Valentine’s Day is coming up this week, and that means candy everywhere! If your child is hyped up on sugar, why not let them smash some hearts to burn off steam? You may have heard that the Sweethearts conversation heart candy won’t be around this year, but don’t worry! We can smash the off-brand.
For this activity, obtain some candy conversation hearts. Next, you’ll need a nutcracker and a large tray to work on. After instructing your kiddo about how to safely use the nutcracker (little fingers need to be careful), let them use those fine motor skills to place a candy heart in the nutcracker. Now they just squeeze down, strengthening their hands and crushing the candy heart with a satisfying crunch! Before they do the next one, take a moment to predict how many pieces it will break into. Then count the pieces afterward, to see how accurate the guesses were. Now your child is not only having fun with destruction, they are also practicing math skills!
The candy hearts themselves offer an opportunity for literacy skills, as your child can recognize letters and tell you the sounds they make. If you’re working on colors, have your child sort the hearts by color before commencing the crushing. Thanks to Mary Catherine at Fun-A-Day blog for the idea.
If you want more Valentine’s Day destruction, check out these baked cotton ball hearts that you get to smash with a hammer!