39 Must-Try Sensory Play Activities for Valentine’s Day

Published: January 11, 2023 · Updated: April 29, 2024 by Sacha — This post may contain affiliate links. Read our full disclosure.

Looking for some fun Valentine’s Day sensory activities to try with your kids? Check out this big list of Valentine sensory bins, play dough recipes, slime recipes and more! If your child enjoys sensory play activities, you are sure to find several activities here that they will love.

When do the stores in your area start to display their Valentine’s Day inventory? We’re less than two weeks into the New Year, but it feels like we’ve been seeing pink- and heart-filled aisles every time we’ve gone out for over a month now!

With Valentine’s Day a little over a month away, we will definitely be pulling out some of our favorite Valentine activities shortly… including these easy Fizzing Baking Soda Hearts that were a huge hit with our kids last year.

Also a hit in our house? Sensory activities—no matter the time of year.

This probably isn’t very surprising given that we have two toddlers, a kindergartener and a first-grader at home, but sensory play activities are one of our favorite things to do.

Sensory bins, play dough, slime, sensory bottles and bags… we’ve tried it all. So with Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to round up some of the best Valentine sensory activities for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

If you’ve been asking yourself, “What can my kids do for Valentine’s Day?” then you’ll definitely want to save some of these ideas for later!

Valentine Sensory Bins

Does your child love sensory bins? We’ve got your covered!

Whether you’re looking for messy play ideas, Dollar Tree sensory bins, Valentine’s Day water play or any other type of sensory tray, you’re sure to find lots of ideas below.

Related: 37 Awesome Winter Sensory Bins for Kids

1. Valentine Sensory Soup

Child's hand holding a whisk next to a bin of pink water and small foam hearts.
Image Credit: Fun at Home with Kids

If your child enjoys playing with their water table, they will love this Valentine-themed water sensory bin complete with whisk, ladle and floating hearts! This water table is perfect for babies and toddlers who still like to put everything in their mouths.

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Sensory Soup

2. Valentine Bubble Foam

Child's hands playing with pink bubble foam.
Image Credit: Still Playing School

Looking for simple sensory play ideas to try with your kids for Valentine’s Day? This Valentine’s Day sensory foam is both really fun to play with and super simple to set up. Our kids would love this!

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Bubble Foam

3. Gelatin Hearts Sensory Bin

Potato masher crushing red gelatinous heart.
Image Credit: And Next Comes L

There is something so satisfying about squishing Jell-O… and that’s exactly the point of this activity! Create some gelatin hearts using the instructions below and let your child squish them using any kitchen tool they like.

Not only is this activity great for fine motor skills, but it’s also a great way to channel your toddler’s destructive energies! (You can find more destructive play activities here.)

View the full tutorial: Gelatin Hearts Sensory Bin

4. Frozen Valentine Sensory Dough

Child's hands playing with frozen shaving cream and red plastic hearts.
Image Credit: Natural Beach Living

Does your child enjoy a variety of different sensory experiences? This frozen Valentine sensory dough features TWO types of frozen sensory materials for your child to explore… and they each thaw at a different speed, which makes this sensory bin extra engaging!

View the full tutorial: Frozen Valentine’s Day Sensory Dough

5. Valentine Cloud Dough

Children playing in a bin with white moon sand and fabric hearts.
Image Credit: Days with Grey

Have you ever made cloud dough before? (You may know it as moon sand.) It looks like a powder, but holds its shape when pressed—and the best part is that it only requires 2 simple pantry ingredients to make.

Your preschooler will love this fun Valentine’s Day twist on one of their favorite sensory activities!

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Cloud Dough

6. Dyed Rice Valentine Sensory Bin

Bin of pink rice with kitchen accessories.
Image Credit: Living Montessori Now

Who knew something as simple as dyed rice could make such an awesome sensory bin filler? If your child loves scooping and pouring, they will love this Valentine’s Day rice sensory bin complete with dollar store accessories.

View the full tutorial: Dyed Rice Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

7. Dried Bean Valentine Sensory Bin

Bin with dried white and red beans, fluffy hearts and magnetic letters spelling out "I love you".
Image Credit: Teaching Mama

…And if ever you don’t have the time to dye rice and are looking for a Valentine sensory bin idea that you can quickly throw together, why not give this dried bean sensory bin a try?

Since it uses the natural color of the beans, there is no advance prep required. This sensory bin would make a great last-minute Valentine’s Day activity for your child if you’re short on time!

