Rather than only focusing on Valentine's Day, we can discuss with young patrons what it means to love.
Children who love themselves and consider themselves individuals worthy of love will find it easier to reach out and love others. There are children who do not believe they are worthwhile persons able to be loved by others. This story and activity helps to instill attitudes of self-acceptance by affirming them. We help children become loving and lovable by loving them.
Materials--Heart in a gift-wrapped box.
Show the gift box and tell the children that it contains something that reminds us of a gift that has been given us. Give clues:
- It is so precious that no amount of money can buy it.
- Others can give the gift to you. It makes you very happy.
- You can give the gift to others. It makes others happy.
- The gift cannot be seen.
- The more of this gift you give away, the more you have of it.
Invite a child to open the box. Let another child take the heart out and show the group.
What does the heart remind us of? [Love]
Tell the children about people who love you, and invite those children who wish to tell about people who love them. Ask them how they feel when someone gives them the gift of love.
Help the children understand that love extends beyond just words and feelings. Love is more than just saying, "I love you," or having a happy feeling inside when you hug someone. Love is being willing to do something to show that you really mean the words you say and the hug you give. What do people do for others to show their love? [Do special things for them; help them; share things with them.]
Big Sister and Little Sister, by Charlotte Zolotow, Martha Alexander (Illustrator)
A small girl runs away from her domineering older sister, only to discover how much she is needed and loved.
When the New Baby Comes, I'm Moving Out, by Martha Alexander.
Oliver is going to be a big brother, and doesn't like the idea one bit.
Frog and Toad All Year, by Arnold Lobel
Two very good friends are back in ‘a quintet of tales loosely set around the seasons—one for each with a bonus Christmas number.Another winner for Frog and Toad fans young and old.’ —BL. ‘Transforms the most ordinary seasonal activities into celebrations.’ —K.