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Family & Relationships 9 Things to Keep in Mind for Valentine's Day in the Classroom

21:50  10 february  2020
21:50  10 february  2020 Source:   mom.com

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Valentines’s Day is a great time for kids to show and share kindness. However, well-meaning kids and parents run the risk of having gifts being misinterpreted, being a health risk, or making someone feel left out. Room moms and teachers have a big responsibility to make sure that everyone is included and things don’t get out of control on for class parties or events.

a little boy wearing a red shirt: valentines-day-classroom-activities-featured© Provided by Mom.com valentines-day-classroom-activities-featured

Here are nine things to keep in mind for Valentine’s Day classroom activities:

1. Make friendship (not love) the theme

a young girl is sleeping in a bed: valentines-day-classroom-activities-1© Provided by Mom.com valentines-day-classroom-activities-1 Some teachers and parents wonder if Valentine’s Day is still relevant in schools. Leave Cupid’s arrows for the adults and let kids know that Valentine’s Day is about sharing kind and giving feelings for friends. Making friendship bracelets is a great way to encourage children to build stronger bonds with all classmates. They can customize bracelets with colors for different friends or even make rainbow bracelets to support gender-neutral and LGBT friends.

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2. Set financial limits for gifts and cards

Professional educator Jelterow Mckinnie, Jr. recommends letting kids — and parents — know that there's a spending limit. “Inform students of the financial limits for the gifts/cards. This will ensure that nobody spends too much or too little on a gift/card avoiding hurt feelings and mixed signals,” Mckinnie told Mom.com. Some kids may not have the same financial resources as others; setting limits makes sure kids don’t feel embarrassed by not giving expensive gifts or cards. It also prevents giving mixed feelings of someone giving an expensive gift.

3. Distribute a student roster

Give all students and parents a full class rosters. Don’t rely on kids to remember everyone in the class. By distributing a class roster, kids can make sure they get the right number of Valentine’s Day cards and appropriately address each one. This makes sure no one inadvertently gets left out in the process of getting cards or gifts.

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4. Avoid allergy foods

a little girl wearing a pink hat: valentines-day-classroom-activities-2© Provided by Mom.com valentines-day-classroom-activities-2 Whether it is for gifts or for a class party, make sure that candies and food dishes are considerate of kids with allergies. Peanut allergies are both common and dangerous. Avoid candies with peanuts or peanut butter. Many teachers recommend avoiding candies completely since many candies might have peanut exposure when made. Check with the teachers or parents about any other potential allergy situations.

5. Be creative with gifts

Avoid worrying about allergies and become memorable by avoiding cliche candies altogether. Find inexpensive toy gifts or school supplies to give to kids. As Southern California mom of two, Mariah Reyes said of her son’s first-grade year, “We thought it would be fun to give our Valentines that had whoopie cushions as the favor. We made it a theme, ‘Whoopie, It’s Valentine’s Day.’ That was a fun card to write.”

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6. Avoid individual gifts

Explain that individual gifts aren’t a good idea. While teachers and parents can’t control every action of kids, try to make it clear that giving individual gifts in the classroom is not a good idea on Valentine’s Day. Kids may become uncomfortable receiving special gifts, unsure if the giver has romantic motives. Keeping the romance out of the classroom will help prevent uncomfortable feelings or disappointment if those feelings aren’t reciprocated.

7. Check out Pinterest for homemade ideas

There are thousands of inexpensive Valentine’s Day ideas for homemade cards and favor gifts you can make. Pinterest is a great way to help your child find a gift that fits their personality, stands out, and is appreciated for the work put in. It’s also a great activity to do while explaining the expectations of Valentine’s Day in the classroom.

8. Make Valentine’s Day classroom activities about STEAM

a small child sitting on a table: valentines-day-classroom-activities-3© Provided by Mom.com valentines-day-classroom-activities-3 Learning can be fun on Valentine’s Day with activities that help kids learn using the day as a theme. Whether it is graphing the number of colored hearts they have in a box or making a marshmallow and toothpick structure, kids can incorporate STEAM skills with the day’s fun. This helps teachers not waste precious classroom time while letting the kids still enjoy the day’s festivities.

9. Find something your child wants to share

When my son was in elementary school, he really didn’t get into Valentine’s Day. This made it hard for me because I didn’t want him getting a box of cards and gifts when he wasn’t giving anything in return. He wasn’t into crafts, so the trick was finding a fun box set or printable cards that he loved and wanted to share. Explain to your child that they’ll be getting things from other students and it’s important to share kind and considerate things with others.

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