Though Valentine's Day has come and gone, the love still remains at Art and Soul Preschool.
This year we were inspired by the book Monday Hearts by Page Hodel.
This book is a photo gallery of hearts that are made everyday for Page Hodel's partner Madalene. Every Monday Page would leave a heart created out of various materials, anything from flower pedals to hardware for Madalene to find on her doorstep, sadly less than a year after they met, Madalene died of Ovarian Cancer, however Page continues to make a heart every Monday. It is a bitter sweet love story, but the creativity and beauty of the hearts are inspiring and the children loved seeing all the different ways the hearts were created.
I had set up a table with many loose parts and natural materials, I also put out heart dollies for the children to use as a base form. After they were shown the book in Morning Meeting and had fun guessing what many of the hearts were made of, many of the children were inspired to go
and explore making their own hearts during free play.
Some of their beautiful hearts
What would Valentine's Day be without the joy of finding a sweet Valentine in the mail. This is the time of year when we talk about the Post Office and the children get to enjoy delivering their Valentine's to all their classmates mailboxes, and also get to come and pick up their mail at the Post Office.
It is wonderful watching them deliver the Valentine's. They have so much pride and it is a wonderful way to work on name recognition.
It is a busy job, but they love the process.
Many would linger after they delivered the mail just to watch their friends deliver mail into their mailboxes, or help a friend out.
After all the mail is delivered, the children run off to play and all their Valentine's are put into a bag to make getting their mail easier. The sweetest part is when they come to the Post Office and ask if they have any mail? Then the fun of opening their Valentine's, thankfully many parents came to help out.
It's so sweet seeing their faces, there was a marvelous assortment of handmade cards, flowerpots with heart shape seed paper, bracelets, sippy straws, treats, and beloved traditional character Valentine's. All these little treasures brought delight to the children.
Of course the children also made Valentine's for their beloved parents. This is wonderful because it works in well with our Post Office lesson because the children help prepare the Valentine's to be sent out to the real Post Office and be delivered at home as a surprise. It is rather magical to them.
They made their Valentine's using one of our school favorite techniques of drawing with washable marker on homemade paper, and then using the pipette to blend the colors together.
Some of the children added glitter, and all added their sweet faces to their Valentines.
And since we are a school bubbling over with love, each year I make vinegar and beet juice frozen hearts.
The children then get a pipette and warm water with baking soda added to it. Before starting the children were asked to share their love and melt the frozen heart. They took this very seriously, and were very surprised by what happened as they worked. Nothing like hearts that bubble and fizz to captivate a crowd.
This picture cracks me up because each child had a heart, but they all loved watching their friends experiments as well.
The simple joys of life.
And the looks of amazement and wonder.
During one of the free plays that week, we held interviews with the children about what love is? They would wear a love thinking cap and had a glitter wand microphone. I asked them questions such as: What does love feel like? Does love have a color, or a smell, or a taste? How does love make them feel? What would love look like? Below are some of their answers to these questions.
Love feels like kisses and tastes like strawberries.
When I hear the word love I think about Iris, and it is the color orange, and smells like nice smells like soap.
Love looks like hearts.
Love is magic. I love my mommy and daddy. Love makes you feel better and comes from your body, in your heart. Love has a heart.
Love makes you feel like you want to be with someone. Love sounds like you when you can play and laugh, and some love can smell like something you love, like a cat. It is has a shape like a flower and you can feel it in your heart. It is the color of pink and purple.
I love my mom and dad and it makes me feel happy. Happy feels exciting. Love is the color pink, and pink is my destiny too. It smells good like candy. It sounds like your heartbeat. You feel love in your heart because that is where love comes from. It's born from your heart, and it looks like a heart. I feel love when someone likes what they are playing with and they give it to me.
It makes me think about Mommy! I don't know what love is. It makes me feel good and the color of love is orange. It feels like good feelings, and I feel it from my friends. Is puppy love love? I think puppy love is like love.
Love is about Valentine's day. I love mom and dad and Ms. Tricia and my Nona. I think love is mom and dad cooking. Love comes from mom and dad and they put me to bed. Um, love is pink glitter.
I think this picture captures a moment of love; the thrill, joy,
and wonder of being a child and dancing through life.