When I taught preschool, I loved celebrating Valentine's Day with the kids. There's something so pure and simple about the holiday – showing love and kindness for our family and friends. Each year when February rolled around I got to enjoy the day anew through the eyes of 4 and 5-year-olds who were essentially experiencing it for the first time. Reading Felicia Bond's The Day It Rained Hearts was always the perfect way to start the morning.
The Day It Rained Hearts tells the story of a girl, Cornelia Augusta, who catches hearts as they fall from the clouds and turns them into valentines for her friends. It's a short and simple tale (perfect for preschoolers) that celebrates the spirit of the day.
When my sons were little, I continued the tradition by reading the book to them. But, before I did that, I scattered hearts (cut from construction and scrapbook paper) around our house. After reading the book, the boys would hunt for them, gathering as many as they could find. Then they'd sit down at our kitchen table and spend hours making valentines for their friends and family – each one unique just like Cornelia Augusta did.
I'd also help them create special holders so they could carry their valentines from place to place. They used the hearts they found and other materials such as doilies, lace, stickers, and crayons. Here's one made by their little cousin, Clara:
1. Cut 2 large hearts from scrapbook paper or construction paper.
2. Fold each heart in half. Put them together and staple on the bottom and middle.
3. Add a handle.
4. Let your child decorate it with construction paper hearts, stickers, doilies, lace, and crayons.
5. Tah-dah! Your child now has a wonderful holder for all her valentines.
The book is a must-have for your home library. It generates so many creative projects for your kids to do. Plus, it beautifully tells of the simple joy of Valentine's Day. The illustrations are precious and you'll fall in love with Cornelia Augusta, the little girl who collects hearts to make valentines for her friends -- each one truly special.