Turn your trash into treasure with this simple preschool Valentine’s activity that includes a book, a craft, and a learning game that can easily be adapted for kids of various ages. Is anyone else REALLY ready to be done with wintertime sniffles? It seems like at least one person has been sick with a cold in our house since Thanksgiving. Ugh. I’m so ready for summer. The good news, though, is that the empty tissue boxes that have resulted from all the recent nose-blowing are what inspired today’s Valentine’s activity!
Love is in the air, and Valentine’s has been our theme for mommy school for the past week. Last week, we focused on “H is for Heart”, and this week we’ll be focusing more on “V is for Valentine’s Day”. I’m excited to practice the letter V with my kids because it’s one of the more tricky letters for them.
Lest the holiday get too lovey-dovey for my crash-and-bash boys, I found the perfect book to get their attention: Love Monster by Rachel Bright.
Love Monster is the story of a googly-eyed monster who feels lonely and different in a world of soft, cuddly creatures. His journey to find someone who will love him is not easy, but in the end he finds love when he least expects it.
I knew my boys would love any book that had a monster in it, so I used it as the inspiration for a literacy-themed preschool lesson with them. Here’s what we did.
Step 1: Read the book
Read Love Monster by Rachel Bright. If you can’t find the book, you can watch a read-aloud of it here.There’s also another Love Monster book I adore (I actually like it even better than the first one) called Love Monster and the Perfect Present. It’s all about how the best presents don’t come from a store. View the read aloud of it here.
Step 2: Get crafty
Make your own love monster! Here’s what you’ll need:
- empty tissue box (if your house has been like mine lately, you have some laying around!)
- Construction paper (pink, red, white…whatever you want)
- Googly eyes (or cut up egg cartons for eyes)
- glue, scissors, pipe cleaners…general craft supplies for embellishment
How to assemble your monster:
- Rip out the plastic stuff in the opening of the tissue box.
- Cover your box with paper. I was planning to do red to make it look like Love Monster, but I’ve learned by now not to get in the way of my determined four-year-old who had strong opinions about it being orange and purple.
- Add eyes, teeth, and any other embellishments you want to decorate your furry friend. Again, I was planning to model our monster more after the one in the book, but Little Man had some great, creative ideas…so we went with whatever he wanted. I love how it turned out!
Step 3: Play a game
Our adorable love monster was just dying to play a game with us, so I made one up that would help Little Man practice sight words we’d been learning in preschool lately. Want to play, too? Here’s what you need to do:
- Cut out paper hearts.
- Write a different sight word on each one (or substitute WHATEVER content you want to practice with your child…letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc.).
- Flip the hearts upside down on a table and take turns flipping one over, reading what’s on it, and feeding the hearts to your monster. You didn’t know monsters LOVE eating hearts, did you? Well, they do!
- You can even choose a special “mystery” word or letter. When your child chooses to feed that heart to the love monster, make Love Monster burp really loud (oh the joys of boys!). I guarantee your little boys will LOVE that little detail of the game.
That’s it…a simple, fun, literacy-based Valentine’s activity perfect for this time of year! Try it out, and let me know how it goes.