Set aside the conversation hearts (except when experimenting … see idea #4) and show your kiddos how much they mean by filling the day with oh-so sweet activities and games. From playing musical hearts to making suncatchers to concocting potions, the following ideas are fun ways to share the L-O-V-E.

1. Play a Heart Counting Game
It’s craps meets math with a clever counting game from Kids Activities Blog. Roll the dice then add the same number of beans to the heart. The first overflowing heart is the winner! Play again and again — it’s a lovely (and educational) way to celebrate the holiday. Get the rules and DIY details over at Kids Activities Blog.

valentinecountinggame_diedresmith_valentinesdayactivities_national_redtricyclePhoto: Deirdre Smith

2. Concoct a Love Potion
Will it be Love Potion #9? Kids will get a kick out of concocting their very own lovey-dovey potion for Valentine’s Day. Mix glitter with Kool-aid and vinegar for an eye-popping explosion! Mad scientist and loving mama Brittany can give you the ins and outs of this cool activity over at Love Play and Learn.

lovepotion_brittanymarazan_valentinesdayactivities_national_redtricyclePhoto: Brittany Marazan

3. Play Musical Hearts
Want to walk all over hearts? It’s totally acceptable — and encouraged — during a session of musical hearts. Each heart has a entertaining activity written on the bottom. When the music stops, the kids start! Creative mom Amy incorporates reading and acting into each prompt, and shares her awesome list of activities on her site, Teach Mama.

musicalhearts_amymascott_valentinesdayactivities_national_redtricyclePhoto: Amy Mascott

4. Experiment With Conversation (Hearts)
Tiny conversation hearts are big on charm but short on taste. Kids can use these little love messages to start a different type of conversation. First, fill recycled plastic bottles with various forms of liquid. Drop in candy hearts and observe what happens next! We love how Mary Catherine of Fun-A-Day conducted her experiment: Keep the plastic bottles filled for future experimentation and used a dry-erase board to highlight all the potential outcomes. Check out Fun-A-Day for the lowdown.

candyheartscience_valentinesdayactivities_national_redtricyclePhoto: Mary Catherine

5. Learn ABCs by Heart
Want to put the kiddo’s knowledge to the test? See if they know their ABCs by heart with a colorful set of letters. Find out where Jamie of Hands On As We Grow grabbed her game set, or try your hand at making your very own.

matchinghearts_jaimereiner_valentinesdayactivities_national_redtricyclePhoto: Jaime Reiner

6. Let the Sun into Your Heart
This is yet another clever way to use up the bits of broken crayon you’ve collected from the bottom of the arts and crafts box. The unusual list of materials includes parchment paper, iron and a cheese grater. Mom and Makobi Scribe blogger Jennifer explains why an old towel comes in handy and why it’s so much fun to let the kids grate up the crayons. The end result is colorful and heartwarming.

heartsuncatcher_jennifermadieros_valentinesdayactivities_national_redtricyclePhoto: Jennifer Medeiros

7. Hop Over Hearts
It’s hopscotch, Valentine’s style. Use cardstock (what else?) in red, pink and white, add numbers or letters, grab something heavy(ish) to throw and start hopping! You’ll be crushing on how much your kids are learning, from letter or number skills to physical coordination. Get more details on this simple game from mom and educator Kristina by visiting Toddler Approved.

hearthopscotch_valentinesdayactivities_national_redtricyclePhoto: Kristina Buskirk

8. Hearts on a String
The littles in your life can leave hearts hanging with an amazingly chic and clever craft. Stock up with red Fimo clay, string and a needle (parents, you better handle that part). Then create a string of hearts, bracelets or necklaces. Get the details from DIY master mama Jordan at Oh Happy Day.

heartsonastring_jordenferney_valentinesdaycrafts_national_redtricyclePhoto: Jordan Ferney

9. LOVE Painting
With watercolors and masking tape your budding artists can create a color-filled message of love. Heavy watercolor paper is a must and mom/project manager Valerie suggests waiting until the colors have completely dried before removing the tape. Get more tips and tricks over at Inner Child Fun.

lovepainting_valeriedeneen_valentinesdaycrafts_national_redtricyclePhoto: Valerie Deneen

10. Treasure Hunt of Love
The clever clues and hand-written love notes in this simple-but-brilliant treasure hunt we found too sweet not to share. Cut out large hearts for hints and attach treats to each for added sweetness! The treasures at the end can be anything from simple toys to gift cards. Get great tips for making clues by visiting Thriving Home.

scavengerhunt_valentinesdayactivities_national_redtricyclePhoto: Polly Conner

What activities do you have planned for Valentine’s Day? Share with us in the comments!

— Gabby Cullen