St. Valentine History for Toddlers

Valentines day is in a few days!

I always look forward to teaching my toddler about love, kindness and generosity. In February it’s especially easy to do because, Valentine’s Day epitomizes altruism.  Although people complain that the holiday has become too comercialized, the history behind it makes it one of my favorite Holidays.
Teaching history to people is not easy. The first time I took history in college I ended up with drool on my desk. Even though that happened, I never gave up on history because I knew it was interesting, and i had a great high school teacher. The history lessons you get in high school are sensored and compact (BORING). I was only interested in history because of Mr. Davis and his flamboyant stories of historical figures. Although, I had respect for history lessons I  would never go out of my way to find books, or even watch the history channel. Luckily for me, I took a western civilization course in college. That teacher rocked it!  I wish I knew how he did it, but history is now so interesting. I dont want my toddler to have to wait until she’s 20-something to love history. The following is an example of how to introduce a little St. Valentine history to toddlers:

If you’ve never heard of St. Valentine’s history click here. St. Valentine was valiant, brave, and lived at the end of the third century A.D.  Because toddlers do not fully understand the concept of time, using an hour glass while melting  ice can help explain events a little better.I used a heart shaped silicone mold to make my ice. While this does not explain the concept of A.D. Versus B.C, it will give some idea of time passing by. This is how I did it:

Here is the picture of the ice and hour glass. This particular hourglass takes 3 minutes to spill it’s sand.

 I used a silicone heart mold for the ice. You could add red water color paint if you’d like.

Here is the partial melted ice:

I used a sheet to create a time line, and used a glitter red crayon to draw the time line:

It took 50 minutes for the ice to melt. My toddler was getting a little restless. At 24 minutes I brought out an orca, because she wanted to put the dolphin in the ice. I let her know orcas prefer the colder weather, while the dolphins do not. She didnt care. We left them both in the small container. I also brought out a penguin book:

Affiliate link: Little Penguin (Look at Me Books)

It took 50 minutes for the ice to melt! We talked about past, present, and future with the time line. This will not make your toddler instantly remember minutes, and time, but it helps explain the concept. My toddler wanted to do this again the following day.

To teach about St. Valentine I created a felt puppet:

I chose this representation of St. Valentine because we have this book (affiliate link):

Affiliate link:Saint Valentine

I sewed the finger puppet, and cut the arms and beard:

I used my favorite glue:

Affiliate Link: Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive, 4-Ounce

I did sew the arms on because, while the glue is very strong, I wanted a sturdier hold for those arms, just in case they were going to move once I handed the puppet over to my toddler. I used a pen to draw the face on St. Valentine.

The puppet can be used when reading the book, or just when explaining the story. Here is the story I used:
“Once upon a time, in the past, there was a priest who went against an oppressive King. The subjects of the King who followed a certain faith were banned from marriage. They could not be friends forever. Priest Valentine would secretly marry these friends so that they could be together forever and continue to follow their beliefs.”
You could use animals, blocks, or Q and U for the “friends”.

I also made this song (happy birthday song):

Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

Because, he married couples in secret,

Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

I hope these activities help you and your children celebrate Valentine’s day and helps your toddler become a fan of history.

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