This year, instead of sending the typical Valentine’s to school with my daughter we’ve been having fun coming up with fun Sensory Valentines. Today, we’re sharing our Spinning Top Sensory Valentines!
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Fidgets are always a good idea in my house for helping burn a bit of energy, keeping little hands busy, and focusing children on something calming when life gets overwhelming. It’s a good idea to have several different types of fidgets, both to provide different forms of sensory stimulation and to prevent the kids from getting bored of the same fidget and having it lose it’s effectiveness!
We like to keep our fidgets easily accessible in a few different places – backpacks, a basket in the kitchen (the “hub” of our house), and our peace corners.
(For more information on how fidgets can help, check out these Sensory Hacks to Focus a Fidgety Child.)
How To Make A Spinning Top Sensory Valentine
First, gather your materials:
- Spinning Valentine Printable (download at the bottom of this post)
- Spinning Tops (we love these with goo inside)
- Clear School Glue or small bags or hole punch & rubber bands
You can assemble and present these Spinning Top Valentine’s in a couple of different ways. If the handle of the top is long enough, you can wrap the paper Valentine around it, or you can place the top in a bag and tape the bag to your paper Valentine.
We decided to do something a bit different. We used a child-safe hole punch to make heart-shaped holes in the ends of our strips, pushed the handle of the top through and wrapped a rubber band around the handle to secure it – making it so that the rubber band created an “edge” or “lip” that prevents the top from sliding back through the hole.
This was a great fine motor activity for my daughter – pinching the tops, flicking her fingers to make them swirl, and then pressing down on the hole punch and winding the rubber band around the handle of the tops. I definitely think half of the fun in handing out sensory valentines is putting them together!
Click here to download your Spinning Top Printable Valentines.
It’s also a great idea to spend some time teaching your child how to use a spinning top, if they don’t know already, so they can show off to their friends and don’t get frustrated trying to work it out on their own. (There’s nothing worse than a fidget that frustrates rather than stimulates.)
What is your go-to fidget or calming toy for your child during anxious moments?
Find more adventures in Sensory Valentine’s Play:
Jennifer is a Canadian psychologist and single mom staying home full-time to homeschool her daughter. She shares hands-on learning ideas, parenting inspiration, and recipes daily on her blog, Study at Home Mama.