Valentine’s Day With Preschoolers
So, what does Valentine’s day mean to preschoolers? We all know it’s a day to show the people we love how much we care about them. We celebrate love within relationships with our children, family, spouses and significant others. But how can this day be used in a significant way within the preschool environment? I’m here to answer that question. What’s incredible is that sometimes sharing isn’t necessarily something that comes naturally to many of us. Sharing is still a strength I have to work on.
Being An Only Child I Never Had To Share
You guys might not know this but I’m an only child. For the entirety of my life, I was an only. I never had to share my toys or share my room. I never had to share anything. There’s a lot in common between me and preschoolers between the ages of 3-6 years who have some sharing struggles. This is such a great time of year to focus on feelings, emotions, and sharing. It’s about naming our emotions and giving ourselves a voice and a choice. It’s about loving ourselves, loving others, gifting others and putting someone before ourselves. Just going to the store with Mom and Dad to pick out Valentine cards for their friends at school is an incredible experience. When you let that child loose on the Target Valentine’s Day aisle, you will see the inner workings of a child’s heart. As parents, we might get impatient trying to hurry this process along. But what’s amazing is how much thought goes into picking the cards. If you’re letting your child choose, you’ll hear things like “My friend Johnny doesn’t like unicorns.” Or, “My best friend Sally wants trolls.” Their favorite teacher loves tulips and on it goes. What is so fascinating to me is how much the child has picked up from the people around them. They are aware of others’ likes and dislikes.
Seeing What Is Important To Your Child, First Hand, Is An Incredible Experience
These kids know whose parents belong to which child. In some cases, they even know which car belongs to which family as they’re watching their friends at drop-off and pick-up! So, I’m sure you have heard me speak about how age 3 to 6 years old is called the absorbent phase. Our goal at preschool is to fill their environment with useful amazing experiences that will serve our students well later on in life. The task is to choose Valentine cards for their friends. It is so fun to see what the children bring. Students might bring in cards their friends would like or maybe choose cards that they themselves would like. Observing how children make their decisions is very telling. Seeing how important their friends are to them is another incredible experience.
One-On-One Time With Students
I often do lunch or snack dates with the students. It’s a time when I can sit down with them one-on-one. We eat together and discuss whatever it is that is on their mind. I have to say it’s one of my most favorite times of the day. It’s the time that the children request most often. I’ll hear a little knock at my door and open it. Thers is a little smiling face asking if they may have lunch with me. I tell you it warms my heart every time! I find out their likes or dislikes, favorite color, favorite food, their pet’s names, where grandma lives and where they go on vacation. I’m finding it’s better to hear than be heard. When we share our thoughts with each other we end up creating inroads to communication and hearts that care. I know curriculum is important and you will not hear me say differently. Helping children grow in their empathy is just as important as curriculum. Raising good citizens and growing children who genuinely care about themselves, their families, friend and our environment seems to be an incredibly important goal to aim for.
I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day and are having a great weekend!