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Valentines-Inspired Books & Activities for Kids

Snowflakes are falling, wind is blowing is in the air! Before the jaded commercialism sets in, we're reminded about the pure joy that Valentines Day brings little kiddos. The swapping of cute cards, the sugary treats, the love-inspired crafts and the spreading of warmest wishes. I admit, I'm a sucker for all these things too!

Looking for Valentines-inspired picture books, activities and thoughtful discussions? I've compiled a handful of recommendations that are sure to get your kiddos feeling warm and fuzzy.

1. Friendship-Themed Books & Activities

There are lots of wonderful pictures books that tackle the theme of friendship. One of the most compelling is the Winnie The Pooh book series. "Winnie the Pooh, Friendship Day" is a perfect option that lends itself to some fruitful conversations and fun activities.

"Friendship Day" tells the story of how Winnie and his friends plan a big celebration for this special day, and what each friend will share with the others to show their love. Eeyore struggles to find something he can share with his friends, but with the help of Christopher Robin, he comes up with an idea and realizes a big lesson...that friendship is about caring.

"Winnie the Pooh, Friendship Day": Follow-Up Questions & Activities

  • What does it mean to be a good friend?

  • How can you show someone you care about them?

  • If you planned your own Friendship Day party, what kinds of things would you do?

  • Ask your kids to share one nice thing with another peer or sibling. It could be a drawing, a personalized card, a compliment, part of their snack...let them use their imaginations.

  • Plan a Friendship Day party in your classroom or at home. Assign each child a different task, such as, decorations, party favours, music or snacks.

Another heartwarming picture book about friendship is "Corduroy.” It tells the story of how a stuffed teddy bear finds a new button and a new friend. This Don Freeman classic lends itself to discussing simple acts of kindness.

"Corduroy": Follow-Up Questions & Activities

  • How does Corduroy feel at the beginning of the story, and how does it change at the end of the story?

  • How does your friend(s) make you feel?

  • What simple acts of kindness can make someone feel better/happy?

  • As a class or at home, make a list of all the kind things you will do every day.

  • Use Corduroy-inspired buttons in an arts & crafts activity. I.e. Counting buttons exercise, glue buttons in the shape of a heart etc...

  • Kindness "bingo" using buttons.

My last friendship-themed recommendation is "Dear Mr. Blueberry.” Written by Simon James, this book tells the story of a little girl who writes to her teacher over the Summer about her discovery of a loveable whale. Throughout the pen-pal style of writing, readers learn about whales, friendship and unwavering love.

"Dear Mr. Blueberry": Follow-Up Questions & Activities

  • What is a pen pal?

  • Do you have a pet you care about? How does your pet make you feel?

  • What is your favourite animal and why?

  • What are some fun facts you learned about whales from this story?

  • Make a "pen pal" mailbox in your classroom or at home, and have your kids write a letter every week to their friend(s).

2. Love-Themed Books & Activities

Unsurprisingly, top of the list for love-themed picture books is the Robert Munsch classic, "Love You Forever." If you have a little kiddo at home, chances are you have been gifted this book at some point. The timeless message of unconditional love resonates with children and parents alike.

"Love You Forever": Follow-Up Questions & Activities

  • What do the parents in this story do to show love?

  • How does love make you feel?

  • Does love change as the boy grows up in this story?

  • As a class or at home, make a list of all the things you love.

  • Use the book's repeating song/poem as a fill in the blank exercise:

"I'll ___ you forever,

I'll ___ you as always,

As long as I'm ____.

My ____ you'll be."

  • Show your parent/sibling/grandparent/caregiver a sign of love. Hug? Compliment? Smile?

Another love-themed recommendation is "Two Hands to Love You.” Similar to the Robert Munsch classic, this story also reveals a parent's unfaltering love for their child. It will tug at the heartstrings and illustrate how loving hands guide us throughout life.

"Two Hands to Love You": Follow-Up Questions & Activities

  • What does the family in this story do to show love?

  • How do you show others love?

  • As a class or at home, make a list of all the things you can do to show love.

  • Create a love poem with descriptive words for each letter in the word "LOVE". Example:

L - lovely, loving, long-lasting, loveable.

O - outstanding, open-heart, over-the-moon.

V - valentines, very happy.

E - everlasting, each other, excited, empathy.

  • Show your parent/sibling/grandparent/caregiver a sign of love. Hug? Compliment? Smile?

  • Use handprints in arts & crafts activity. Examples: handprint heart, handprint poem etc...

Lastly, "Guess How Much I Love You" illustrates the immeasurable way you can love someone. Throughout the story, Little Nutbrown Hare is determined to show Big Nutbrown Hare just how big his love is for his parent. The reader starts to realize that love isn't an easy thing to measure.

"Guess How Much I Love You": Follow-Up Questions & Activities

  • How big is love?

  • Can love be measured?

  • What would you use to measure love?

  • Practice different measurements by creating a love recipe. Example:

1 tablespoon of smiles

1 cup of hugs

1/4 cup of kindness

A pinch of empathy

  • Have your kids measure and cut a long piece of yarn, then wrap it into a yarn ball that represents the size of their love.

3. Valentines-Themed Books & Activities

There is no shortage of Valentines-themed stories, especially among popular book series'. Crowd pleasers that come to mind, include, Bernstein Bears, Franklin, Caillou, and Curious George.

All kinds of Valentines-themed activities will keep your kiddos engaged and focused. From card exchange to heart-shaped crafts to baking sweet treats...the activity list is endless, and just requires a little bit of imagination and a boatload of love.

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentines Day to come, and as always, happy reading!

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