I Love You Because...
If I'm being 100% honest, I am not really a Valentine's Day person. I won't turn down some pretty roses and yummy chocolates, but I want my love to be celebrated more than just one day a year. Somehow I feel like celebrating when everyone else is celebrating somehow makes it smaller. That's just me. However, when my Read & Play pals decided to celebrate the holiday with another blog hop, I decided to jump at the opportunity to talk to my three year olds a little about love. I love Children's Books and tying them to learning activities. If you've missed them, we have recently done Read + Play posts for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The book I picked this time isn't particularly Valentine's Day focused, but it is all about love. One of the first loves that young children experience - that between parent and child. It seemed a fitting book to read with my little ones for the holiday and then we did a lovely watercolor painting.
Book Review: I Love You Because You're You by Liza Baker
Gently illustrated by the wonderful David McPhail. A darling story about a mom and a little boy. The mom shares that she loves her little one when he's happy, sad, and everything in between. It ends with "I love you any way you are. I love you because you're you!" I love the message. As a mom I ride the waves of my children's strong emotions all day long, yet good or bad at the end of the day I love them always. This beautiful idea is well articulated by Liza Baker in this sweet story. 1+
(Set Up) Before we sat down to read the story, I drew hearts with a sharpie on several pieces of watercolor paper. I also gathered basic watercolor painting supplies.
After we read the story, we had a conversation.
First we talked about feelings.
Feelings of all kinds. This was an open conversations, but I helped it along with some questions. Try something like;
What makes you feel mad?
When do you feel happy?
What do you do when you feel sad?
How can you help someone who feels sad?
Then, we focused on Love.
We talked about who we love. Daddy is on our mind a lot because he's away for work this month. On our hearts we wrote out things that we love about the people in our family. Young children have a somewhat limited ability to articulate their love. Their responses were primarily of the concrete kind "I love my brother because he plays with me." Write down their responses, whatever they might be, then to the fun part.
Next, we painted.
Offer your kids the basic waterpainting supplies for a simple painting session. Watercolors are one of my favorites. They are soft and flow across the paper. I love the colors and the way they blend. Fortunately my kids seem to feel the same way.
When we were done we set them aside to dry. In the afternoon, I cut the hearts out with scissors. Older children would be able to do this step on their own. My kids haven't quite mastered the skill of cutting a curve. Then we stapled the hearts to the ribbon. My kids decided to hang our bunting across the fireplace. I think they are missing our Christmas stockings.
Happy Valentine's Day.
I Love You Because You're You by Laura Numeroff
*Make sure to visit the other Valentine's Read + Play blog posts!! And check out the Read + Play Pinterest Board for even more ideas.
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