We all need a little bit more love in the world right now. And what better time to add some than right before Valentine’s Day? While I do enjoy the traditional Valentine’s Day activities with my kiddos like making heart shaped cookies and chocolate treats, this year, I’m needing something a little bit more. I’m looking for a Valentine’s Day activity with my kids that will share the love!
And we all know that engaging in reading and writing activities at home with your child is so important for the development of literacy. As a former classroom teacher, I’m always looking for ways to sprinkle this into our day. So this February, why not combine activities that will spread love to others AND help your kids with their literacy at the same time?
Literacy and love? It’s a win win!
Here are my suggestions for Valentine’s Day literacy activities that are sure to spread the love:
1. Care Packages for Healthcare Workers
This has been at the top of my to-do list. What better time than now to spread some love to all those amazing frontline healthcare workers? Simply grab a basket and fill it with treats like packaged snacks, waters, lip balm, coffee and tea packets, hair ties, comfy socks, hand and face wipes, masks, and anything else that would help make a healthcare worker’s day. Next, turn this into a literacy project by asking your kids to create note cards with words of thanks, illustrations, and inspiring quotes to tuck into the package.
Last but not least, contact your local Seacoast healthcare facility about a good time to drop off the goodies. Reach out to places like Harbour Women’s Health, Wentworth Douglas Hospital or Seacoast Mental Health Center. This is an easy way to show love and appreciation – and sneak in some literacy practice as well.
2. Make Valentines for a Nursing Home
My sons’ great grandmother lives in a nursing home and while she can’t have visitors right now due to COVID-19, you better believe we will be making and sending her a Valentine! And while we’re at it, we’re going to make a bunch of extras for her neighbors who might need some love and cheering up.
If you know someone who lives in a nursing home or have one located near you, send some homemade cards their way. Encourage your kids to practice writing on the cards – even if it’s just their name. You could also have them copy short poems or quotes about love (our come up with their own!) to add to the writing practice. *Make sure you call the nursing home first to get specific instructions on quarantining the Valentines, etc.
3. Read a Story
Do you know someone far away who would love to hear your kids read a story? Why not jump on zoom and do a story time? If more than one kiddo is involved, have them take turns reading and sharing their favorite books out loud. A little closer to home, I’m encouraging my older son to “read” to his younger brother, helping him with the words and sounds of the different pictures that he knows.
Reading a cherished story (why not try a book aimed at teaching kindness) is a great way for kids to show others that they love them this Valentine’s Day.
4. Write a Letter to our Troops
One way older kids can show love through literacy is by writing a letter of encouragement to someone in our armed forces. Suggest that they write a letter of thanks and appreciation, or simply a letter telling about their day-to-day life. Younger kids can get in on the action by drawing pictures or creating a story to send.
And while you can’t send mail directly to troops that you don’t know, here and here are two of my suggestions for organizations that will help you get connected. It’s super easy and very appreciated by those brave men and women who serve our country.
5. Donate Used Books
I don’t know about you, but at my house we always seem to have books that my kids are either tired of, or have simply outgrown. This February, instead of letting those stories stay on the shelf, we’re going to have a virtual book sale and donate the profits to a local charity organization.
Not into online sales? Donate your used books to a nearby school, church, shelter, hospital, or library where the stories can be loved by new children ready to read them. Just don’t forget to give those books one last read before they head along their merry way.