When you hear the term, “Valentine’s Day,” what do you think of? Perhaps you envision a bouquet of red roses, candles, jewelry, and a luxurious four-course meal. Or maybe you picture a towering mountain of candy—in all shapes, colors, and sizes—and the sugar rush that follows its consumption.
While the latter is undoubtedly an unpleasant prospect for the parents of school-age children, you can make this Valentine’s Day both sweet and academically enriching. All three of the crafts below are perfectly complemented by a piece of candy and the company of family members. For more information on these educational activities, continue reading:
1. Valentine’s Day cards
Once the New Year’s Eve festivities conclude, the shelves of stationary shops and supermarkets fill with Valentine’s Day cards. While you might decide to purchase a package of cards with superhero messages for your daughter’s third grade class, encouraging her to create several of her own can be a fantastic literacy exercise. For instance, if she is currently studying basic poetry and rhyming patterns in school, how can she apply this knowledge to Valentine’s Day cards for her grandparents? Can she incorporate words that rhyme with her grandmother’s favorite hobbies, or with her grandfather’s favorite books? Even children who are too young to write can dictate their messages to you, and you can recite them back as you write them down.
2. Festive foods
This Tuesday, February 14, breakfast and dinner—and lunch, if your family homeschools—can provide you and your student with a prime opportunity for educational exploration. Valentine’s Day is often marked by the colors pink and red, as well as by items that are shaped like hearts. These items typically include candies and desserts that are colored with food dyes. If your child enjoys baking and cooking, challenge her to experiment with methods of dying food that do not rely on these typical additives—fruits and vegetables, like beets and raspberries, can color light foods like vanilla cake and white rice, for example. Ask your student about the best way to incorporate this “dye” (i.e. juicing the beet or pureeing the raspberries), as well as why she thinks this method will work. The greatest part of this craft is that your experiment is edible!
3. Valentine’s Day decorations
If you plan to exchange homemade Valentine’s Day cards and to share a meal of your own creation, why not make your own decorations too? Children of all ages can participate in this particular craft, and its form can be modified to suit any family’s interests and available materials. Perhaps you design a garland of lace-edged hearts that helps to strengthen your preschool student’s creative and fine motor skills. Or maybe your seventh grade child has a burgeoning passion for art history. You can assist her in locating examples of Valentine’s Day decorations from different time periods (like the Victorian era or the 1950s) that she can then recreate. This is an excellent way to exercise her research and reading comprehension skills.
For more tips and strategies to help your student succeed in school, visit varsitytutors.com.