Ahh, February! The kiddos have just gotten over the withdrawal symptoms caused by the sudden drop in blood sugar levels after Christmas, so of course it’s the perfect time for another confectionary holiday!
Now, I’m a middle of the roader when it comes to holidays and preschool. I don’t quite agree with the notion that they should be completely abolished from school. They are what kids are interested in, and I believe curriculum should emerge from the child’s interests. Though, I also don’t agree with the idea that a holiday is an appropriate curriculum theme in and of itself for an extended period of time. So I like to take the holiday and find connections to other social or science based themes. As I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of friendship and writing and sending notes and letters. I think of the social skills involved in creating and maintaining human relationships. These are skills children need to develop. (While we’re at it, there are plenty of adults who could use a course on those skills as well!)
So, at this time of year, I like to utilize the theme “Friends and Communication”. It allows for a focus on friendship – how we talk to our friends, what we like to do with our friends, and how we resolve conflicts with friends. It also ties in with the concept of communication, particularly written communication (here’s where the Valentines really tie in) – the mail system, writing letters, recognizing written names, and sharing our thoughts in written words.
Here are just a few of the concepts and objectives within the theme:
|Concepts / Objectives||Subject Areas/Skills|
||Phonemic Awareness /Pre-Reading Skills|
||Math – Sorting & Counting|
||Social Concepts, Communication, & Writing|
I’ve been a bit of a slacker lately, but I’ll try to get as many of the Valentine’s activities posted before the actual holiday for anyone who might be looking for a last minute idea! Here are the activities I plan to post:
Shape Scoop (Add Hearts!)
Post Office Dramatic Play:
What Envelopes Will Do to Your Writing Center! (Just do it and find out for yourself!)
Group Games, Songs, Etc.:
Heart Count and Pattern
Play “Who Has the Heart” (Adapt this game by using a felt heart instead of a pumpkin)
Five Little Valentines (This song and others located here.)
Big Soft Pretzels (This is the BEST recipe!)
Valentine Mice by Bethany Roberts (Combine with any rhyming game)
Jennifer Jones Won’t Leave Me Alone by Frieda Wishinsky (One of my all-time favorite books! Follow up by making these Love Mobiles – simplified if necessary – for someone special!)
The Best Thing About Valentines by Eleanor Hudson (Make your own fancy Valentines!)
Please Write Back! by Jennifer E. Morris
We’ll see how quickly I can get caught up! Stay tuned!
Top hearts photo by wemedge.