Origami Hearts, Valentine’s Craft. An easy origami paper craft for children of all ages. In addition, some basic ideas for using the completed hearts as teaching tools with some fun activities. From a Mom of four in Japan. I am a native English speaker from Ireland, but my children who were born and raised in Japan are are learning English as their second language (ESL). (Japanese is their first language). I have no affiliation to any of the websites linked in this post, nor do I receive any sort of commission for linking them. I am just sharing free resources I have found very useful with my children. All ideas in this post are my own.
Origami hearts, Valentine’s Craft
These simple origami hearts, suited to young children and Origami beginners, were a big hit with my toddler and preschooler today. You can find the instructions and a printable version on Origami Club here, a photo of the instructions is also pictured below. The instructions are in Japanese, but each step comes with a visual that is easy to follow. Four year old was able to complete this from the visual instructions with no assistance, three year old needed some help. All you need is Origami paper or symmetrical paper that holds a crease.
After making some hearts, I came up with a few games using the hearts, that incorporated numbers, letters, reading and writing practice. We used recycled origami paper from other crafts to make 30 hearts.
1. ABC Origami hearts
When you finish folding the heart the front parts open up so you can write on the inside of the heart. We wrote a letter of the alphabet on the left hand side of the inside of 26 hearts.
2. ABC match
Next, using our large ABC foam mat, we did a physical activity with the hearts. The kids got a heart each, opened it to see what letter they had, then matched it to the letter on the ABC foam mat. Once they correctly placed a letter they took another and raced to place it. They really enjoyed this activity.
3. Word heart match
On the right hand side of the inside of the hearts I wrote various 3 and 4 letter words. I then put out a picture card with 3 worded hearts, one of which matched the picture. The kids had to match the correct word to the picture.
4. Claiming hidden hearts
Kids love to find hidden things, right? Hide the hearts (with words if you’ve done activity 3 above) around a room and have the kids find them. For older children, have them read the words inside the heart to claim that heart.
5. Counting hearts on hearts
This one is based on a very easy activity on toddlerapproved.com I (heart) counting with numbers one to ten. For our version I drew 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 hearts onto 6 origami hearts. Get the kids to count out the hearts and then place the right heart on the right number.
6. Heart Cards
Finally, we turned the hearts that didn’t have too much writing on them into Valentine’s cards, by writing a message on the inside.
You might also like these Children’s Day – Kodomo no Hi – crafts and ideas with free printables:
This filled up a whole afternoon with fun and number, letter, reading and writing practice to boot! And thanks to these activities I got my first ever Valentine’s card from my four year old, written by himself, unaided and unbeknownst to me IN ENGLISH* “I love you Mammy”. (*English is his 2nd language so usually cards are in Japanese… or squiggles!)
Published in 2013, republished in 2014 and still going strong in 2021!! Thank you for your interest in this post. If you liked this, you’ll love this easy dolls festival paper cup craft, with free materials. Or this easy origami for toddlers, also for “hina matsuri” dolls festival .