Saint Valentine was a priest who lived in the third century, a time when Emperor Claudius determined unmarried Roman soldiers performed better on the battlefield than their married counterparts since they were not worried about leaving a widow and fatherless children if they met their demise. Valentine was dismayed at this broach of civility and secretly married soldiers to their beloveds. Before his ploy was discovered, he wrote one last missive to a recently married young woman, signing it “from your Valentine.”

In honor of Saint Valentine, we celebrate his day with heart-shaped cards, candies and cakes, weddings and engagements. Children at your Orlando preparatory school can also participate in the festivities by creating heart-shaped link chains of craft paper, writing homemade Valentine’s cards to classmates or baking sweet heart-shaped cakes or brownies.

One of my all-time favorite class Valentine ideas is to make or buy Valentine cards and have each student write something complimentary to every other student in the class. My fifth-grade son came home with a paper bag crammed with sweet comments, such as “Your glasses are cool” and “I like your dimples.” These sentiments buoyed his spirits for weeks, and he saw his fellow students with a different outlook. This activity combined good manners, sentence structure, noun/verb agreement, creativity and a great deal of imagination. Giving Valentine cards may or may not be permitted at your child’s school; check with the teacher and administrators to know how they celebrate Valentine’s Day.

At home, make sandwiches for the family by cutting bread into heart shapes or make a strawberry cake sprinkled with a heart shape on top. After dinner, curl up with a Valentine-inspired book from the library, such as Happy Valentine’s Day Curious George or watch Clifford: Be My Big Red Valentine or Miss Spider’s Happy Heartwood Day. These activities will inspire your child to see the good in people, something that becomes increasingly more difficult as time catches us up in worry and stress.
The best lesson you can teach your child this Valentine’s Day is to honor Saint Valentine with good deeds. Donate canned goods to a food bank, visit an animal shelter, make dinner for an invalid friend or visit a retirement home. Show your child how small acts of kindness may change the world for at least one other person. Learn more from your Orlando preparatory school leaders at Lake Forrest Preparatory School.