Increase your children’s language development while creating a Valentine’s Language Love Bug craft together. Here’s how and why you should:

I’m not a fan of spending time making holiday and themed kid crafts just for the sake of giving my kids something to do (aka killing time). Mainly because we don’t usually have any extra time to fill with “busy work.” I’m guessing that you probably don’t have time to waste either!

However, I AM a fan of creating REAL, MEANINGFUL interactions to promote language growth. This Language Love Bug craft/activity does just that!

So often I see adults asking kids questions to which the adult already knows the answer. Kids aren’t dumb; they know you know the answer. (Side note: Anybody a fan of the TV show, Psych? That last sentence reminds me of the theme song! LOL Sorry, I got distracted! Back to language. 😳)

Often, they choose not to answer because there is no REAL, MEANINGFUL reason to (this is especially true for kids who struggle with verbal communication). That’s why we need to construct an environment where our kiddos have a reason to tell us, through spoken language, what they want or need.

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Love Bugs

One of my oldest daughter’s favorite books, when she was a preschooler, was the pop-up book Love Bugs by David A. Carter. Then, when she became a big sister and learned to read, that book (and the rest of the David A. Carter’s Bugs pop-up series) was a nightly favorite for the girls. They would giggle on certain pages no matter how many times it was read.

At the time, I was working part-time as a pediatric speech-language pathologist and I made up a Valentine’s language activity to go with the book Love Bugs. I couldn’t take lots of fun toys with me to kiddo’s houses, but I could take a book, paper, a marker, a glue stick, and scissors. That’s all you need for this activity! ❤️

And if you can’t get a copy of the book, that’s okay too. Go ahead and just make the love bugs. This is such a wonderful way to build up your child’s language and when you are done, you’ll have a cute keepsake as well as fun memories of working together!

Valentine’s Language Love Bug Step by Step Instructions

Set out the materials for the project.

You’ll need the printable Language Love Bug packet from the Free Resource Library. Gather up a pair of scissors, some markers, and if you have any extra crafty supplies like googly eyes, stickers, etc. grab those too. Give your child a glue stick (or a tape runner so you don’t have to wait for the glue to dry) for gluing the pieces together. DO NOT give the scissors to your child; this is not the time for letting them practice their cutting skills. If you give the scissors to your child, they will not have any meaningful reason to answer your questions. 😀

Now that you have your supplies, you can start asking questions. Start with the Language Love Bug’s body.

Do you want your love bug to have a small body or a big one?

How many arms will your love bug have?

How many legs will your love bug have?

Next, move onto the hands and feet of your love bug.

Will your love bug have heart-shaped hands or diamond-shaped hands? (Or an easier way to ask younger children is: Do you want hearts or diamonds?)

What size do you want for its hands? Big, medium, or small? (Repeat for each hand)

Will your love bug have oval-shaped hands or pentagon-shaped hands? (Or an easier way to ask younger children is: Do you want ovals (some kids might call ovals an egg or a football) or a house shape?)

What size do you want for its feet? Big, medium, or small? (Repeat for each foot)

Assembling your Language Love Bug

After you’ve cut out all of the parts of the love bug, you need to cut out and fold its arms and legs. Cut out shorter strips for the arms and longer strips for the legs. Then teach your child how to accordion fold the arms and legs. Glue to hands and feet to the arms and legs. Finally, attach the arms and legs to the body.

Now, it’s time to add personalized details to your Love Bug!

Ask your child questions about the love bug’s face and back. Use the marker to add those details. For example, you could ask how many eyes the bug has; what shape they are, where they go on the bug’s face (at the top, in the middle); if it has spots or words on its back.

Keep it meaningful.

Make sure that you keep the scissors, stickers, and markers so that you can draw what your child wants. Otherwise, there is no true reason for him or her to answer your questions.

If they would like a turn with the scissors or marker; make another bug, only this time, they have to find the shapes, in the right sizes that YOU ask for. Enjoy this time connecting with your child to make a unique Love Bug!

More Valentine’s Language Activities

Create a Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin for exploring and learning words about textures, like puffy, smooth, hard, and soft, as well as sizes, big, medium, and small.

Work on counting and shape vocabulary with these printable Play-Doh mats from Fantastic Fun and Learning.

Get out a ruler and measure the different parts of your Love Bug. Write down the measurements and arrange them by size, biggest to smallest. Use the words: big, bigger, and biggest, as well as small, smaller, and smallest. Older kids could arrange all of the small shapes biggest to smallest; then all of the medium shapes; and finally, all of the large shapes.

Practice your spelling words with stamps in play-dough. You could even cut out heart shapes with cookie cutters first to make play-dough conversation hearts.

Make more Language Love Bugs and give them as cards to friends and neighbors. Extend the activity to be a community service project and take some to elderly neighbors or adults living in an assisted living home.

Practice making predictions and asking What and Why questions with this Dissolving Conversation Hearts Science Experiment from Fun-A-Day.

Check out the rest of the Bugs pop-up book series for fun family read-aloud. David A. Carter has also created a few beginning reader books featuring his cute bugs.

Pin this Valentine’s Language Love Bug craftivity to your favorite board so you can find it again! And be sure to follow Whole Child Homeschool on Pinterest for 1000s of Free Homeschooling Resources and Ideas!

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