4 Creative Ways to Inspire Thoughtfulness & Learning on Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day looks a little different this year with Covid-19 precautions and social distancing still in effect. What isn’t different though is the importance of showing love and kindness through simple, thoughtful gestures. The best way for adults to help children learn how to express their emotions and share love with others is to model it.
We have put together a few creative ways for children to spread love and show kindness this Valentine’s Day through technology, earth-friendly art, creative thinking, giving back to others, and baking.
Creating Digital Photos
With apps like Canva and BeFunky, editing photos is super easy. All you need for this activity is a smartphone, an app for editing pictures, and a construction paper or foam heart for the child to hold. Dress up in your best valentine gear, hold the heart, snap the photo and create a digital valentine that can be sent and shared with friends and family near and far.
This activity allows children to learn about the wonders of technology and how to send digital greetings to friends and family members that may live far away.
Earth Friendly Valentine Seed Cards
This low-cost idea came from JaMonkey. These gifts take some time but are perfect non-candy and earth-friendly Valentines that can be planted. The paper feeds the seeds and is biodegradable. Check out the free printable and more instructions on this activity by clicking here.
You will need newspaper, colored paper or printer paper (used is fine), food coloring, warm water, heart cookie cutters, wax paper, flower seed packets, an electric mixer, and wire cookie drying racks.
This fun and meaningful activity reinforces the importance of being kind to the earth by using recycled paper and planting seeds.
Positive Focus Hearts
For young children, cut out the hearts ahead of time and ask them to share three things they love about mom, dad, their sister, brother, or friend. Write one word on each heart and encourage the child to draw a picture on the heart. Place the hearts in a place where that person will see them frequently. For mom and dad, place it on their bathroom mirror or kitchen counter. For siblings, place it on their bedroom door and for friends, place it on their cubby or locker.
This activity reminds children to notice the good in others and focus on their positive qualities. It can also serve as a reminder to see the positive in themselves.
Homemade goodies add a personal touch to any Valentine’s Day celebration. Decorating heart-shaped cookies can be a real treat! Make the dough ahead of time or simply purchase pre-made dough. Roll out the dough, cut into heart shapes, bake, and decorate.
Children learn many different skills when they bake. Measuring ingredients uses basic math skills; mixing the ingredients is all about science; following the directions of a recipe involves reading and listening, and fine motor skills are used for adding those finishing touches. Lastly, waiting for things to bake and cool requires attention and patience.
Homemade gifts are creative ways for young children to tap into their talents as an artist, gardener, baker, techie, or poet. Children can use their talents to make simple, loving gestures to share with others which can then lead to inspiring more acts of kindness in the future.
Homemade gifts are the best kind and these creative ways can help young children tap into their inner artist, gardener, chef, techie, or poet. The most important thing we can do is to inspire the art of giving in the hearts of children. This can help them see the value in serving others, being thoughtful, and developing a selfless attitude. Creating something special and giving it to others also offers a sense of pride, accomplishment, and feel good endorphins that will inspire more acts of kindness in the future.
What creative projects are you working on in your child care center for Valentine's Day?
Wendi Iacobello is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a Master of Arts in Educational Media. She also has a BS degree in Early Childhood Education. Her professional career in education spans across nine years in the public education sector to include; middle and high school special education, adult education for incarcerated men, women, & youth, compensatory education, High School Equivalency instruction formerly known as GED, and community college instruction in Early Childhood Education curriculum courses. Wendi is an Army Spouse and first time mom to an adorable infant boy. Her hobbies include; volunteering in the local community, gardening, teaching aqua cycling and stroller fit classes on the military installation, and encouraging the military community through her blog Strength 4 Spouses.