My favorite Valentine book to share with my class is Somebody Loves Your, Mr. Hatch, by Eileen Spinelli.
The children always love this story, and really seem to understand it. You can just see the empathy in the kids' faces as you read it.
If you aren't familiar with the story, here is a really quick synopsis.
Mr. Hatch had no friends. He was sad and stuck to his lonely routine every day.
One day, the postman delivered a box to Mr. Hatch, with a note that read, "Somebody loves you. "
This note and gift changed his whole outlook on life. He was happy, started talking to and helping people, and making friends.
The postman returned and sadly explained that he had delivered the gift to the wrong address.
Mr. Hatch again felt that nobody loved him, and he was all alone. (This is where my class said, "It's a CIRCLE story!" But I told them that it wasn't over yet! )
The neighborhood people had come to love Mr. Hatch because they finally got to know him. They missed the happy, friendly Mr. Hatch who they had come to know. They thought of all the kind things Mr. Hatch had done for them, and decided to do something to let Mr. Hatch know that he really was loved.
That weekend when Mr. Hatch went out to sweep his porch as he usually did, he was greeted with the happiest surprise he had ever seen- and he knew that he truly was loved.
The illustrations and expressions are so much fun to look at. The coloring is great, too, because we noticed how the pages where Mr. Hatch is sad are dark and not colorful, but when he is feeling better and more hopeful, the pages have more bright color.
We had a wonderful sharing time about what small things we could do for people to let them know that we appreciate them. We talked about how sometimes people who seem sad may be feeling like they have no friends, and may just not know how to let us see the happy person they can be.
I had the children share what they think love is. Then, I told the children that I have a favorite book that taught me some important things about what love is. I had copied off and read some parts of 1 Corinthians 13 about love. We talked about what it means to be patient and kind. We learned what the words envy and boast mean, and how that isn't a loving way to act. We talked about how love is thinking about other people, not getting mad easily, and forgiving others when they make mistakes.
We also made some fun and easy Valentines.
First, I had the children learn to trace and cut half a heart on a fold of graph paper. After they cut the heart, they colored in the squares with glitter crayons. When it was done, they glued it onto a piece of construction paper to make a Valentine.
This is an easy little activity- but not all that quick, because I really encourage the children to take their time and color neatly. We started it today, and will finish the design tomorrow for morning work. If you have bigger graph paper, they wouldn't take so long to finish. If you have smaller graph paper, you could be busy for a week!
I also love marble painting. We make spider webs in fall, flowers and butterflies in spring, and these hearts for Valentine's Day. We sprinkled on a little glitter after the painting- just because glitter makes everything just that much better.
That's it! I just wanted to share in case you were looking for a quick little activity to do in all of your spare time! :)
Thank you for stopping by!