I grew up loving the Berenstain Bears books, and it is so fun to see my son enjoy the adventures of the Bear family too. What’s neat is that Mike Berenstain (Stan and Jan’s son) continued his parents’ legacy by continuing the series! This book-based activity is inspired by one such book… The Berenstain Bears’ Valentine Blessings #afflink.
It’s a cute story about a valentine Brother Bear gets from his secret admirer, which distracts him from the upcoming hockey game. The story line is simple, but there are some good lessons within. Papa Bear tries to help Brother feel better about things by telling how Mama and he started dating… and ultimately Brother’s hockey game goes well, the secret admirer is revealed… you get the idea.
I love that the book comes with some built-in activity suggestions. There are some talking points for parents to help kids get thinking about ways they can be a blessing to others. Maybe by making a special valentine and sending it to someone, or by helping out in the community.
Valentine Blessing Activities
I love the phrase, “blessed to be a blessing.” Part of the goodness of life is being able to pay it forward. To care about others and empathize with them. To bring joy into the lives of those who need it.
So, to kick things off, Toby and I talked about what things we do (or could do) to be a blessing to others. Here are some things we came up with:
- Make and send cards to people
- Send artwork to people, or give it to patients at the local hospital. (I love this idea, because the minimalist in me can’t allow all my son’s masterpieces to be saved for the memory box. What a great alternative destination compared to the recycle bin!).
- Make meals for others (we make meals for new moms and the sick through our church… Toby likes to help with the prep and delivery).
- Give away things we don’t need or use anymore
- Leave a cup of pennies by the mechanical horse at the grocery store (it’s a penny per ride)
- Take cookies or other treats to school and leave them in the mailboxes
- Bake bread and drop it off on our neighbors’ doorstep
- Put out a snack for the mailman and the trash guys.
- Pick flowers and give them to people
- Call people just to say hello
I’m sure there are many more ways to help others, but these were just a few of the things we thought of. I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
Sending “Blessings” in the Mail
Now, before we get onto my craft activity idea, I have to confess. I didn’t get my usual slew of photos taken to document our activity. I’m going to blame it on the RSV virus that Zack has been dealing with… the past few days have been spent holding a sick baby boy so that he could feel a little less miserable. I guess that’s a blessing though — we were able to find a position in which he could be comfortable.
So, I’ll share our activity, and then add photos to this post at a later time. Now, back to business.
Around our home, we have a lot of stuff that ends up getting recycled. And while that’s better than being tossed in the trash, I’d much rather repurpose things that can be reused in some way or another. I’m all for form over function. So, for this recycled Valentine craft, I gave my toddler a bunch of paper and had him cut it up, with scissors, to his heart’s content. Once the “shredding” was finished, we started decorating. I had Toby glue and tape the paper strips all over the front of a piece of red paper (since the majority of the paper Toby cut up was white). After that, we had to let things dry.
Once the glue was dry, we folded the paper in half, so that the white was on the outside. Then I cut out a heart window in the paper, so it would make a window on the front of the card. If your child is old enough to cut out the heart, go for it (my son’s scissor skills aren’t quite refined enough yet).
You’ll now have a nice window to the inside of the card, providing a nice color contrast. Feel free to glue the heart you cut out onto the inside of the card somewhere.
I invited Toby to decorate the card himself, so he could write or draw whatever message he desired. If you want, you can write something cutesy inside.
Toby proceeded to decorate some additional pieces of paper… he wanted to mail more cards to people, to make them happy. Made my heart melt!
Valentine’s Day Read and Play – Along with me, more than 20 bloggers are participating in a Valentine themed read and play! Make sure to check out the other fun book-based Valentine’s activities…. enjoy!