For Valentine's Day this year I decided to do a little project with Iona about love. We began by making this wreath from a paper plate, sugar paper and tissue paper:
I found the idea and templates at http://www.examiner.com/family-holidays-in-denver/easy-valentines-day-crafts, and it really was very easy to make. I cut the hearts out from the paper, and allowed Iona to stick them onto the plate, although, as I didn't cut the centre of the plate out, I had to prevent her sticking them in the middle. She's definitely improving in her ability to stay on task when doing crafts, although I have to choose ones that allow her to do her own thing to a large extent, which is quite restrictive.
Another craft I then went on to do with Iona was making these Valentine cards:
This idea came from the blog Artful Adventures. It required a little more effort than the wreath, to prevent Iona doing her own thing and sabotaging the painting, but I helped her do 3 fingerprint hearts on one sheet of paper, then removed that to dry while she fingerpainted to her heart's content on another spare sheet. I explained to her that on Valentine's Day we give cards to people we love, and asked who she wanted to make her cards for, expecting her to say Mummy, Daddy, and 1 or more of her friends. She replied "I love Mummy, and I love me, and I love Daddy", and insisted on making her cards for Mummy, Daddy and herself! I love the way she is so un-self-conscious in her self-regard, and wish that she could stay that way, although I recognise that she will have to change, and probably sooner rather than later. Still, I hope that she will learn to accept and love herself as God loves her, rather than accept any negative judgements that the world will try to impose on her.
For Valentine's Day reading I borrowed The Love Bugs from the library and read it to her. She was keen to read it, but the story was a bit complicated for such a young child, and I don't think she really understood, even with me trying to explain the intricacies as I went along.
On the day itself I tried to make heart-shaped jellies, but failed in that attempt, due to being unable to find the raspberry jelly. However, I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out bread hearts, which I then used to make Iona Valentine's pizza:
Iona enjoyed these, and was easily able to name the heart shape.
Funnily enough, although the lesson at church the day before Valentine's Day was about Paul's letter to Timothy, it fitted in well with our Valentine's theme, as it emphasised that God loves us. In fact, the leader actually arranged for each child there to receive a letter addressed to them, telling them so, so that aspect of my theme was well-covered.
Finally, I found this channel on YouTube with various Valentine's Day activities on it. Iona loved this song, and I had to sing it to her repeatedly for several days!