You could also do Twister, Mother May I?, or Musical Hearts. For an older child, you could write numbers, letters, or sight words on the hearts and incorporate those into your games.
Activity 4: Conversation Heart Counting & Math
Count how many hearts are in a box. How many are blue, green, pink, etc.? Make number signs for each color. Create a grid, graph, or pie chart. Open another box and compare. Create math problems using the hearts.
Activity 5: Lacing & Weaving for Fine Motor Skills
Punch holes or cut slits in a foam heart. You can make openings around the edge or all over. Weave pipe cleaners, a shoelace, or yarn through the openings. Weave a pipe cleaner diagonally through the middle of a heart, and then turn it into an arrow. I also found a felt heart garland that could be disassembled and woven back together with pipe cleaners.