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

Origami hearts valentines 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.

Instructions for Origami hearts were taken from https://www.origami-club.com/valentine/easyheart/easyheart/index.html
Instructions for Origami hearts were taken from Origami Club (Click to be brought to site)

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 .


    1. I was teary eyed and blubbery. They know how to melt you, don’t they!?

  1. I can’t get my hands on origami, but you made this one looks so easy. And a perfect timing too.

    1. The Daiso 100 yen shops sell great little bilingual (Japanese/English) origami books. They have beginner, intermediate and advanced. They also have a good selection of origami paper. Are there any Daiso’s in Okinawa?

    1. 🙂 Once upon a time, I think I was. Trying to find my inner child and crafting mojo again. Plenty of practice is helping 🙂

      Thank you for commenting 🙂

  2. Impressed with the quality of your photos, Elle. How do you do it? Mine look fine on my computer but when I upload them they look blurred every time.

    1. Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. I have been “off” on summer holidays, so this was a very
      welcome “back to reality” message. 🙂

  3. Thanks for these great ideas! I’m always looking for activities to keep my kids occupied. The Valentine theme would be cute to do this week!

    1. Author

      I’m so glad you liked it and I hope you have fun making them. ???? Thank you for commenting ☺

  4. This is an awesome post! I am a nanny so I will definitely be using these ideas next week! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Author

      Thank you for your kind words Mayara. ☺And for being my first comment from SYBL ???? I hope your kids have fun with it.

  5. i would love to make some of these origami hearts with my baby cousin. i just wish he lived closer so we could do this kind of stuff together

    1. Author

      How about over skype, then you could send him the finished hearts ???? Thank you so much for commenting ☺

  6. So sweet! I love the simple instructions and the colorful results. I babysit frequently and haven’t thought of oragami for an activity for younger kids. Good idea.

    1. Author

      Thanks Kendra.???? I love origami as there is no prep needed – I have a book, so I just whip it out and myself and the older kids work on something. I enjoy it too ☺

  7. Hi Lynda! I love this origami hearts. And looks easy to make them. Tomorrow I will rush to the shop to by red papers and I will make this hearts and giving to random people on the street on Valentines day 🙂 Yuhey :)))

    1. Author

      Thank you for your kind comments… I love the vision of you handing out origami hearts. <3 Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all get a heart for Valentines. 🙂

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