3 Easy Valentine’s Day Activities to Target Speech and Language Goals!

Throw Your Heart Into Valentine’s Day!

By Lindsay Hoffer, M.S., CF-SLP

Valentine’s Day makes me think of chocolate, the color pink, and classroom parties. This might hold true for many people, but this holiday is much more jam-packed with ways to target your child’s speech and language goals than you think – and all you need are a few things that you probably already have on hand!

Let’s take a look at 3 simple materials you can use to target a wide variety of goals:

Conversation Candy Hearts

These classic treats can do so much more than give your child a sugar buzz!

  • Target prepositions by hiding the hearts all around the room. Then, give your child clues to follow so they can find all the hidden candy! Clues might sound like: “One heart is hiding between the books,” “I see some candy hiding behind the lamp.” Or, let your child go on a candy hunt and have them tell you where they found each piece (“I found this one next to the window,” “This one was under the chair”).
  • Play Bingo and use candy hearts as the Bingo markers. Kids love getting their hands on new materials, and candy hearts are much more interesting that regular Bingo chips. To get even more into the Valentine spirit, play a Bingo game that targets Valentine’s Day vocabulary, like this freebie by Tamsyn Fegan
  • Use the conversation starters on the candy hearts to target social skills. Talk about what situations each conversation starter would be appropriate to use in. Role play some of these scenarios by having your child pick a conversation starter, and keep the conversation going to practice turn-taking and topic maintenance. Have your child think of their own conversation starters for different scenarios – give bonus points if they start a conversation related to a Valentine’s Day situation, such as giving someone a valentine or being at a Valentine’s Day party!

Paper Heart Cutouts

Cut out heart shapes from different colored construction paper (which you probably already own), and get ready to target some speech and language goals!

  • Write down target articulation words on these hearts. Put them in an empty chocolate box and have your child pull the words out one-by-one to practice their speech sounds. After practicing the word, glue the hearts together to make a paper chain decoration, or onto a paper plate to make a wreath – the craft possibilities are endless!
  • Fold a paper heart in half. Then write down two words or glue two pictures to talk about how they are the same or different. Make the paper hearts larger and write down your child’s observations underneath the word or picture! Punch a hole above each word or picture, weave string through each hole, and make heart garland to decorate for the holiday!
  • There are lots of idioms that relate to Valentine’s day. Some idioms include: head over heels, heart in the right place, two peas in a pod, sweep you off your feet. Target figurative language by writing the idiom on one paper heart, and the meaning on another. Use the hearts to play Memory and match each idiom with its meaning!


Get ready for Valentine’s Day by making your own valentines! Alright, this technically doesn’t count as a “material” you might have on-hand like the hearts mentioned above, but making this holiday’s namesake is still pretty easy – and inexpensive! Use some of the candy or paper hearts mentioned above to minimize prep time!

  • Target auditory comprehension and following directions by giving your child step-by-step directions on how to make a valentine. Give one-, two-, or three- step directions based on your child’s ability level. Directions might sound like: “First glue on the red heart, then draw a smiley face on it.”
  • Have your child write their own valentine messages and work on grammar. Think about who the valentine is for and make sure they use the appropriate pronouns when talking about the receiver. Is their punctuation correct? Did they capitalize and spell words correctly? Did they match subjects and verbs appropriately? Practice writing these messages on separate paper before writing inside each valentine – this will allow you to help them correct their errors while they avoid the frustration of crossing out or erasing words inside their valentine. The end results will look much more put-together!
  • Target social/pragmatic skills by discussing what to write in the valentine. Talk about what compliments are, when and why we say them, and brainstorm compliments to give to the people you are writing valentines for.
  • Bonus: complete the candy hearts conversation starter activity (above) beforehand. Then role play what conversation starter to use when giving each person their valentine!

Early Intervention

Most of the above activities are geared towards school-aged children. Here are some ideas for using the same materials with your little ones!

  • Use the paper hearts to learn about colors or size. Have your child help you sort the hearts into piles while talking about what color or size they are, then use the hearts to make one of the crafts mentioned above!
  • Following very basic directions: “Give the heart to_____”  “Put the heart______”
  • Cut a slot into the top of an empty chocolate box (or any box with a lid) and “send” the paper hearts as valentines to people. Use words like in, out, send, heart, and people’s names (Mommy and Daddy, siblings, etc.) to give your child specific vocabulary to use while pretending to send these valentines to their loved ones.
  • Draw your own valentines! Ask questions and talk about who/what the child is drawing on their valentine to ramp up how much language your child uses during this activity. Or, instead of coloring, use the paper and candy hearts you have been playing with to make valentines and target verbs such as cut, glue, color, and make, as well as other vocabulary such as colors, valentine, hearts, give, etc.



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