You can adapt your valentine making to any child's ability level:
Our earliest writers will begin to sign their creations using the first letter of their name. If they want to attempt to write more, remind them that the first letter is capitalized and the rest are lowercase. (Their future Kindergarten teacher will thank you!)
A helpful adaptation for emerging writers: Write the names with a highlighter and let your child trace over them.
By school age, I recommend letting children write both their friends' names on the cards as well as signing their own name. Break this work into enjoyable and manageable chunks by doing a few each evening for a week.
Take time to discuss each friend and his/her name as your child writes it: "Matthew's name starts with an M just like your name! Which card will you choose for him?" "You told me that you like to play with Julia at recess. What do you do with her?" Having your undivided attention and conversation will make this task even more engaging and rewarding.
A Valentine Play Date
Valentine's Day Sensory Bin