View the full tutorial: Dried Bean Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

8. Pom-Pom & Flower Petal Sensory Bin

Bin filled with pink and red pom-poms and silk rose petals.
Image Credit: Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Not a big fan of messy play? This DIY Valentine’s Day bin filled with pom-poms and silk rose petals is super soft, easy to clean up and guaranteed not to leave a mess on your carpet!

View the full tutorial: Pom-Pom & Flower Petal Sensory Bin

9. Valentine Cotton Ball Sensory Bin

Bowl filled with cotton balls and plastic hearts.
Image Credit: Fantastic Fun and Learning

And if you don’t have any pom-poms or silk flower petals at home? This easy Valentine sensory bin uses cotton balls instead. A quick trip to Dollar Tree should provide you with everything you need to throw together this simple sensory tray!

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Cotton Ball Sensory Bin

10. Shredded Paper Valentine Sensory Bin

Child's hands pulling crinkle paper out of a bin with jumbo tweezers.
Image Credit: Preschool Inspiration

Not only is this Valentine’s Day sensory bin filled with crinkle paper super easy to make, but it’s also great for helping toddlers and preschoolers practice their fine motor skills. We use our jumbo kids’ tweezers for a variety of activities and they are always a huge hit with the kids!

View the full tutorial: Shredded Paper Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

11. Heart Letter Match Sensory Bin

Crinkle paper filled bin with printable hearts featuring uppercase and lowercase letters.
Image Credit: ABCs of Literacy

…And if you’re looking to add a learning component to your crinkle paper sensory bin, why not use it as an opportunity to let your child practice matching uppercase and lowercase letters?

You can either create your own or grab the done-for-you printable linked in the post!

View the full tutorial: Heart Letter Match Sensory Bin

12. Valentine Water Bead Sensory Bin

Bin filled with pink water beads behind 2 dice.
Image Credit: Where Imagination Grows

This Valentine’s Day sensory bin with water beads is also a great opportunity to teach your kids! You can use it as a simple sensory tray or add dice to help children practice their counting and basic math skills.

(Note: If you’re concerned that water beads aren’t safe for your kids, you can make your own Edible Water Beads at home instead.)

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Water Bead Sensory Bin

Valentine Play Dough Recipes

Does your child prefer play dough to sensory bins? If so, then they’ll love these homemade Valentine play dough recipes featuring fun scents, edible ingredients and more!

13. Marbled Valentine Play Dough

Marbled pink, purple and white play dough with a heart shape cut out by a cookie cutter.
Image Credit: Fireflies and Mud Pies

This marbled Valentine’s Day play dough is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who love mixing different colors of play dough… and if play dough mixing stresses you out, you can rest easy knowing that this one won’t end up the color of mud!

View the full tutorial: Marbled Valentine’s Day Play Dough

14. Rose Petal Play Dough

Stack of 3 balls of rose petal play dough beside a red rose.

This rose-scented play dough containing actual rose petals is a great way to use up any flowers that you may have received for Valentine’s Day. Instead of letting them shrivel up and die, why not give them new life by using them to create something your child will love playing with?

View the full tutorial: Rose Petal Play Dough

15. No-Cook Rose-Scented Play Dough

Flattened pink play dough with cookie cutters on top.
Image Credit: Danya Banya

…And if you love the smell of roses, but you’d prefer a recipe that doesn’t require any cooking on the stovetop, why not give this no-cook version a try? (This one doesn’t contain any real flower petals, but it smells just as good!)

View the full tutorial: No-Cook Rose-Scented Play Dough

16. Kool-Aid Valentine Play Dough

Child's hands holding heart-shaped play dough.
Image Credit: Housing a Forest

Can’t get enough of scented play dough? This homemade play dough recipe with Kool-Aid powder added smells AMAZING! You can make it for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion simply by switching up the color and scent.

View the full tutorial: Kool-Aid Valentine’s Day Play Dough

17. Scented Valentine Play Dough

3 stacked balls of play dough (red, purple and brown).
Image Credit: The Soccer Mom Blog

Who knew there were so many ways to make scented play dough for Valentine’s Day? If your child likes experiencing a variety of different scents, they’ll love this set of three homemade play dough recipes that smell like cherry, lavender and chocolate!

View the full tutorial: Scented Valentine’s Day Play Dough

18. Homemade Chocolate Play Dough

Flower-Shaped Chocolate Play Dough Cookie.

…And if chocolate-scented play dough sounds like something you’d LOVE to make for Valentine’s Day, this easy recipe will allow you to make a big batch for several kids to play with! (Or for one kid to play with for months on end.)

