I absolutely adore Valentine’s Day. It’s the one holiday of the year that we aren’t expected to do anything but spend our time with the one we love the most – your very own Valentine. Sounds dreamy, right? And since you’re here on this mom’s blog, I’m guessing that you’ve got yourself a little Valentine to shower in love on this special day, too!
So what comes to mind when I think of Valentine’s Day? I think of intimacy, affection, sharing passions, and, above all, I think of love. Of course, these things don’t have to revolve around romance, especially when we think about the little loves in our lives. And the more I think about how to share all my favorite aspects of my favorite holiday with my child, there’s just one thing that keeps popping into my mind – reading!
With that realization, I wanted to share some of my favorite children’s books with my fellow mama’s, along with some of the reasons why reading is such an important part of showing our family’s love to one another. Consider this a Galentine’s gift from me to you – enjoy!
Reading with your child is a wonderful way to spend intimate time together. Whether you’re reading a short story or diving into a novel, by dedicating your time to them and a good book, you are showing them that you are devoted to your relationship and that your time together is something special.
To make your special bonding time with your child even more personal, opt for books about parent-child relationships. Some of my favorites for babies and toddlers are the board books I Love You, Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton, and How Many Do I Love You: A Valentine Counting Book by Cheri Love-Byrd. For older kids, I would 100% recommend ordering a customized book that features the whole family! Companies such as Hooray Heros offers personalized children’s books that your kids are sure to treasure.
In our home, storytime is also comfy, cozy, cuddle time. Bundling up with your babe and a book is a great way to show affection to your child. (And if you suffer from mom-guilt like me, it also allows you time to sit back and relax without feeling unproductive. The dishes can wait as long as we’ve got a good book in our hands!)
When our children are young, far before they are able to understand language, they learn about love and affection through touch. That’s why my pick for this category is all about the littlest loves in our lives with these two Valentine’s themed touch and feel board books: I Love You by Dawn Sirett, and Where Is Baby’s Valentine?: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Karen Katz
Passion is a powerful thing. It pushes a person forward as it draws others in. It brings people together and leads us to places we only once dreamed of being. As our children grow, they will find passions of their own, and what a better way to feed those passions than to learn more about them through books!
My favorite book for helping little ones on their way to pursuing their passions is The Reptile Club by Maureen Fergus. What makes this book so endearing is that after the main character is unable to make a genuine connection with any of the current clubs at his school, his parents encourage him to create one of his own. This teaches your child that you’ll always be there to support their passions and dreams, even if they are unconventional – and that they may make some surprising friends along the way!
And, at last, love! What can I say about love? It’s what makes the world go round. It’s what makes our hearts flutter and our eyes bright. It’s what fills our tummy with butterflies and our heads with happy tunes. Sure, right now your little one might be too young to fall for their own Valentine, but it’s never too early to fall for yourself!
This Valentine’s Day, take some time to talk to your children about self-love. Explain to them the importance of caring for and being kind to yourself. Teach them to embrace their uniqueness and what makes them special. One of my favorite books to help children do this and encourage them to think about what makes them oh so loveable is What Do You Love About You? by Karen Lechelt, which comes in hardcover, softback, and a board book version for even the tiniest Valentines.