Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a nice holiday for preschoolers because they "get it". Christmas? Well, there's Santa, Jesus, presents, lots of snow...many things to focus on. Same with Easter. And other holidays like Martin Luther King Jr Day and President's Day require a lot of background knowledge that they just don't have yet. But Valentine's Day is about love. And candy. Mom loves me, so I get candy. Easy enough. :)
So we began our talk about Valentine's Day with a talk about love, and how parents love us when we're good and even when we're naughty. It's reassuring to the kids to hear that even though mama may be mad and yell sometimes, she will always love you.

Book 1: How Do I Love You? by P.K. Hallinan
This is a cute, short book about love. It's written in first person, telling of how "I love you on your very best and very worst of days." The easy rhyming makes it a nice read-aloud book. It's also got parts that will make the parents smile, like how "you wear your pants with the front part in the back", but it doesn't go over the kids' heads either, like some of the picture books that we adults like.

Book 2: Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff
A new board book by Laura Numeroff, the kids were excited by this, because almost all of them know the mouse from her "If You Give a Mouse..." series. Very short, it shows all of mouse's friends and tells why she loves each of them. It ends up with all of them arriving at his house for Valentine's Day. It ended a bit abruptly, but board books are so short that it is difficult to have a complete story sometimes. So I changed the ending a little bit - my license as the one telling the story!

Book 3: The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
This is a short, sweet story about a girl who catches hearts in the rain and uses them to make different valentines for four different friends. I like this one because it emphasizes creativity (she makes the cards herself) and thoughtfulness (each card was different, based on who was getting it). We read it straight through, (noticing at the end that hearts are growing on trees) then paged back to see which of her friends had received each valentine.

Book 4: Slugs in Love by Susan Pearson
For my 5-year-old group, I left out "How Do I Love You?" in favor of "Slugs in Love". It is a bit longer than books I usually read for storytime, but it's a cute story and I knew the older kids would enjoy it. It has two slugs writing each other love notes in slime on various things in the garden. I ham up the slime part a bit and the kids think it's pretty funny. They also were getting excited about the rhyming parts of the love notes the slugs sent, especially since that class is talking about rhyming right now.

Activity: Valentine's Cards
Nothing too complicated this week. Just printed off a card on red paper with an image of a heart on the front and let the kids decorate with markers and stickers to give to someone they love. It's nice to have some open-ended activities every so often so the kids can really use their creativity. Happy Valentine's Day!
Theme used week of February 8, 2010.

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