You can even use the play dough as an excuse to practice counting with these printable Valentine’s Day play dough mats!

View the full tutorial: Homemade Chocolate Play Dough

19. Box of Chocolates Pretend Play

Heart-shaped box of chocolates with play dough "chocolates" inside.
Image Credit: That Kids Craft Site

Wondering what to do with all the chocolate play dough you made? Grab an empty box of Valentine’s Day chocolates and use it as a prop for your child’s pretend play. What a great way to foster your child’s imagination!

View the full tutorial: “Box of Chocolates” Pretend Play

20. Chocolate Frosting Play Dough

Ball of edible chocolate play dough with chocolate sprinkles in front of rolling pin.

…And if your child isn’t quite old enough for salt-based play dough and you’d prefer a recipe that’s totally edible, why not try this edible chocolate play dough recipe make using chocolate frosting? So easy to make, and it smells (and tastes) great!

View the full tutorial: Chocolate Frosting Play Dough

21. Edible No-Cook Nutella Play Dough

Child's hands playing with brown play dough and heart-shaped box of chocolates.
Image Credit: Still Playing School

Don’t have any chocolate frosting at home? You can also try this 2-ingredient Nutella play dough recipe made using hazelnut spread!

View the full tutorial: Edible No-Cook Nutella Play Dough

22. Edible Heart Peeps Play Dough

Ball of pink play dough with heart shape from a cookie cutter.
Image Credit: Messy Little Monster

Or, if you’re looking for an edible Valentine’s Day play dough recipe that smells like something other than chocolate, why not make play dough using heart-shaped marshmallows instead?

View the full tutorial: Edible Heart Peeps Play Dough

23. Fizzy Valentine Play Dough

Bubbling red heart dough after vinegar has been added.
Image Credit: Inspiration Laboratories

Is there anything more fun than a sensory activity that doubles as a science experiment? This fizzy Valentine’s Day play dough can be molded into shapes and cut with cookie cutters… but add vinegar and it becomes a totally different kind of activity. What a cool idea!

View the full tutorial: Fizzy Valentine’s Day Play Dough

24. Valentine Play Dough Tray

Tray with play dough accessories like beads, buttons and feathers.
Image Credit: Paper and Glue

This Valentine’s Day sensory activity isn’t a play dough recipe per se, but it can be a fantastic way to encourage your child to play with the play dough you’ve already made.

Simply set up a tray with beads, buttons, feathers and anything else you think could be fun, and watch your child get excited about that same batch of play dough all over again!

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Play Dough Tray

25. Love Bug Play Dough Activity

"Love bug" made from play dough.
Image Credit: Picklebums

And if your child is the crafty type, why not turn their play dough time into a sensory craft by using it to make cute little play dough love bugs for Valentine’s Day?

View the full tutorial: Love Bug Play Dough Activity

Valentine Slime Recipes

Does your child love slime? It can be kind of controversial, but when done right, it is SUCH a great sensory experience for kids!

The list below will help get your started… whether you have a school-aged child capable of making it on their own, or an infant who needs their slime to be taste-safe.

26. Valentine Glitter Slime

Hands holding a ball of pink glitter slime in the shape of a heart.
Image Credit: Crafts by Amanda

This glitter slime recipe may be pretty basic, but it is SO pretty and perfect for Valentine’s Day! It only requires a few ingredients to make… and because none of them are liquid starch, it’s not as harsh on little hands.

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Glitter Slime

27. Heart Sequin Valentine Slime

Purple slime with heart sequins on a wood background.
Image Credit: Preschool Play and Learn

If your child loves glitter slime, they’ll also love this pretty purple Valentine’s Day slime with colorful heart-shaped sequins!

View the full tutorial: Heart Sequin Valentine’s Day Slime

28. Valentine Confetti Slime

Hands pulling apart clear slime with a lot of red confetti.
Image Credit: Simple Everyday Mom

Looking for more fun things to add into your slime? If so, you’ll definitely want to try this Valentine’s Day confetti slime. And the metallic confetti isn’t just there for decoration, either—it also adds a fun textural element to the slime!

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Confetti Slime

29. Fluffy Valentine Slime

Pink fluffy slime shaped into the shape of a heart.
Image Credit: The Imagination Tree

When it comes to fun textures, there are SO many ways to change up your slime and create a unique sensory experience for your kids. And one of the best ways you can do that is to create fluffy slime using shaving cream!

