Painted Foil Hearts are an easy Valentine’s Day craft that toddlers and preschoolers will love. After making the hearts, use them to explore the difference between shiny and dull surfaces. It’s a simple sorting activity that introduces a bit of new vocabulary to your child. This post contains affiliate links.
Ollie’s Valentine by Olivier Dunrea
Ollie’s Valentine was the inspiration for our painted foil hearts and the science exploration that followed. Ollie is a little gosling who is searching for a valentine. All of his friends have beautiful valentines (shiny foil hearts in different colors). Who will give Ollie a valentine? As we read this book, my daughter loves to say the color of each of the gosling’s valentines. There’s a surprise at the end. You’ll find a heart-shaped mirror. You get to give Ollie a valentine heart.
Painted Foil Hearts
- Aluminum foil
- Clear glue
- Liquid watercolors
- Cotton swabs
- Heart shape cookie cutters
Place a piece of foil on top of a cookie cutter. Press down to get the shape of a heart. Cut around the heart and foild the edges under.
In a disposable container, mix a few drops of liquid watercolors with clear glue until you get the color you want. Use a cotton swab to paint the mixture onto a foil heart. The glue helps the watercolor stick to the heart and keeps it shiny.
Cover the entire heart with a layer of watercolors and glue. Allow it to dry.
Use different size cookie cutters to get different size hearts. You could also just trace a heart and cut it out. I found the cookie cutter to be easier.
I am really thrilled with how these look. The colors are vibrant and the foil is still shiny. I cut the hearts out for my daughter (she’s almost 3) and she painted them. Older kids could probably handle this project on their own.
Exploring Shiny and Dull Surfaces
Once you have the shiny foil hearts, use them for a science exploration. They make for a great lesson in exploring shiny and dull surfaces and introducing a bit of vocabulary.
Collect an assortment of shiny and dull objects from around the house.
Talk to your child about what the words shiny and dull mean. Ask her what objects are shiny? How can we tell? The shiny objects reflect light. We did the activity next to a window, so it was easy to see what was shiny. You could use a flashlight to help you out if there’s not enough light.
Sort through the objects placing them into two piles.
What else do you see around the house that’s shiny?
More Valentine’s Day Science Ideas
Make a valentine themed discovery basket for baby – It’s a great way to explore different colors, sounds, and textures with a fun Valentine’s Day theme. Toddlers will enjoy this one, too.