Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and although it is traditionally a time to celebrate your love for your partner, it is also an opportunity to celebrate your love for your children. Before having children I could not have imagined the unconditional, all-encompassing love that I would feel; it is like no other, I am sure you agree.
The first experience of love a child has is the love their parents show for them, and it is through this that children learn what love is! No pressure! So how do we show our children that we love them? Of course we cuddle them and kiss them and we say that we love them. But we also show our love through the way we protect and nurture them, when we care for them and make them feel better, and in the patience that we show them… which we use a lot of! We also show our love for our children when we make time to play with them, sharing in their interests.
This week it is also children’s Mental Health Week here in the U.K. so what better time to express your love and support for your child. Keep an eye on my Instagram and Facebook pages for some activities to support your child’s mental health.
Valentine’s Day activities for children!
Talk to your child about how special they are to you and how much you love them. Ask your child what is special to them. Together find items around the house that they love and is special to them, for example; their bedtime teddy, a photo of someone special, their favourite toy, or their favourite book. Find a nice box to put them all in. Talk about why these items are special and how it makes them feel.
Find some thick card and cut out a heart shape. Children can use paint to do finger prints all over the heart shape, either using any colours they wish to express themselves, or different shades of pink and red. (Bonus- this would make a lovely homemade gift!) The rest of the card should now have a heart shaped hole… put this over paper as a template and encourage them to paint inside; once the template is removed they will see their heart shaped painting!
Red is the colour of love so have a red themed week or day; red food such as strawberries or tomatoes, paint with different shades of red or on red paper, or find red scraps of paper to cut and stick with. You could also make a basket of red toys for your little one to play with; find an empty storage box and, depending on your child’s age or ability, either you or your child find only red toys to put in the box… what play could they create? For example, maybe you have found red building blocks, a red teddy, red plastic food, a red train and a red car… you could create a race track for the vehicles using the blocks and the teddy can watch with his snack!
Draw large love hearts on the ground with chalk. Can they:
- Jump from heart to heart?
- Tip-toe along the chalk lines to follow the shape?
- Colour and draw inside the shapes with chalks?
- Draw their own love heart shapes with chalk?
Have a look through your children’s book collection and find books that talk about love, my favourite is ‘Guess how much I love you’ by Sam McBratney. If you don’t have any, then why not head down to your local library together and see what you can find? Once you have found some books, just snuggle up and enjoy!
What are the learning opportunities?
Young children will be learning to safely explore their emotions beyond their normal range through play and stories, and to talk about their feelings in more elaborated ways. 3 and 4 year olds will be learning to talk about their feelings using words such as ‘happy’. Reception aged children will be learning to express their feelings and consider the feelings of others.Development Matters, 2021, Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Showing your love for your children is something we all do without thinking, but it has a huge impact on them for the rest of their life; a loved child will have more chance of growing up to be an adult secure in their own emotions, ready to love their own children. So, embrace the love this Valentine’s Day! Will you celebrate your love for your children this week? Let me know in the comments.