Valentine’s Day Varieties

Submitted by T2T subscriber Iram Khan.

Valentine’s Day honors two different saints named Valentine. However, customs for the holiday have nothing to do with the lives of these saints. The customs come from the ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia, which took place on February 15. The festival honored Pan, the Roman god of nature, and Juno, the goddess of women and marriage. During this festival young people drew names from a box and exchanged gifts. Gradually the custom of giving gifts was replaced by sending cards. Today Valentine’s Day, celebrated on February 14, is a time to display love and affection. People send cards, candy, or flowers as valentines to their sweethearts, friends, and family.

Art Activities

Valentine Sachet
Spray perfume on cotton ball. Glue ball to upper area of large round doily with cotton inside. Fold doily in half forming a half-circle. Staple together at top. Glue small bows and tiny hearts to sachet. Variation: Use two heart-shaped doilies. Place one doily on construction paper. Trace and cut. Glue paper heart onto doily. Glue perfumed cotton ball to center of paper heart. Attach second doily to paper heart. To hang, punch hole in top of heart. Thread ribbon or yarn through hole. Tie ends of ribbon.

Heart People and Animals
Create people or animals by gluing together various sizes of hearts cut from white, pink, and red paper. For facial features use tiny hearts, chalk, crayons, or felt-tipped pens.

Stained Glass Heart
Place red, pink, and white crayon shavings between two pieces of waxed paper or in waxed paper sandwich bag. Cover with newspaper. Adult presses with warm iron to melt crayon chips. Allow to cool. Cut heart shape from center of construction paper. Tape waxed paper behind heart-shaped hole.
Variations:
-Fold construction paper in half to make card. Cut heart shape from front of card. Tape “stained glass” behind the heart-shaped hole.
-Cut “Stained glass” into heart shape. Attach string to create mobile.

Valentine Butterfly
Cut two red hearts and two smaller white hearts. Matching bottom points of hearts, glue white hearts to top of red hearts. Overlap and glue the bottom tips of the hearts. Twist a red and white pipe cleaner together. Glue to center of hearts to form butterfly’s body. Leave 1″ of pipe cleaners untwisted at ends for antennae.

Recipes

Valentine’s Day Crockpot Applesauce
Ingredients:
8 apples
water
sugar
a handful of red hot heart candies

Method:
Peel, core, and slice the apples into small pieces. Throw them in a crockpot and let cook on low. Once the apples are soft (about one hour), put them in blender along with a little sugar. Try to keep as much of the liquids in the crock pot as possible. Blend until you get the appropriate texture, and serve. (You can throw in the candies before you blend it or right before you serve it if you want the candies to still exist in their entirety!)

Pizza Hearts
Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut shape from toasted bread. Spread with pizza sauce and other pizza toppings. Bake until cheese melts.

Heart Sandwiches
Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut a heart from a slice of bread. Spread with favorite sandwich filling.

Sweetheart Salad
Combine 16 oz cherry pie filling, 13 oz pineapple tidbits, drained, and 2 sliced bananas. Chill and serve.

Valentine Milk Shakes
Combine 10 oz of frozen strawberries, rasberries, OR cherries, and 4 oz of milk in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy.

Valentine Chocolate Balls (makes five dozen)
3 cups of semi-sweet or white chocolate chips or white chocolate chips
1 can (300ml) of sweetened condensed milk
finely chopped nuts
cocoa powder
Method:
1) Melt chocolate chips; remove from heat.
2) Stir in sweetened condensed milk.
3) Chill 3 hours or until firm.
4) Shape into 1 – inch (2.5cm) balls; place on wax paper-lined trays. Chill until firm. Roll in nuts, cocoa, or dip into melted chocolate chips of a different colour.
5) Chill and enjoy.

Language Arts
Valentine Symbols:
Heart: love and emotion
Cupid: Greek god of love and beauty, is represented as winged boy with an arrow.
Red: warmth and feeling, associated with the heart.
White: associated with bridal apparel.
Lace: a symbol of romance as a result of its use on bridal veils.
Flower: a love token (esp. roses)
Dove: peace and romantic love (Ancient people thought birds chose their mates on Valentine’s Day)
Hand: courtship

*You can also do a unit on Mail and Letters during February. Visit the post office, and mail valentines to mom and dad.

Valentine’s Day Related Books:
“A Friend Is Someone Who Likes You”, Anglund
“Love is a Special Way of Feeling”, Anglund
“Let’s Be Friends”, Bryano
“Do You Want to Be My Friend?”, Carle
“May I Bring a Friend?”, De Regniers
“Play With Me”, Ets
“T.A. for Tots”, Freed
“What Do You Say Dear?”, Joslin
“George and Martha”, Marshall
“I Learn About Sharing”, Roorback
“Making Friends”, Scheck
“I Don’t Like It When Friends Come to Visit”, Sherman
“The Giving Tree”, Silverstein
“One Is Good, Two Are Better”, Slobodkin
“A Friend Is Aimie”, Steiner
“I’d Rather Stay With You”, Steiner
“Do You Know What I’ll Do?, Zololow

Games
Who Was So Kind?
(A variation of 7-up) Choose 7 players to be the valentine senders. Hand out identical valentine’s day cards to each of them. The rest of the class puts their heads down on their desks while the valentine senders give their valentine to someone with their heads down. When all the valentines have been handed out, chant: “Can you guess who was so kind, To bring you a pretty valentine?” Kids who received valentines try to guess who gave them the valentine. If they guess correctly, they change places with the sender. Go on until you decide to stop.

Science
Do a unit on the heart:
* Teach children how to take their pulse

The heart is located inside the chest. It is a muscle which is about as big as a person’s fist. Inside the body are many tubes called arteries and veins. The heart pumps blood through these tubes. Blood carries oxygen from the heart to all parts of the body. Listen to own heartbeat with a stethoscope. Describe the sound. Run quickly. Listen to the heart again. It is beating faster because more oxygen is needed by the body. Variation: Compare and contrast human heartbeat to heatbeat of a class pet. Discuss that all animals have a heart.

Sugar Facts
Candy is frequently received as a Valentine gift.
Discuss:

* Sugar is a simple carbohydrate which provides the body with quick energy. It has no nutrients–only calories. If these calories are not used for energy, they are stored in the body as fat.
* Sugar consumed when eating fruits, vegetables, and grains is complex carbohydrate. It takes longer to digest and provides energy for a longer period. The body receives calories plus nutrients from these foods. Carbohydrates are needed for energy and for the brain to function properly. Carbohydrates received in the complex form are more nutritious.
* Some people think honey is a health food. It is also sugar.
* Sugar causes dental problems. Its effect will be lessened if the mouth is rinsed with water or teeth are brushed after sugary foods are eaten
* It is necessary to know what sugar is before intake can be reduced. Compare the different types of household sugar. Examples are granulated sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cubed sugar, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, and molasses. Discuss color and texture of each.
* Sugar Content in foods: Demonstrate the amount of sugar in different foods by reading the nutritional information on boxes of food.

Contributor’s note: Some of this is from the book “Channels to Children” by Carol Beckman, Roberta Simmons, and Nancy Thomas.

What is educating your students without talking about the ritual of exchanging Valentines Day gifts. You can teach your students how to create a gift basket with arts and crafts or teach them how to create environmentally friendly Valentine’s Day gift baskets.

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