Thursday, February 22, 2018

Our Valentine's celebrations.

I've always kind of despised Valentine's Day. In my experience, the people who do have significant others don't do much to celebrate because it feels contrived, and those who don't have partners are supposed to feel lonely just because the calendar says February 14. I suppose I have always been a Valentine's Day pessimist, when I go through the rest of my life mostly being an optimist.

Then, I was gifted this three year old boy who loves holidays and decorations. Christmas was almost two months ago, and he still tells me he dreams about Santa, still wishes me "Merry Christmas" before going to sleep at night, still requests to listen to Christmas music, and still asks if every person we pass on the street with a white beard is Santa.

Thanksgiving was three months ago, and we still have Everett's "tree of thankfulness" up, because he won't let me take it down, and he still asks to add to it and talk about what we are thankful for. 

Halloween was almost four months ago, and he still dresses up in a costume almost every day, and he tells me at least once a day what he wants to be for next Halloween.

As soon as one holiday ends, he asks what the next holiday is, what we are doing to celebrate it, and what decorations we are going to make. 

Another gift I have been given this year is our time where we do preschool at home together. As always, Everett teaches me more than I him, and so I am now a holiday lover, and dare I say, a lover of Valentine's Day.

On Valentine's Day evening, we were in our backyard, and Everett was anxiously waiting for our neighbor to get home so she and her husband could open their Valentine from Everett. Our neighbor asked Everett how much Valentine's candy he had eaten, because he was overly excited, but really, he hadn't eaten any candy; he was just that happy about giving out and receiving Valentines. It was beautiful to see how much he loved to give out his "presents" to his neighbors and family.

When learning about and preparing for Valentine's Day with a three year old, I began to gain a whole new appreciation for it. Really, it's just a day focused on spreading love, which is something I can totally get behind. 

We checked out and read Valentine's books from the library.  We made decorations, which included love notes to daddy from Everett. I let Everett choose what he wanted to create as Valentines for people, and he chose watercolor paintings, spin art, and cookies. He made a few of each, and then on Valentine's Day, we walked down our street delivering our Valentines and spreading love to our neighbors. 

We threw in some festive math and science, and this was our school time leading up to Valentine's Day.

Creating art for Valentine's presents:

When we do art together, Everett always does his differently than mine, and his always turns out better. These were our stained glass hearts, and he asked if he could crumple up all of his tissue paper into balls instead of lay it flat, so that's what he did.
Pink playdough with heart cookie cutters. It's a pirate ship, in case you couldn't tell:
Valentine's science: making crystals and making slime
Every time we do a "science experiment," we read Ada Twist Scientist, because it's one of our favorites, and we never really know if our science is going to turn out, so it gives good perspective on that. These were both really fun.
1) We made heart crystals, following this tutorial.
2) We made red slime, following this tutorial.
Valentine's math:
Everett is getting interested in learning some of the more traditional school topics, so I try to follow his lead. This is the first time we have ever done anything for school that we called math, but Everett loves counting and candy, so we combined the two and used a white board marker on our table. He exclaimed, "Mom, I love math," which are words I would love to hear out of his mouth throughout the rest of his schooling, and the next day he asked if we could do math again. 

Valentine's cookies:
Valentine's books we checked out from the library and enjoyed:
All ready to deliver his Valentines to neighbors:

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