Valentine’s Day is on February 14th but if you want to prepare for your child’s classroom party and make Valentines and treats for the class you may want to do this theme day before the 14th.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.
For a children’s song about love sing “Skinnamarink.” Check here for lyrics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skidamarink
The Beatle’s “All You Need is Love” fits this theme day as well. Try to find it on your favourite music provider.
Any love song will fit a Valentine’s theme day.
For a classic love poem that is easy for kids to memorize teach them: “Roses are red/ violets are blue/sugar is sweet/ and I love you!”
Encourage your child to make up his/her own “Roses are red” poem.
You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in Valentine’s Coloring Pages or print out my Valentine’s Day Colouring Page.
JOURNALING QUESTION PROMPT:
Write out one or more of the following questions in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook or on a piece of paper to glue in your scrapbook: What is Valentine’s Day? Who are the special people in your life? How do we show others that we love them?
Choose the level of your child:
¨ Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer
¨ Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.
¨ Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.
¨ Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response. (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)
¨ Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).
¨ As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or a poem about Valentine’s Day.
Print out a Valentine’s Day Word Search:
Check here for the answer keys:
Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books about Valentine’s Day.
Go to the library with your child to find some books about Valentine’s Day.
Go to the library on your own to find books about Valentines’ Day from both fiction and nonfiction to have already on hand for your theme day. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (search for “Valentine’s Day” under “Children’s Book”). Reserve them if you can to save time.
See if you can find some of these nonfiction/learning titles:
· Hearts, Cupids, and Red Roses: The Story of Valentine Symbols, by Edna Barth and drawings by Ursula Arndt, A Clarion Book, 1974 – This older book has a lot of detail about the history of Valentine’s day and would be best for an older grade-schooler.
· The Story of Valentine’s Day, by Clyde Robert Bulla and illustrated by Susan Estelle Kwas, Harper Collins Publishers, 1999 – This includes interesting facts about the history of Valentine ’s Day in a succinct way and has some lovely bright illustrations too.
· Valentine’s Day; Candy, Love, and Hearts, by Elaine Landau, Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2002 – Fairly easy to read even with more detail and it includes photographs. It has an interesting section on two cities in the United States where Valentine’s day is a huge celebration, plus has a section on funny marriage ceremonies.
· Valentine’s Day Is…, by Gail Gibbons, Holiday House, 2006—This is a simple book with bright illustrations that would be a good first introduction to the meaning behind Valentine’s day for children.
Here are some Valentine picture books:
· Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day, by Norman Bridwell, Scholastic Inc., 1997—Emily Elizabeth and her big red dog Clifford remember when he was a tiny puppy celebrating his first Valentine’s Day.
· Heart to Heart, by George Shannon and illustrated by Steven Björkman, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995—Squirrel rushes about trying to make a valentine for his friend mole in this humorous book.
· Will You Be My Valentine?, by steven Kroll and illustrated by Lillian Hoban, Holiday House, 1993—This is a sweet book about a little boy who is excited to make a special valentine for a girl in his class but then worries that she doesn’t like him.
· Yours ‘til the Ice Cracks: A Book of Valentines, by Laura Geringer and illustrated by Andrea Baruffi, Harper Collins Publishers, 1992—This is a fun book with great illustrations for each valentine saying (i.e. “Be my valentine. Yours ‘til the dinosaur drops.”)
Make your own Valentine’s Day cards instead of buying them this year. Any of the following four crafts below can be made into Valentine’s cards simply by doing them on small pieces of paper instead of a large one or the fifth craft can be made using many lollipops for a whole class or kids.
VALENTINE STICKER COLLAGE:
Materials: Coloured paper, Valentine’s Day themed stickers, markers and crayons.
Step 1: Give your child the stickers and paper and have him/her either make a scene or a collage with them.
Step 2 (Optional): See if your child wants to embellish the picture with markers or crayons.
PAPER HEART COLLAGE:
Materials: Red, pink and white paper, child safe scissors, glue stick, damp cloth for sticky fingers.
Step 1: Fold each piece of paper in half and then show your child how to cut half a heart along the fold to create an entire heart once the fold is opened. You can also draw half a heart along the fold to encourage your child to cut his/her own hearts out. NOTE: Save the rest of the paper for the next craft as you have now created Heart Stencils!
