Valentine’s Day comes and goes, always bringing with it loves new and renewed. As with all holidays, most everyone, be they young or old, takes notice when February 14 swings by. But Valentine’s day at the nursery, it’s hard to think of ways — good, appropriate ways — to integrate Valentine’s Day into how you do things, and to make it fun.
Start by thinking outside the box. It’s important to remember that love isn’t just romance, and that’s why you don’t need to bank on or encourage children having crushes (possibly against what their parents might prefer!) to make Valentine’s Day fun for your nursery.
Here’s a quick Valentine’s Day idea: you might consider collecting drawings and writing from the children throughout the week leading up to Valentine’s Day about things they’ve enjoyed doing at your nursery, or at the very least, with the other children there. Not all children will like drawing or writing, but this is a good way to encourage it.
If you want to give them a little push, find out what food they like, bring it in, and (in moderation!) reward them for their creativity. Although the temptation to buy Valentine’s Day candy for yourself might be overwhelming, a gesture like this is inexpensive for a once-a-year occasion, and it’ll be just as important to them as a good Valentine’s Day is to you!
Another idea is to have children trade handmade cards between themselves on Valentine’s Day. To smooth this along, you can help them make their cards, and ensure that the cards are appropriate to what you (and they!) would like to see. You should also encourage the children to make cards for more than one person, to spread the friendship around a little. If one child doesn’t seem like they’ll be getting any cards, suggest them to another!
Finally, if your nursery sports an outdoor area, encourage the children to spend the day playing outside! It keeps them active and healthy, makes new friends, and very few children will say no. And again, if one child seems left out or uninterested, you can step in and nudge them forward a bit — see if they’ll play with the world, perhaps make bark rubbings or flower art!
But most children at nursery age should be happy to play with each other. And they’re at a good stage in life to encourage that! So if you want to brighten up their eyes for Valentine’s Day, or simply need more space than your nursery allows, you might also consider taking them to a public park for the day. But avoid hiking trails and other areas that might not be suitable for all the children in your care!
Overall, planning is very important to any aspect of a great Valentine’s Day, so keep your staff, the children, and their parents all in mind as that fateful day approaches. Everyone’s needs can be met, but the nursery has to make it happen — without, or with, help!