Teach love and kindness to your child this Valentine’s Day

Beyond candies, chocolates and stuffed bears, Valentine’s Day has a true meaning: The celebration of love. Make this Valentine’s Day meaningful for your child by celebrating with lessons of love, kindness and learning.

Share the love of literacy

Reading a Valentine’s Day-themed book is the perfect activity to kick off or end the holiday. Books like Llama Llama I Love You by Anna Dewdney, Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeoff and others teach lessons about kindness, compassion and meaningful relationships.

You may even find a holiday version of your child’s favorite classic! Love from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, a spin-off of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, uses eye-catching illustrations of love to show how love makes the world a brighter place. Not only can Valentine’s Day books teach valuable life lessons, but they also encourage building the foundation or a lifelong love of literacy.

Make Valentine’s Day cards

Making Valentine’s Day cards is a fun way to be crafty and spark your child’s imagination. Giving a special card to someone will help to teach children the value of appreciation. Ask your child about the important people in their life. Whether it be a family member, friend, teacher or neighbor, their effort will surely brighten someone’s day.

Store-bought valentines can feature fun designs and characters, but parents can also encourage their child to harness their creativity to create a special handmade gift. Writing a note on the inside of the card is an opportunity to practice penmanship and early language and literacy. Talk to your child out loud to help them spell words and sound-out letters.

Volunteer with your child

Bypass mainstream retail and show love to strangers by volunteering with your child. Show your child that love cannot be bought in a store, but expressed with thoughtful actions. Volunteering is an excellent opportunity to teach children about love, compassion and appreciation.

Volunteer opportunities for children of all ages are available throughout the Valley, like those at Southwest Human Development or with our friends at St. Vincent de Paul’s family dining room.

Say “I love you”

The phrase can often be forgotten in the mix of hectic schedules, but the feeling of joy that it can bring to your child is cannot be understated. Be mindful to find special moments throughout the day to tell your child that you love them. Valentine’s Day is an opportune time to teach children that love is a special emotion that has the power to change lives.

Saying “I love you,” can help your child to feel happy, appreciated and safe. Most importantly these three little words help your child to feel one priceless feeling–loved.

 

All content in this article, including any advice or commentary from Southwest Human Development staff and/or others, should be considered an opinion and is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the direct advice of your own trusted professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the child/ren in your care. Southwest Human Development does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures or other information that may be mentioned in this article. You may contact Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline at 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our early childhood professionals for personalized assistance. Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.