Step 2: Help your child to make many different sized hearts using the different colours.
Step 3: Let your child glue the different sized hearts in any fashion on a separate sheet of paper for a collage, or one on top of the other for a special Valentine card or on little piece of card stock for classroom Valentines.
Materials: Your saved stencils created from the above craft (folded paper with cut out hearts), white paper or card stock, red and white paint, paper, paintbrushes or craft sponge, art smock or old clothes to wear when painting, newspaper or plastic to cover the table when you paint, waxed paper.
Step 1: Show your child how to make various shades of pink by mixing white and red paint together on waxed paper.
Step 2: Open the heart stencil on top of a sheet of paper (for a collage) or on top of individual card stock pieces for classroom Valentines.
Step 3: Show your child how to paint the inside of the stencil using brushes or use a craft sponge to dab paint inside the stencil to create a heart shape once the paper is lifted.
Step 4: Let the paint dry and then display or give as a Valentine’s Day Card.
HEART SPONGE STAMPS:
Materials: white paper or card stock, Kitchen sponge, sharp scissors (for adult use only), black marker, red and white paint, paper, paintbrushes or craft sponge, art smock or old clothes to wear when painting, newspaper or plastic to cover the table when you paint, waxed paper.
Step 1: Have your child (or draw yourself) some hearts on kitchen sponge and then carefully cut the sponge into the heart shapes.
Step 2: Put some paint onto the waxed paper (mixed red and white to make shades of pink).
Step 3: Show your child how to paint the sponge using a brush and then press the sponge onto the white paper or cardstock to leave a hear shaped stamp.
Step 4: Let the paint dry and then display or give as a Valentine’s Day Card.
Materials: Red construction paper, scissors, craft knife (for adult use only), cutting board, black marker, red lollipops.
Step 1: Help your child cut out red hearts from the construction paper (use the stencils from the above craft to outline).
Step 2: Write a Valentine’s Day Greeting on the paper heart.
Step 3: (Adult-step) using a sharp craft knife and a cutting board cut two horizontal slits one on top of the other in the middle of the heart.
Step 4: Insert the lollipop through the slits to create your Valentine gift!
Look for any Valentines related crafts at your local craft store, including heart stamps or stencils, or foam kits.
Below I have some Valentine themed food ideas but you could also do a different approach and serve “heart healthy” foods throughout the day.
Heart Pancakes: Put pancake batter into a re-sealable bag and snip the corner so you can squeeze it out onto the hot pan in the shape of a heart.
Serve heart healthy oatmeal with strawberries on top.
Strawberries and yogurt: Strawberries look like little hearts when cut in half lengthwise. Serve up a plate of berries hearts on yogurt for this theme day.
Pink Hot Chocolate: Heat 2 cups of milk with 1/2 cup of white baking chips until melted, then add 6 or more teaspoons of juice from a jar of maraschino cherries. To create a marshmallow heart flatten a large marshmallow with a heavy rolling pin and then use a small heart shaped cookie cutter.
Heart shaped sandwiches:
Ingredients: two slices of sandwich bread per person, cream cheese, red jam or jelly, heart shaped cookie cutter.
Step 1: Use the cookie cutter to cut the sandwich bread into hearts .
Step 2: Spread on slice of bread with cream cheese.
Step 3: Spread another with red jam and top with the cream cheese covered slice to make a sandwich.
NOTE: Save the bread trimmings and put in a blender to make home-made breadcrumbs.
Mini heart pizzas:
Ingredients: English muffins (split), pizza sauce or tomato sauce with dried Italian herbs and garlic powder mixed in, mozzarella cheese and any other favourite pizza toppings.
Step 1: Use the cookie cutter to cut the English muffin half into a heart shape .
Step 2: Toast each slice in a toaster or on a broiler (watching carefully).
Step 3: Spread each heart muffin with tomato/pizza sauce.
Step 4: Put favourite pizza toppings on each English muffin half.
Step 5: Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and put in oven at 375 ̊F until the cheese melts (5 to 10 minutes).
NOTE: Instead of little pizzas you could make a large heart pizza by shaping homemade or store bought dough into the shape of a heart or cutting a store bought crust into a heart shape.
