Valentine Themed Activities Made from Recycled Materials

The following Heart themed activities to celebrate Valentine's Day are simple to make and the recycled materials are readily available, especially if you use red detergent  or dishwashing soap bottles.

If you have some red detergent or dish washer soap bottles around- give them a rinse in a hot tub, scrape off the labels. By the way, placing the labels into a blender, then drying the pulp on a screen will create colorful cardboard.... 

  1. Let's begin with the easiest activity to construct- a lacing board. The beauty of making your own is that the parent, teacher or therapist may individualize the size and number of holes according to the student's or client's skill level. I tied a strip of fabric cut from an old sheet to one of the holes. Adding duct tape to the tip makes it easier to manipulate the string through the holes.
  2. You may cut heart shapes out of a red bottle to make a Valentine's Day Velcro Bottle Activity. Velcro Bottles have has been extremely successful in promoting bilateral hand skills for people of all ages and ability levels. Use smaller pieces of sticky-back Velcro to make it easier to pull the shapes off and then insert them into the top opening. Use greater amounts of Velcro to strengthen fingers and add challenge. Another option is to screw the cap onto the bottle and cut a slit into the bottle's side for inserting flat, red hearts. This will promote eye-hand coordination. The following video provides more information on how to use Velcro Bottles.

3. Cut a heart shape out of plastic or cardboard. Place paper under it and you have a Heart stencil-to color or paint inside of - with red crayons or paint.

4. The stencil may be attached to a magnetic surface and filled in with red magnetic pieces to create the heart shape. If you do NOT have magnetic shapes, try attaching red paper clips instead....

The following video provides more ideas on making magnetic stencils.

5. Individuals with hemiplegia might find greater success pushing down on the large handle of the bottle used to make a heart  jig  as shown below. Color, paint or glue small pieces of red paper inside the stencils.  Experiment using this on a table, or pressed against paper taped to the wall to see which plane works better with an individual. Make this out of Smaller red bottles when working with children or others with small hands.

6. Hearts cut from plastic bottles may have a hole cut in the center that is large enough to use on a ring stack. The ones in the following video have small punched holes in order to string hearts onto the thin plastic coil.

7. The following "weaving Valentine heart" is made from red, white and green plastic bottles. Cut as many slits as desired to weave arrows through.

The photograph below demonstrates what an end product might look like. But experiment and try different sizes, shapes, numbers of slits to cut etc. ...

Coloring the heart's border is optional....The dry erase markers that I used can be wiped clean with a wet cloth- another great sensory, hand strengthening activity....

8. I cut 2 notches in several hearts to lace onto a long white strand of plastic cut from a round bleach bottle.  I've made similar seasonal activities cutting Easter eggs, pumpkins, or shamrocks etc. The child shown in the photo is removing the hearts to insert into a container; she is sitting on a horse and is only 2 years old!


I hope that you

some of these Heart activities!



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