Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so many classrooms are celebrating this week, while still others will simply pass over the day in an effort to eliminate holidays from the classroom.
As Julie Bisson notes in Celebrate!: An Anti-Bias Guide to Enjoying Holidays in Early Childhood Programs, Valentine’s Day has been influenced heavily by commercial interests, but the day still holds value when it comes to taking time to appreciate those in our lives who mean something to us. She even offers this great example from a program in southern California that now celebrates it as Appreciation Day.
Prior to Appreciation Day, the children make a list of everyone in the school community that helps to make their days easier. The exercise forces the children to think outside their immediate classroom surroundings to consider people such as the school secretary, the cleaning crew, the gardener, the person who prepares their meals, and others. The teacher and children discuss how lucky they are to have all of these people in their lives and learn about showing appreciation for others. The children then make invitations to invite each of these special people to join them on Appreciation Day for a special treat and to say thank you.
A great healthy option for a special treat is these delicious Pumpkin Muffins:
Celebrate! is a great book to get ideas on keeping or bringing holidays into the classroom in a meaningful and appropriate way. A new edition will be available November 2016.