Valentine Songs and Books for Kids

Happy Valentine’s Week! Even if you have don’t have a “sweetheart” valentine or if the newness of sharing that first Valentine’s Day together has worn off 10 or so years later, sharing all the fun festivities with your young children makes it pretty exciting and fun! You can make it extra-special for them by adding special “family” rituals and traditions. We shared one of our favorites this morning, a Valentine breakfast at Krispy Kreme! (This ritual does NOT express our “taking care of our bodies” family value, but it is fun together time, and I guess the fact that it only happens once a year does express that health value in a converse sort of way.) Doctor Daddy Dustin will be at work early on V-day, so we celebrated early. When we got in the car this morning, we turned on the love song CD that I made for Daddy when we got married. As the children’s volume increased with simultaneous whining and the endless  detailed explanation of MJ’s latest computer game adventures with the “Penguins of Madagascar”, my Valentine cracked me up when he cranked up the music to mask the sound of the children – so romantic! As we walked in from the parking lot, the 4 of us hand-in-hand, Ellie said “We’re having a family holding hands!” (You can tell I talk like this a lot…it does make an impression.) My favorite part was when I whispered to Ellie, “Will you be my sweet Valentine?”, and she whispered back with sticky chocolate lips, “Only if you’ll be mine!“) We’ve also been enjoying our ““Boxes of Love”, and last night I got to tag along to one of the Valentine traditions Dustin and the children have: choosing special chocolates for Mommy at Chocolate Secrets. The kids were behaving so unusually well after a late nap that we stayed and enjoyed some treats and wine and live jazz music with all the grown-ups, up past 8:00 bedtime! (What would “Wee Willie Winkie” say?!?)
Anyway, to help wish you and your valentine’s a LOVE-filled week, I wanted to share with you some special rhymes, songs, and books from my family and classroom to yours! Enjoy!

And don’t forget to let me know if you can come help “Spread the LOVE!” (and music and cards) this Friday afternoon, Feb. 15th, 4:00 to the elderly residents at The Villages of Lake Highlands, Contact Me. After all, Valentine’s Day is not all about getting candy and cards, but as Mr. Rogers reminded me and kids the other day, “sharing is a part of love”.

 

  • Valentine Finger Play rhyme: “I part my hands together, this is how I start. I curve my fingers right around, and I can make a heart!”, watch MJ doing it…
  •  “Skinnamarink/ I love you” – Great song to sing and dance to! Make a homemade shaker to play along with (our of an old water bottle and some beans or rice – decorate the outside with heart stickers.) Make sure to pause each time to sing and sign “I love you.”. (Point to yourself, then cross your arms at chest like your hugging, then point to the one you love!)
  • This week at school I’ve been playing the ukulele and leading a simple Valentine’s song to the tune of “London Bridge”: Will you be my valentine, valentine, valentine? Will you be my valentine, be a friend of mine? I’ll be yours if you’ll be mine, you’ll be mine, you’ll be mine, I’ll be yours if you’ll be mine, be my valentine! It’s fun to try as a simple circle dance (NOT so simple for 2-year-olds!) – walking around and the other way, adding 4 steps forward and back for the bigger kids. Then we pair up with “valentine” partners, and try other movements around the room to the song: walking/ jumping/ rocking/ stomping/ dancing/ running with my valentine… This week, we are going to make it even more fun! I’m going to pass out pre-cut hearts in different colors, and the children will find their match while we sing!
  • We’ve also been singing a favorite of mine, “It’s about Love, Love, Love”. You can read my post from last year and see a video of Ellie singing it, (“It’s About Love…” song and post). In class this year, we passed a big valentine heart around the circle to the beat. Since I am also the chapel teacher, this valentine was “from God” and said “God is love.” It was a reminder that God loves them, and God loves everyone. That’s why they passed it on to their neighbors! I also taught them the signing for “Father, Mother, Sister, Brother”, and held up a sign that said “HOORAY!” for them to read on cue. 
  • There Are Many Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ “, a favorite of mine by Mr. Rogers. You can listen and learn his wonderful songs at pbs kids. Brainstorm the many ways your family members express love to one another! This week in my class, I will take in “symbols” of some of these way for the children to guess – a wooden spoon (cooking), a crayon drawing, a book (reading to someone), an instrument (playing a song for someone), a hand-knit blanket. Look around your house and create a “Symbols of love” center or centerpiece this week!
  • There’s a Little Wheel a Turnin’ in My Heart” (strengthening fine motor muscles/ finger independence by “turning” thumbs and individual fingers, practicing steady beat with “drums a-drummin’/ bells a-ringing”) learn the song
  • MJ demonstrates his “Hug Together” Hearts for you! MJ cheerfully helped to decorate the house last weekend for the “month of love”, and when I read one card that he’d used, “My Perfect Rose”, he gave me a hug and said, “My Perfect Mommy!”. (Lord, I hope he’s this sweet when he’s 16!)
  •  The Ballad of Valentine by Alison Jackson. This engaging story is easy to sing, set to the tune of “Oh My Darlin’ Clementine”. My kids love this, and the children at school are transfixed by it, too. They are SO interested to learn about all the ways of sending messages: pony express, morse code, smoke signals, homing pigeons, and more! It’s full of new and rich vocabulary words. My son knows this one by heart!

Front Cover

  •  Snuggle Puppy of Mine by Sandra Boynton, this is just a great one to keep the beat with, to bounce to, to kiss to, to teach “whisper” voice with, to sign “I love you” with, and to remind your child that you love “who they are and what they do!”, learn the song

<em>Snuggle Puppy</em>: A Little Love <em>Song</em> [Book]

  • Rhyme Time Valentine by Nancy Poydar. My kids LOVE the character Ruby,  to play the rhyming games with her, and read her rhyming valentine messages.

  • This one is pure SILLINESS! And we’ve enjoyed it for several years, so we have fond memories of it. We especially enjoy when Tilly runs into the mailbox without her glasses in the snowstorm and begins speaking to it, mistaking it for her friend Mr. Mole. If you have a parent with Alzheimer’s, it might hit a little too close to home. Poor Silly Tilly has a terrible memory, and repeatedly “forgets to remember”, but kids love that! We also love the image of read and pink hearts in the snow! 
  • Here’s a new one MJ and I just discovered from the library this year: Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentineby Sharmat…just so happens we’ve only read it when E is sleeping, but it’s suited more to him anyway. I’m excited to read more of these fun detective series books where the little boy goes in search of clues (like a logic problem) to solve simple cases. Great for little brains!
Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine
  • The Great Valentine’s Day Balloon Race by Adrienne Adams. This is one of the first Valentine’s books we checked out from the library when MJ was a tot, and he just LOVED it. It’s out of print now, but I finally ordered an old copy since it’s so special to us. It’s been fun to read it to him again this year, telling him about the memories I have of him doing little things for different words in the story as a toddler….like bouncing and hopping around the room when Mother Abbot says, “Hop to it!” It is the reason why we have added a “hot air balloon” ride to our list of family dreams. A few days ago, after reading it with both kids, we looked up info about the Plano Balloon Festival so we could go ahead and get it on our calendar. You have to be 10 to ride, but I’ve always to show the kids the balloons launch early in the morning.
The GREAT VALENTINES DAY BALLOON RACE

Please let me know…what are your family’s favorite Valentine’s Rituals, Songs, and Books?

Comments

  1. Melanie says:

    We’re going to do Will You Be My Valentine/London Bridges tonight! Anna will love it. Can’t wait!

  2. Tamara says:

    Love these ideas – my favorite Valentines book is: The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond