by Katrina Morse for Family Reading Partnership
Writing and receiving cards in the mail or hand delivering a card to someone special can be a fun family tradition. Show your child the value of the written word this Valentine’s Day by making your own cards and sharing them friends and relatives.
Get out your red and pink construction paper (or color some white paper with crayons), scraps of ribbon, buttons, or other odds and ends. Use glue sticks or white glue (for heavier items) and markers or colored pencils. Show your child how to make a heart by folding paper in half and then cutting out just one half of the heart. Open the paper to reveal a symmetrical symbol of love! Cut, arrange, glue and then when everything is ready, add the words to make a special Valentine’s Day message.
When you help your children write the things they want to say on their cards, or you write what they dictate, you are showing them that words are used to tell people our feelings (among other things!).
Read the Valentine message by pointing to letters and words and saying the message together, following along with your finger. Give each other a hug for a job well done!
Give Valentine’s Day cards in person or put in an envelope and show your child how to add an address, stamp, and put in the US mail. Grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, and faraway friends will treasure a handmade card sent to them for Valentine’s Day.
Learn some words about love that you can use in your cards by reading some of these children’s books:
- “How Many Do I Love You: A Valentine Counting Book,” by Cheri Love-Byrd, illustrated by Mei Stoyva, padded picture book format
- “Counting Kisses: A Kiss & Read Book” by Karen Katz, board book format
- “I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home” by Kathryn Cristaldi, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
Do you have a favorite picture book character? There is probably a Valentine’s Day book featuring that character that you can read together. You’ll find rhymes and heartfelt messages about love in these books:
- “Llama Llama I Love You” by Anna Dewdney, board book format
- “Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle
- “Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day is Cool” by James Dean
- “Love from the Crayons” by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
- “Happy Valentine’s Day Mouse” by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond, board book format