Valentine’s Day brings lots of fun stuff like cookies, chocolate, flowers, and cards! There are displays of love and affection everywhere. It is a tradition that has been around for centuries but how do you explain Valentine’s Day to a preschooler?
Introducing the traditions and meaning of St. Valentine’s Day is important in establishing a feeling of goodwill and kindness that is associated with the tradition. Preschoolers may be experiencing Valentine’s Day for the first time and not understand what the day is all about. They may have feelings of insecurity or confusion with the gift giving and cards and such. It’s important to set the stage for what Valentine’s Day is and what it represents to help your preschooler have a positive experience. Here are some tips for how to explain Valentine’s Day to a preschooler.
Talk About The True Meaning of Valentine’s Day
Preschoolers may be timid with social relationships and can develop feelings of self-doubt when they are in situations where give and take isn’t reciprocated. To reduce feelings of self-doubt that may arise in a child, it’s important to frame the holiday with the true meaning of being kind to one another and celebrating each individual for who they are, even though there may be differences. Describe the day as one of sharing love for all people, not just romantic interests. Remind the child that gifts can come in other ways besides being wrapped, and that love can be shown through acts of kindness or words of encouragement–not only in gifts or candy. This can not only ensure they have a happy holiday but also inspire their self-confidence and self-love, which is vital to a child’s personal development.
Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day
You can celebrate Valentine’s Day with fun activities and treats for the whole family when they get home from school. Continue to talk about the meaning behind giving each other gifts and the importance of telling the people they care about that they are loved and valued. Take this opportunity to start your own traditions where you can create lasting memories of what it means to be well-loved and appreciated. Maybe this could be in the form of teaching your child a new recipe for cookies or reading a bedtime story on the topic of love. Or, maybe it is a special meal, handcrafted Valentine cards, or a special game.
When Your Child Feels Rejected
Feelings of rejection for a preschooler create a fear of being left out that may be a new feeling for him/her. Not receiving a Valentine’s Day card from a friend or receiving few to no cards from others in the class can leave a child feeling less than worthy or embarrassed. Let your child know that others may not show their feelings in the same way. Some may give a card and others may show caring with hugs or being friendly. When the preschooler can understand that there are different ways to show love and appreciation, then the feelings of rejection may be lessened. It is always important to listen and take their feelings seriously. This is support for them and can ease the discomfort of rejection. Afterward, engage in a fun activity that can be a positive distraction and send the message to not take the experience so seriously.
What Can a Preschool Class Do For Valentine’s Day?
There are many fun activities that a preschool class can do for Valentine’s Day. Using hearts as a theme on puzzles and games or integrating hearts and cupids in arts and crafts are a couple of basic ways to celebrate the day. Showing the true meaning of the holiday should be a fundamental part of the day. But, the most important thing is to bring inclusiveness so that all the children can be a part of the day’s activities and no one feels excluded.
Primary Beginnings Wishes You a Happy Valentine’s Day!
If you are looking for a preschool that incorporates important learning experiences and inclusiveness for all students, contact Primary Beginnings. Learn more about our preschool and after-school programs. Request a tour of either our North Hills or Spring Forest child care centers in North Raleigh. Call our North Hills Drive location at 919-785-0303 or our Spring Forest location at 919-790-6888, or fill out our convenient contact form to get started.