We use the week of Valentine’s Day to celebrate the myriad friendships in our classroom communities. We provide an array of activities that help children notice their connections with each other.
Valentine Chant: At circle, we pass around a valentine tin and share our love of each child with the following chant (Tune of “Do You Know the Muffin Man?”):
“______ (Name) is our valentine, our valentine, our valentine. ______ (Name) is our valentine, our valentine, our valentine. ______ . We love them from head to toe!” We move our bodies while we chant, touching the top of our head (head), hugging ourselves (love) and reaching to our feet (toes). Some children grin ear to ear with pride as we sing to them. One child invents an added component, drumming on the heart-shaped tin and a few of us join in. Others decide to pass the box, indicating they prefer not to be the center of attention. But when I offer up the option of whispering the chant or meowing in cat, many who initially weren’t so sure, decide to take a turn.
Surprise Love Notes: We invite parents to write a surprise love note to their child using a white oil pastel on a piece of watercolor paper. During class, each child reveals the surprise message as they paint over the white, hidden characters, pictures and messages.
Valentine Guessing Game: We arrange an array of small red or pink items on a tray. Children review all the items on a tray: a red car, a squishy pink ball, a red heart-shaped rock, a ladybug toy…etc. Then we cover the tray with a scarf and each child gets a turn to sneakily remove one item and put it on their lap while keeping it covered. The rest of the group guesses what item is missing. If they’re unsure, we give them a hint.