This was always a favorite book around this time of year in my classroom. The kids always thought it was pretty funny and I always loved it because it has a great message about caring and being nice to friends.
I tried to come up with a few fun activities that we can do while we read the book... so today we're going to...
- finish our Valentine Chews-a-card box... with a few modifications (another post will be coming soon about that!)
- make Valentines for our friends at music class (still not sure what to make yet... want it to be done mostly by the little guy, but still want it to look cute. I love these ideas here and here)
- bake some heart shaped cakes for some of our neighbors
- read some more books and if we have time, do a modified version of these cute kindness lessons by Scholastic that go along with the book Clifford's First Valentine's Day by Norman Bridwell.
Alright... I think all this might take us more than one day, but I'm excited to get started!
For older kids, another activity I have done during this time of year is the 100 Acts of Kindness Project. Usually it is something to start right around Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and to do until Valentine's Day. With toddlers/preschoolers, doing 100 acts of kindness might be tough... but they can definitely do 10 acts of kindness. Talk with your kids and come up with 10 kind things they can do. Make a little sticker chart to keep track every time they do something kind... once they've reached 10 acts of kindness, have a Kindness celebration. I love the idea of doing a kindness celebration coupled with a Valentine's Day Party.
Now that I have shared this idea, I think I'm going to have to try it with my little guy. Even if he doesn't get it, it'll be good for me to work on being kind.
The main goal of these activities is to learn kind words and pair them with kind actions. While reading the books mentioned above, labeling the kind actions and introducing any new vocabulary about how to be kind is great- sharing, nice words, hugs, kisses, etc. During the day you can role-play the language of being kind- saying "thank you," saying "please," saying "I'm sorry," saying "I love you" ... and you can also practice kind actions (you do something and then have your child mimic you)- sharing a toy, giving a friend a hug, helping a friend, cleaning up, etc. As you do the actions, verbally say what you are doing so that your child can pair the action with the words. Practicing these skills with their stuffed animals and dolls will probably be easier than with friends at first... so that's a good way to start!