View the full tutorial: Fluffy Valentine’s Day Slime

30. Valentine Floam Slime

Child's hand pressing into pink slime with floam beads.
Image Credit: I Heart Arts n Crafts

If you’re looking for fun ways to switch up the texture of your slime, you’ll definitely want to try adding floam beads as well. They make the slime “crunchy”, moldable and unlike any other type of slime out there—such a unique sensory experience for your kids!

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Floam Slime

31. Valentine Bubbly Slime

Container with bubbling pink mixture.
Image Credit: Little Bins for Little Hands

What child doesn’t love a good science experiment? Not only is this Valentine’s Day bubbly slime fun to play with once it’s been made, but the process of making it is an activity in itself.

This is because this slime recipe contains more baking soda than the norm, so when vinegar is added during the mixing process, it will start to bubble and fizz… such a cool Valentine’s Day activity for kids!

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Bubbly Slime

32. Edible Valentine Slime

Jar with red slime oozing out.
Image Credit: Kids Activities Blog

Is your child too young to play with borax-based slime? Make edible slime instead! Because this edible Valentine’s Day activity is made using regular pantry ingredients, your baby or toddler will be totally safe if they try to sneak a taste (or several).

View the full tutorial: Edible Valentine’s Day Slime

33. Edible Conversation Heart Slime

Jar of purple slime with conversation hearts.
Image Credit: The Soccer Mom Blog

Or, if you’re looking for an edible slime recipe that less “goopy” and more “slime-like”, you can also try this fun conversation heart slime made using psyllium husk!

View the full tutorial: Edible Conversation Heart Slime

34. Conversation Heart Oobleck

Hand holding conversation hearts covered with oobleck.
Image Credit: Parenting Chaos

Do you have more conversation hearts than you know what to do with? Use them to make this fun Valentine-themed oobleck for your kids. It’s super simple, taste-safe and has a totally unique texture that your kids will love!

(And if you love oobleck and you’re looking for a fun new way to make it, why not try Frozen Valentine’s Day Oobleck for a totally different experience?)

View the full tutorial: Conversation Heart Oobleck

Valentine Sensory Bottles & Bags

Are sensory bins, play dough and slime a little too messy for your liking? Contain the mess completely by placing your sensory materials inside sealed bottles or bags!

Sensory bottles and bags are perfect for babies and infants who aren’t old enough to play with other sensory materials, because the fillers are completely contained and there is no risk of choking.

Such a great way to include your younger children in your Valentine’s Day sensory play!

35. Valentine Sensory Bottle Trio

3 Valentine's Day sensory bottles (pom-pom, rice and glitter).
Image Credit: Pocket of Preschool

Can’t get enough of sensory bottles? Why not give one of these Valentine sensory bottles a try!

These three easy sensory bottle ideas include a rice and candy heart bottle that makes noise when shaken, as well as a pretty glitter jar that will totally mesmerize your child. So fun!

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Sensory Bottles

36. Valentine Water Bead Sensory Bottle

Bottle filled with water, water beads and plastic hearts.
Image Credit: Fun-a-Day

Water beads can be dangerous when swallowed and shouldn’t be used around babies. But when they are fully contained inside a bottle or bag, not only are they totally safe… but they also offer a unique sensory experience that your child will love to explore. Don’t they look so cool suspended in water?

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Water Bead Sensory Bottle

37. Valentine Water Bead Sensory Bag

Water bead-filled bag inside a cardboard heart cutout from two different angles.
Image Credit: Active Littles

The only thing better than placing water beads inside a bottle has to be placing them inside a bag, because the bag allows your child to feel the texture of the water beads without any of the choking risk!

View the full tutorial: Valentine’s Day Water Bead Sensory Bag

38. Sensory Valentine Tic Tac Toe

Bag filled with clear gel and pink tic tac toe pieces on top of a piece of paper with a tic tac toe grid.
Image Credit: Joy in the Works

Tic tac toe is a classic for a reason, but how much cooler is this sensory version that places the game pieces inside a gel-filled bag?! Our kids would go wild for this!

View the full tutorial: Sensory Valentine’s Day Tic Tac Toe

39. Fill the Heart Sensory Bag

Clear sensory bag with buttons arranged to fill the shape of a heart.

Finally, if your child loves sensory bags, they will love this super simple “fill the heart” sensory bag filled with pink and red buttons.

Instead of moving the buttons around aimlessly, your child can use them to try to fill in the heart shape drawn at the back. So fun!

View the full tutorial: “Fill the Heart” Sensory Bag

Related Valentine Activities

Looking for more fun things to with your kids for Valentine’s Day? Check out these articles:

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