Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. It is so much more than giving and receiving candy (however, chocolate is always appreciated). It is the perfect holiday to teach our children about unconditional love, teamwork, and showing appreciation to those we care about. I am going to share with you my three favorite stories to read during Valentine’s Day. Of course, my “teacher-brain” is always working so I love doing extension activities to every reading. I have found that an extension art or writing activity really helps cement the main idea and moral of each story!
This story is about a little, cuddly monster that lives in Cutesville. Cutesville is undeniably cuddly and fluffy, full of all things magical and sweet, and definitely not the place for hairy, googly-eyed monsters. The story centers on a lonely monster with a heart of gold, searching for someone to love him. He finds, that when he stops looking, love finds him!
My favorite activity for this story is for students to make their very own love monsters. You can easily accomplish this with some pink and purple construction paper, fuzzy balls, and googly eyes. You can have them make monsters identical to the story, or they can get really creative and make their own design! The possibilities are endless!
Clayton and Desmond are best friends. The day before Valentine’s Day they decided to make a card together for their teacher. They each made a side of the Valentine and when they were done, they were dissatisfied of each other's work. They blamed each other for “ruining” the card. Their families encouraged them to work together again, and helped them solve their conflict. The result? With teamwork, they made the biggest Valentine their teacher has ever seen! I love this story because it teaches young children the value of working together, and it reinforces positive language to solve social conflicts.
For this story, I like to make a Venn diagram comparing Clayton and Desmond. This really helps build their skills in comparison and character analysis. I have done this activity with four-year-olds and they loved it! You can also have a discussion about a time they worked together with a friend, and you can even have them make their own biggest valentine!
This is a very heartwarming story! It is about a little boy who makes special Valentine’s for all of the important people and animals in his life. He writes a poem to each recipient, and all of the poems start with “If you’ll be my Valentine…” and he ends it with something heartfelt he will do for them. His suggestions are so thoughtful and children love the pacing and rhyme scheme of the story!
After reading the story, have your little one write their own poems for the special people in their life, following the same pattern as the boy in the story. If they are younger you can write down their thoughts for them, and if they can work independently they can write the poems on their own, and decorate each one! While they work, you can talk about different ways we show appreciation to the ones we love!
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