Making valentines is lots of fun. But it also teaches your child that it isn't enough just to feel love; there's also a joy in expressing it. "Children are receivers who get care, time, attention, and presents from adults. But sometimes they need to make something special for others," says Jill Fox, Ph.D., associate professor of early childhood education at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
And when your crafty cupid makes valentines from mixed media, she gets the chance to develop a range of abilities. "Using crayons and glitter improves her fine-motor dexterity, which can help with writing, while cutting out hearts and placing them on a background helps with visual perception concepts like details and distance, which are important for learning how to read," Fox says.