14 Feb Celebrating a Montessori Valentine’s Day
Most of us associate Valentine’s Day with hearts, candy, cards, flowers, and telling people we love them. But when it comes to celebrating a Montessori Valentine’s Day, we as parents can show our children what it means to love, learn, think of others, and appreciate the true meaning of this holiday.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. This year, Meadow Montessori in Richmond, TX, explores how we can celebrate Valentine’s Day differently and ways parents can celebrate with their children at home!
It’s time to spread the Montessori love this Valentine’s Day!
Gift Your Child with the Love of Learning
In Montessori education, we nurture children to become lifelong learners. As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. Everything from the information you share with them to the behaviors and mannerisms you use in front of them, your child’s absorbent mind is constantly at work, modeling and learning after you throughout their young lives.
For this Valentine’s Day, reflect on the kind of teacher you are and how you instill a lifelong love for learning in your child. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you improve as a parent-teacher and foster your child’s love of learning:
- Do you participate with your child in playtime?
- Do you encourage your child to help out around the house or with their siblings?
- What kinds of activities do you participate in, with and in front of your child?
- Are you demonstrating your own natural curiosities and passion for learning?
- How do you react in stressful situations?
Be gentle with yourself and make an effort each day ‒ not just on Valentine’s Day ‒ to guide your child towards becoming a passionate learner.
Teaching the History & Meaning of Valentine’s Day
Providing a strong base knowledge of the world for our students is fundamental in Montessori education, and with any holiday, it’s always a great time to reflect on history, traditions, and why we celebrate them.
Because history is such an integral part of Montessori education, teaching the legend of Saint Valentine can be a part of your family’s Valentine’s Day celebrations. (The lesson will require giving your child a bit of background on the history of Ancient Rome, but here is a kid-friendly version of the Saint Valentine story and how we came to celebrate love every February 14.)
This is also a great time of year to practice and show gratitude – beyond traditional Valentine cardmaking. Initiate conversations with your child about gratitude, asking them questions like:
- Who can you say “Thank you” to this Valentine’s Day? Why are you thankful for them?
- What’s something positive that happened to you this week?
- Did anyone do something nice for you this Valentine’s Day?
- What’s your favorite food/animal/toy/place? Why are you grateful for it?
- Is there someone you don’t like or struggle to get along with? What can you be grateful for about this person?
Gratitude-based conversations are not just exclusive to Valentine’s Day. Use these conversation starters throughout the year and help your child to become more thoughtful, loving, and kind.
Create a Loving, Prepared Environment
Want to create something truly unique and rewarding for your child this Valentine’s Day?
Treat this Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to hone in on your child’s home learning environment. Improving this environment, and ultimately cultivating your child’s love of learning, can be your Valentine’s Day gift to them this year.
What serves your child well in their home learning environment? How can you facilitate a more prepared environment?
For those parents who don’t know what a prepared environment is, it is a space that is specifically designed to maximize a child’s independence and curiosity. The tools and activities within a prepared environment should lend themselves well to a child’s needs, abilities, and interests.
Here are the components of a prepared environment and what you can do to create it:
- Exploration. What interests your child? Do they love animals, trucks, science, or things in nature? Providing a variety of tools, toys, books, and activities that align with your child’s interests will maintain their curiosity and enhance their learning.
- Freedom. Children need freedom to explore. Clean their environment and make it spacious and clutter-free. Better yet, make cleaning the prepared environment/play room/bedroom/home classroom a family chore! By doing so, you can nurture your child’s sense of community in the process!
- Peace. A prepared environment promotes peace and harmony. Give your child’s bedroom, playroom, or prepared environment a fresh coat of paint with simple, clean colors. Blue, purple, green, gray, and tan ‒ or a combination of some of these colors ‒ are some ideas.
Providing for your child’s growth and development can be a powerful demonstration of love. By creating a more peaceful, freeing, and curiosity-invoking environment, you can present your child with the loving gift of learning this Valentine’s Day.
Develop Your Toddler’s Fine Motor Skills This V-Day
Older children can get creative and stay busy making Valentine’s cards, crafts, and goodies. But what’s a fun activity you can do with a toddler this Valentine’s Day?
Create a Valentine’s mailbox for your young toddler. This time of year, you may be able to find heart-shaped boxes in stores, but any small cardboard box will do ‒ just as long as you’re able to create a small “mailbox” slot on the top of the box.
Provide your toddler with small heart-shaped sheets of paper that can easily slip through the mailbox slot. Show your child how you place each little piece of paper through the slot, and then let them take over.
Once they’ve finished, encourage your child to practice opening and closing the mailbox, taking the pieces of paper out, and starting again. (If you have an older child, have them practice their handwriting on the small sheets of paper, making this a fun V-Day activity for both siblings.)
You can also have your child decorate their Valentine’s mailbox with V-day themed stickers. This is an easy way for them to practice their fine motor skills.
Or, if your family has play dough and a heart-shaped cookie cutter, Valentine’s playdough stamping is another fun way for your toddler to practice their hand and wrist movements.
Have a Happy Montessori Valentine’s Day!
You and your family can look forward to Valentine’s Day traditions like cardmaking, baking, and picking out flowers. But this time of year also presents a wonderful opportunity to invigorate our children’s passions and help them grow into more loving and thoughtful individuals.
Want to learn more about Montessori education? Learn more about our mission and vision at Meadow Montessori or contact us today! From all of us here, we wish you and your family a Happy Montessori Valentine’s Day!