The day has arrived, everyone’s favorite day to embrace something everyone loves (whether they admit it or not)—love! While it can be fun to celebrate with bright, cheery cards, candy and lots (and lots) of pink and red, how about something more lasting?
Add more meaning to the holiday by spreading love in the form of kindness, generosity and caring with these kid-friendly activities.
1. Emotional IQ Card Games
Enjoy some QT with your child learning how to identify and understand the feelings of others. This DIY activity based on favorite kids’ card games will help them pick up on physical and situational cues and work out appropriate, caring responses.
To make the cards:
1. Gather 16 clear, easy-to-read photos online or on your device showing faces expressing a variety of emotions. These could be of your own kids and family members or those of other people.
2. Print out two copies of each so your deck has a pair of each photo.
3. Cut them into squares and glue them to uniform-sized squares of card stock.
Games could include Emotional IQ Go Fish, Memory or even just asking your child to identify the emotions in the pictures and come up with hypothetical situations that could be causing the person to be feeling what they’re feeling.
Check out these examples and game ideas from notimeforflashcards.com and start playing!
2. Spread Smiles From Scratch
For a little extra thoughtfulness, skip the Valentine’s Day isle and help your child craft a few decorative cards by hand to let friends and loved ones know how much they appreciate them. Handmade valentines are a more personal, creative way to share caring messages, and it just so happens, we made this super-cute printable for just the occasion!
3. Nurturing Compassion? We Have a Book List for That.
In our post, Reading & Empathy: A Bridge, we talked about how reading helps promote empathy in kids and how to choose the right books to nurture this vital skill.
Check out some of our favorite picks, from picture books to chapter books, for encouraging kindness, inclusion and compassion in your child here: 5 Reads to Promote Empathy.
4. Do Good for a Day & All Year Long
What better way to get into the spirit of compassion and kindness than to put that caring into practice?
Anyone can do something kind for someone, like talking to the new kid in class or letting someone go ahead of them in line at school or the grocery store.
Show your child how the power of a good deed, no matter how small, can go a long way. Check out these and many more here!
5. Surprise a family member
Lastly, bring the love home by encouraging your child to do something special for a member of your family.
It could be secretly doing someone’s chore for them, calling up a grandparent or distant relative to show they care, or leaving a handwritten compliment somewhere unexpected where a sibling can find it.
However you choose to share the love this Valentine’s Day, we hope you’ll agree that candy and hearts may be sweet for a day, but genuine human kindness are sweet all year long. ?