Skip to main content

Traditions & What We do on Valentine's Day.

We are big on family traditions and celebrations in our house. I've shared here before that I grew up in a chaotic unhealthy home**. There wasn't enough structure to have rituals and traditions. Naturally, I want to provide better for my kiddos. 

There are several reasons I think traditions are so important. They become a joyful constant in our lives despite the many chaotic changes that happen. They give our kiddos and us a time to look forward to when life starts to feel mundane. Most importantly, they create shared memories which create strong bonds. Holiday traditions and family rituals are an easy way to create a lasting family identity. 

In our home we don't just celebrate the major holidays like Christmas and birthdays. Minor holidays, like St. Patrick's Day and May Day, also get a bit of celebration. We have seasonal rituals as well. We use a chalkboard where at the beginning of a season we write down our plans: apple picking, ice skating, Shakespeare in the park, etc. 

I like to go big, but I think one of the keys to having successful traditions is sustainability. You have to keep it simple enough so that it's repeatable. Grace and flexibility are also needed. In the past we've celebrated Valentine's a couple days late. My kiddos would tell you that every fall we go apple picking and to the Scarecrow Fest, but some years it just doesn't happen. It doesn't need to be perfect for it become a cherished family tradition. 


I love our Valentine's ritual. It's fairly low stress. It provides time for me to reflect on how blessed I am to be my kiddos' momma. The kids look forward to it every year...they have already started counting down the days. We take ten hearts for each our kids and write little notes about how they make us smile, ways they've grown, things they do that make us proud, etc. We usually cut hearts out of construction paper, a different color for each kid, but you could get pre-cut ones at a craft store. We've learned it's much easier if we start reflecting and writing the heart ideas a week or so out. If we procrastinate and rush it we miss out on the blessing of getting to reflect on how awesome our kiddos really are. 

In the evening of Feb 13th, we hide the hearts around the house; kind of like hiding Easter eggs. The next morning the kids start hunting for them as soon as they wake up.We have a pin-up board in our dinning room where they usually get collected, but one year they just taped them to back of their chairs. 

To make the house a little more festive, we will also blow up a package of dollar store balloons. We are huge breakfast people, so  that's when we will have a thematic meal. This has varied from year-to-year depending on energy. The Valentine's day after BabyZ was born we had yet to get on a sleep schedule; I was exhausted, so Jeremy used a cookie cutter to cut hearts of sliced bread and made Valentine's cinnamon toast. 








You can see past Valentine's days here: 2012, 20132016, and 2017.

**Whenever I mentioned my childhood I feel like I also need to say I love my mom and am so proud of her. Her life hasn't been an easy one. I know that she tried her best, she tried to give me a better life than she had. She's gotten knocked down many times, but she's always stood back-up. I have two siblings who are much younger than I am, and she was a better mom to them than she was with me. She's taught me that it's never too late to grow and change...it's a tradition I'm hoping to pass down. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Paint Chip Word Families

We haven't been doing a ton of school work this summer but we have tried to fit in a little reading practice everyday. We are currently working our way through Bob Books and The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading - I  highly recommend both. I saw this idea for paint chip word families on Pinterest several months ago and knew it would be one we'd have to try. I changed it up a little bit so that the the strips pulled through the word family cards.  

My supplies: large white paint chips, various colors of paint chips, sharpie, scissors, and an x-acto knife
 Step 1: Because my colored paint chips were so wide I folded and cut them in half.

Step 2: In the center of the white paint-chip, use the x-acto knife to cut two openings, at the top and bottom of the white square, the width of the color strip. 

Step 3: Use the sharpie to write letters on paint chips (a list of word families can be found here
Step 4: Pull strip through word family card 

 Step 5: Have fun readi…

Preschool Syllabus: Dr. Seuss

Normally I'd do a Dr. Seuss unit in March around his birthday. We had to do one now though because on Saturday Big Buddy and I going on a date to a Dr. Seuss exhibit. The exhibit is only at the museum until January and I'm afraid if we don't go now we might not get the chance.

We are of course reading lots of Dr. Seuss's books. A great advatage to studying Dr. Seuss in November rather than March is that all his books were available at the library. I also found a great children's biography which is perfect for preschoolers.


 We've read it a couple times and Big Buddy loves reciting all the facts he's learned


WRITING CENTER ADDITIONS


LEARNING "TRAYS" -I rotate these, setting out about four a day from which the boy's can choose.





Preschool Syllabus: Farms

We started a new homeschool unit this week: farms. With all our harvest activities it seemed like a natural choice.  This last weekend we attended a neighboring town's scarecrow festival and we plan to go to a pumpkin farm with a barnyard petting zoo in the next couple weeks. We will focus on this unit for the rest of October.


During our rug times the boys and I will be singing a lot of farm related songs (Counting Coconuts has complied a great list) and make our way through the mass of books I checked out from the library.  I won't overwhelm you with a picture of them all but I will recommend a couple. For fiction Click Clack Moo: Cows That Typeby Doreen Cronin and Gossie by Olivier Dunrea.  Both of these books have a nice rhythm, great pictures, and sweet humor. We actually own them and several others by these authors - they are some of the most read books in our collection.  For nonfiction, 21st Century Junior Library, has published several great farm-themed books.

Writing …