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Animal Herd Valentines - my kids love the free printable that teaches them the names for different groups of animals!

Free Printable: DIY Animal Herd Valentines

Despite February 14th still being over a month away, re-posting last year’s shaving cream valentine has opened the Valentine DIY flood gates in my brain.  Of course, I could have done this project and held off on posting about it.  But I’m the girl who once unwrapped all of my presents Christmas morning before bothering to wake my parents – patience isn’t really my thing.


Have you noticed the preponderance of plastic animal crafts popping up lately?  Crafty bloggers everywhere have latched on to these little guys.  After falling in love with them in our post, Make like a Montessori Mama Series, Part 3: Animal Activities, I’m jumping on the band wagon with these DIY animal herd valentines.


Here’s the basic idea: instead of handing out candy this year, provide your kiddos’ pals with a new friend and a fun little chart to get them thinking.  Kids will love discovering that a group of giraffes is called a tower while a group of zebras is known as a zeal – I guarantee it.  Your Valentine’s will be a huge hit and if you plan ahead they’ll be the same price (or cheaper) than buying a stack of cards and some candy at Target.


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If you want to make these exactly as I did, you’ll need this Toob of plastic animals as they match up with the 12 free printables later in this post.  If your child’s class has 24 kids, then just order two.  Not everyone has to get a unique critter, in fact the kids will probably like trying to figure out who got the same animal as them.


You’ve got plenty of time to order them on Amazon but, if you’re more patient than me, JoAnn’s often offers 1/2 off coupons via email for Toobs.  And if you’d prefer to source your own critters, no worries, I’ve got you covered with a fill-in-the blank template for that too.


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Next, you’ll need to print off our Free Valentine Printables for each of the 12 animals onto card stock.


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Then use a needle and some embroidery thread to attach each critter.  I looped around twice and taped the thread to the back.


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Soon you’ll have lots of cards like this.


Here’s a shot of the fill-in-the-blank version.  For these, you can find the collective nouns used for all sorts of animals here.

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Finally, print the accompanying Free Valentine Printable: Animal Herd List and slip everything into an envelope.  Write “To:______” and “From:________” on the top and you’re good to go.  If you really want to get fancy, dip the animal’s feet into some paint and make tracks on the outside of the card. (And for those extra-observant readers out there, don’t worry, the printable guide has all 12 animals.  Some sneaky hands ran off with a few of my animals and I missed them when I first made my list.)


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

small + friendly January 10, 2012 at 6:07 am

What a great idea! My little one loves these little animals and it’s great to have a candy free option, they get plenty of sugar on valentines day!


MamaSAS January 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm

You always have such great ideas, now we will have to see if I can get my act together to create them! Thank you!


Katie@a mom, a wife, and a me January 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Holy cow!! My 3 year old has about 8 peanut butter jars full of these kinda animals … these would be great V-day cards!! Good idea thank for sharing!


sinika January 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Love this idea!


The Mother Huddle January 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Ack! Stephanie! This is awesome. Love love!


Mommy, Papa and the 'Nuts January 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Thanks for sharing!!!


Julie January 11, 2012 at 5:03 am

Excellent! They’re so cute. My daughter will love putting these together for her friends. And thank goodness: no candy! (I remember being shocked when my 2-year-old received candy from friends for Valentine’s Day)


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com January 11, 2012 at 7:46 am

Thanks guys – so glad you liked it :)


Whitney {RookieMoms.com} January 12, 2012 at 5:23 am

My father in law collects alphabet books and for Christmas this year, I bought him this one, which gives 26 names for animal groups. I am not even sure if some of the words are for real, they are so fabulous.



Karla January 16, 2012 at 3:28 am

Love the unique idea! And hooray for no candy!


Emily B January 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm

What a great non-candy idea! We’re going to make the cards for my son’s kindergarten (23 students so the #s work perfectly!), plus I love the book Whitney linked to in the comments above–I bought a copy to give to the teacher/classroom as an added V-day bonus. And a copy for home, of course!


windows 7 home premium 64 bit activation key March 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Thnx for sharing that link but unfortunately it appears to be down? Anybody have a mirror?


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