Valentineís Day cards provide an
excellent medium for both writing and reading activities. By the time you read
this, the kids will have already gone to school and distributed their cards.
The writing part is over, but there are other useful learning experiences for
you to share with your child:
At various ages, this holiday takes on
different meanings. For the very youngest children, it is an expression of
friendship. But your child can understand that for adults, its meaning is
significantly different. And be aware that while children may express that
it is "yucky" for adults to express their romance for each other, they truly
feel more secure when they see parents express their positive feelings for
- Children want to understand the messages they have
received. Read the cards together. If you child can read, have him read them
to you. If he needs assistance, you can do the job. These cards are an
excellent way of showing children that reading is a useful activity.
- Talk about the classmates and teachers who have sent the
cards. There are probably some people you have never heard of. Engage your
child in a discussion about these people. Enjoy her role as a tour guide
among the people of her world.
- Discuss the language used in the cards. Young children
are just beginning to understand that words can mean two or more different
things. An illustration of a monster bearing the legend "Iím WILD about you"
is something that you can explain, if your child doesnít get it himself.
More likely, your child will understand a card that has a bee wearing a
T-shirt that says "BEE my Valentine." And a bird exclaiming, "You are the
TWEETEST one I know" is an opportunity to discuss the use of this language,
- Categorize and sort the cards. Look for common features
that lend the cards to being placed together, such as cartoon characters,
movie characters, animals, monsters, super heroes, etc. After you sort them,
shuffle the cards together to see if you can find other ways to sort.
This column has been incorporated and expanded in Teach Your Children
Well: A Teacherís Advice for Parents.
All columns are copyright © Jay Davidson.
Permission is hereby granted for individuals to download and copy them for
individual use. There is a modest charge for printing these columns in
any publication. To receive that permission, contact Jay