I may have a newfound appreciation for sweethearts. You know, the ones with short messages like “Be Mine” or “Love U.” Not because I like the sweet, chalky taste now, but because I’ve found another use for them. Actually, several uses.
As I thought about fun things to do with my kids for Valentine’s Day, I knew there had to be other ways to use heart-shaped NECCO candy. In my research I actually found they had an interesting history involving the oldest candy company in America and love notes to Civil War soldiers. But I’ll leave the rest of the research to you. Sadly, NECCO closed its doors last summer, but other companies produce sweethearts, also called conversation hearts.
Here are some of the fun activities my kids and I did with the candies:
Color sorting. Draw six different colored hearts on a sheet of paper (or just use six different colored sheets of paper): pink, purple, yellow, white, green, orange. Dump the candy hearts on the table and sort.
Make a bar graph. Get your graph paper out! Count how many of each color heart you have. Then fill in that many blocks on your graph paper (in the color of the heart obviously).
Practice Patterns. Use the hearts to make patterns. My two-year-old stuck to the two-color patterns while my five-year-old could handle more complicated patterns.
Sensory squish bag. Kids love sensory activities. Put some clear hair gel, glitter, and sweethearts into a bag. Squish it around. Talk to your older ones about what happens to the colors and words the more you squish.
Make them jump. My kids got pretty excited watching this one, mostly because they were pretty skeptical at first. Pour a glass full of sparkling water or clear soda. Add the sweethearts one by one and see what happens.
Tried any other activities with conversation hearts? Message us and let us know!