Salmon is a heart healthy and pink dish that would work as a fancy Valentine’s dinner.
Make a heart healthy spinach salad and top with walnuts, dried cranberries and canned hearts of palm to add a valentine’s touch. Make a red wine vinaigrette to pour on top.
Serve a pink milkshake with your dinner (mix strawberry ice-cream and milk in a blender) as a special treat for your little Valentine’s.
Valentine’s Cookies: Using your favourite sugar cookie recipe (with an added sprinkle of cinnamon while making the dough) make some heart shaped cookies and decorate them with pink and red icing.
Valentine’s Cake: Bake a heart shaped cake by baking two cakes: one in an 8 inch circle pan and one in an 8 inch square pan. Tilt the cooked square cake so it looks like a diamond and then cut the circle cake in half and fit each half to each side of the top of the diamond to form a heart shape. Use pink or red or white icing to cover all the pieces together to they look like one entire heart shaped cake.
HOW TO SAY “I LOVE YOU” IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES:
Check these two web pages for the history of Valentine’s Day: http://www.history.com/content/valentine/history-of-valentine-s-day or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine's_Day
This site has the history of Valentine’s day plus more, including a link that has some classic love stories: http://www.theholidayspot.com/valentine/history_of_valentine.htm
Here’s some info about Saint Valentine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Valentine
Check here to learn about cupid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupid
MAKE YOUR OWN VALENTINE BOARD GAME:
Materials: Coloured paper (try pink and red for Valentine’s colours), markers or crayons, glue-stick, child safe scissors, tape (optional), a coin.
Step 1: Decide how long your game will be. We used two sheets of paper and taped the two together on the back so the tape wouldn’t interfere with our colouring, writing and gluing.
Step 2: Either draw large squares or circles ahead of time for each space directly on the game board or cut out hearts like we did to write on and then glue to the board game.
Step 3: Together with your child come up with different Valentine’s Day related things to write on each space. We like to include simple actions like clapping your hands, singing, etc., answering questions, roll again, miss a turn (although beware of temper tantrums if you have a competitive child), go ahead 1 space, go back 1 space, etc.
Step 4: We also like to draw little pictures for each space that relate to what is said or draw pictures around the board.
Step 5: Draw some Valentines for playing pieces and cut them out.
Step 6: play your game! Flip a coin for each turn. Heads – move one space. Tails – move two spaces.
Examples of some of our spaces:
· Good job cutting out hearts. Move ahead one space.
· Oh now! You forgot to bring a special surprise for a friend. Move back one space.
· You got a Valentine Card in the mail. Say “Mail Box” five times fast!
· Your Valentine’s Cookies are a big hit! Rub your belly!
· All of the Valentine’s flowers make you sneeze. Say “Ahhh Choo!”
Q: Who did the monster give a Valentine to?
A: his ghoul-friend.
Q: What did one light bulb say to the other on Valentine’s day?
A: I love you a whole watt.
Q: What did one sheep say to the other on Valentine’s Day?
A: I love ewe.
Q: What did the gardener give his sweetheart on Valentine’s day?
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite shows about Valentine’s Day.
For young children try these titles:
· Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine for You
· Clifford the Big Red Dog: Be My Big Red Valentine
· Max and Ruby: Max’s Valentine
· Be My Valentine Charlie Brown
FAMILY WALK OR FAMILY SWIM: Be heart healthy and exercise together as a family.
VALENTINE’S PARTY: Attend a Valentine’s Day Party or host your own.
SPECIAL DELIVERIES: Help your child deliver his/her valentine’s to the special people in his/her life.
COOKIE PARTY: Host a Valentine’s Day cookie decorating party.
BE KIND: Show love to everyone for Valentine’s Day and perform some Random Acts of Kindness.
Photo: C Wright
Happy Valentine’s Day!
A Poem for Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Sticker Collage
Paper Heart Collage
Painted Heart using homemade stencils
Cut out individual hearts from the stencil or stamp craft and glue to red card stock or construction paper for a set of Valentine’s cards for your child’s class.
Make special cards for family members or teachers by doing any of the crafts on card stock available at craft stores.
Pink Hot Chocolate
Heart shaped Pizza
Valentine’s Day Game