We love it when a holiday falls on the weekend, don’t you? Here are some fun ways to turn Valentine’s Day into more than just chocolate consumption, and add a bit of literacy-related fun while you’re at it!
- Love is in the air! Sorting and classifying are great critical thinking skills. Depending on the age of your child, sort through your collection of picture books or chapter books with one word in mind. LOVE! For younger kids, deciding whether or not the book portrays love may be enough. For older kids, thinking about the types of love may be the determining factor. For example, love between parent and child, romantic love between characters, love of hobby or sport, love for nature, etc. Is your child debating the placement of a book? Well, then they are doing it right! Another idea to try if you have more than one child? Let one try it, take a picture, then mess up the piles. Have the second child try it and then compare! Debate away!
- Make a Valentine for a beloved book character. Maybe it’s a long-time favorite or another character that could use some cheering up.
- If you’ve got a box of those candy hearts, use them to help compose a poem by gluing them to the paper in all the right places! Or create your own out of paper or use one of the many free printables available online.
- Research tells us that kids with a reading plan are more likely to be lifelong readers. Use construction paper or printer paper to make a reading chain to hang in your child’s room. Perhaps each chain has a favorite picture book your child would like to reread at bedtime or a book they’ve seen in the library or bookstore they’d like to read for the first time. Removing a chain link is a reminder of progress! Or use red or pink paper to cut out some hearts and add a few book titles your child would like to read and tape them to your child’s bedroom door. It’s a visual reminder to make sure they have access to what they’d like to read. Plus, physically removing the heart once it’s read will give them a sense of accomplishment.
- Sing Happy Birthday to Clifford, the Big Red Dog, who celebrates his birthday on Valentine’s Day!
- Play a word game. See how many words you can make out of the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” or favorite expressions your family uses.
- List as many songs as you can about love or that have love in the title. Take turns writing them down. Start a playlist on Spotify that you can listen to while reading! (And squeeze in a reminder about capitalization of song titles. Wink, wink.)
- If you happen to have red play doh or shaving cream and red food coloring, use these materials to practice spelling.
- Making a sweet treat? Reading recipes and instructions are life-long skills. Depending on the age of your child, work through the recipe together. Following the recipe on a box? Grab a marker and have your child cross out each step once complete.
- Last, but not least: Snuggle up and read together. Bonding with your child over a book is a wonderful way to show them you care and love them. Far better than overpriced flowers and sugary candy.
And now, after all that fun, go ahead and pass those heart-shaped Reeses to us…