Me: Can you tell me about this valentine you made? How did you do it?
Sam: I put everybody’s name on it.* Then inside I put a sticker of me and and a drawing.
Me: Can you tell us about this drawing?
Sam: In this drawing you are looking at a rainbow, sun, sky, a rock, and my two hands. The rock is because we are outside. I am about to be hugging the person the valentine is for.
Me: So why do we make valentines for our friends?
Sam: Because I love her. Is that appropriate?
Me: You tell me. Is it appropriate?
Sam: Because it lets people know that we care about them.
Me: What would you like people to do or say to you on Valentine’s Day?
Sam: Happy Valentine’s Day SAMMY. Buy me a little something. Like a lollipop, or a chocolate bar. Can you believe they sell chocolate bars for a dollar at the store? And it is really big!
* Because the process of writing everyone’s name (18 plus the teacher and the volunteer grandfather) can take all the fun out of this for a boy who likes to draw, but hates making letters, this year we came up with a great solution. We took the list of names the teacher sent home, cut them out, and pasted them with a glue stick to the front of a piece of construction paper. Then Sam used the stickers I ordered with his picture inside the heart (at Snapfish) to “sign” his name.
Over four days he took a few minutes to draw pictures on each one. I would learn a little about each friend as he talked about the pictures he was drawing; “This is a football because we throw the football at recess.” Math practice came in as we counted the valenetines, and divided into four piles, to make the task less daunting. This also models how to tackle a big project over time.
Instead of dreading it, we actually created a way to make the project into something we both enjoyed. I always want to be “that mom” more. The one who figures out how to do things like this with her kids. That’s why I am sharing one way it worked for us. And, the cost of 24 stickers, with a free shipping deal a few weeks ago was only $6.00. Probably only a little more then the prepackaged product driven ones that I don’t care for.