I love loving on my kids. I love verbally telling my kids I love them. I love cuddling with my kids after they wake up and before bed. I love watching them grow into wonderful humans. This Valentines Day activity combines all of these things into one and allows me to express what I love most about each child individually.
In the days leading up to February, I have spent my time crafting paper conversation hearts. Specifically, I need 14 hearts for each child. Starting February 1st, they will each receive one heart per day leading up to Valentine’s Day. Each heart will have something written about them that I adore. When they wake up each day, I will spend time with each child individually with their carefully crafted conversation heart, conversing about what it is I specifically love about them. Then, we hang the heart on their bedroom door to display for the rest of the month.
This activity does take a little bit of prep work. You can either make your own hearts out of colored construction paper, or Hobby Lobby has a pack of red paper hearts already made. I’m going the convenience route with this one. After I bought the hearts, it was time to get writing. None of my kids can read, plus the goal with this is to spend quality time together, so I kept it simple with one word on each heart. In case you are looking for some ideas, here’s what I wrote for each of kids:
For my oldest:
Thoughtfulness – 95% of the time, if she gets herself a glass of milk, a snack, or toy, she brings an extra for her younger brother also.
Independence – speaking of that glass of milk, this little girl will literally drag the dining room chair to the kitchen, scale the cabinets and pour the milk into sippy cups herself.
Freckles – Right before she turned 4 years old, she mentioned she didn’t like her freckles because nobody else in her class had them. Since then, I have used every opportunity I can to express the beauty in her freckles.
Affectionate – This girl loves to cuddle and I love the time we spend together in the morning and before bed snuggled up to each other.
Speech – She uses such colorful vocabulary in the sense that she is always trying new words in her speech – impressive, distribute, either/or, in fact, me three.
Inquisitive – She is always asking questions about things that she doesn’t fully understand, whether it be a phrase like me three, or all things seen on swamp people and alligator catching.
Memory – I love her incredible memory. It reminds me all the time that each interaction, and each activity we do is important, valued, and remembered.
Brave – She is never afraid to go into a new environment or meet new people. She has ridden every roller coaster that she’s tall enough for at Disney.
Creative – She loves to craft. Glue, paint, tissue paper, buttons, anything she can possibly get her hands on. It’s fun to see how involved she gets and proudly gifts her creations to various family.
Helpful – She is helpful without me even having to ask. She immediately responds to the baby’s cries and cleans up any mess she sees.
Celebrate – of course major holidays, but every birthday of family or friends, dogs, gumbo weather. Every occasion is something to celebrate.
Ragin Cajuns – this girl loves herself some Ragin Cajuns. She lives for tailgating, football and even some basketball games. She gets so excited about the “bamers” (band members) and I know it makes my husband proud.
Self-care – nail polish, pretend makeup, choosing her outfits, a break to read. I love how she self-cares.
Quality Time – I love how she vocalizes when she wants to spend quality time with someone like her grandparents or dad. She is not afraid to voice her needs and she always feels refreshed again afterward.
For my middle child:
Outdoors – He loves the outdoors and doesn’t let any kind of weather limit his ability to get outside and have some fun. He also marvels at simple wonders like fallen leaves.
Cautious – I love how he evaluates each new situation first before making decisions, a skill that could be useful in the future. He always observes.
Food – I love that he will try any food and eat practically anything (other than radishes).
Music – He appreciates the arts very much and loves to watch people create music. At 2 years old, he is so aware of types of instruments and the sounds they make.
Pretend Play – He is so big into pretend play: a traffic jam with his car, being spider man, or being a vet with his stuffed animals, or singing a concert with his favorite nursey rhymes holding a hair brush.
Curls – I love his curls. Coming from two parents with straight hair, I’m amazed at his curls and love his disheveled hairstyles
Excitement – He gets so excited by the simplest of things: papa getting off of work, pulling up at granny & grandpa’s, food, bubbles.
Animated – He is very animated with his physical cues. A finger to his chin if he’s thinking/searching for something, a hand to the ear if he hears something outside, a shrug if he’s asking a question, rubbing his belly when he’s hungry.
Attentive Big Brother – He pays attention to his little brother. Recognizes and brings him his pacifier and knows that we always load him out of the car last. He makes sure I don’t forget him.
Shares – Don’t get me wrong, he has his moments, but generally is always willing to play into his sister’s shenanigans’ and will share a car, play food, or game with her.
Politeness – He literally always says thank you and you’re welcome. It can be from giving him a cup to drink, giving him food, or handing him a toy he dropped. He will always
Helpfulness – Give him a spray bottle and a towel and he will clean windows, and handheld vac and he will clean up any crumbs or mop. He is so helpful in household chores, even if it means it might take longer to complete.
Books – He loves to read. He has a pretty good attention span to sit and read several books and point out his favorite pictures.
Gentle Persona – He is caring, soft-spoken, and slow to anger. He looks for reassurance and finds comfort in being with the people he loves most.
Truthfully, the youngest is only 5 months old, so I’ll probably wait until next year to start this for him. I love that this takes the gift-giving out of this holiday and creates intentional moments with my kids. Even my husband is jealous. I still have time to write some hearts for him.