This storytime was created in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, but it is a great one to use any time of the year since learning about friendship and kindness is always in season. 🙂
THINGS TO TALK ABOUT
“Today we’re going to talk about love, friendship, and kindness. Can you think of some ways that you can be kind?” I like to break it down into three categories:
- Being kind to yourself
- Being kind to others
- Being kind to animals and nature
Ask children to come up with examples for each category. You can talk about things like eating healthy, being grateful for being you, drawing a picture for someone, smiling, saying thank you, picking up litter, or planting a garden.
As you read through each book, ask children to point out ways that people or animals are being kind in each story.
BOOKS TO READ ALOUD
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
If you plant a tomato seed, a tomato will grow. But what happens if you plant a seed of kindness?
What Does It Mean To Be Kind? by Rana DiOrio
This wonderful book discusses what it really means to be kind…..having courage to treat others the way you want to be treated, smiling at the new student in class, giving someone a compliment, holding the door open for someone, etc. A great lesson about the value of kindness! Recommended for preschool+.
Bear’s New Friend by Karma Wilson
You all know that Karma Wilson’s “Bear” books are some of my favorites, so I couldn’t pass up including this one of friendship. The rhythmic, rhyming text makes for a great read aloud; a simple and cute story.
A Friend Like You by Tanja Askani
For all the animal lovers out there, this book is full of photographs of “unlikely-but-true” animal friends, including a pig and a dog, a rabbit and a hedgehog, and a cat and a mouse. There are very simple one-line sayings about friendship accompanying each full-page photo, while the end of the book includes more information about each animal photographed. I like to use this as nonfiction by discussing the author’s work with the animals and as I show each photograph.
How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? by Jane Yolen
You Will Be My Friend (Starring Lucille Beatrice Bear) by Peter Brown
Making friends is hard to do. In this story, Lucille Beatrice Bear is determined to make a friend….and any cost! Recommended for preschoolers.
MUSIC FOR SINGING AND DANCING
Skinnamarink by Sharon, Lois, and Bram from album Skinamarink TV
A song about love….and it ends with blowing kisses to everyone! This is one of our favorite closing songs, If you don’t know the hand motions, you can watch this video of Sharon, Lois, and Bram to learn them.
I love you.
I love you in the morning
and in the afternoon.
I love you in the evening
underneath the moon.
I love you.
Make New Friends by Melinda Caroll
A song about friends. Sing together as a group, and if you are feeling ambitious you can try singing it as a round. You could also have your group walk in a circle while singing (or hold hands and turn in a circle.)
Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other is gold.
A circle is round. It has no end.
That’s how long I want to be your friend.
Love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.
It’s just like a magic penny,
Hold it tight and you won’t have any.
Lend it, spend it, and you’ll have so many
They’ll roll all over the floor.
CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES
Magic Penny Craft
After learning and singing ‘Magic Penny’ by Malvina Reynolds, make this craft – it has the song lyrics in the shape of a heart. The kids will think it’s extra-special to glue (or tape) a penny to the middle of the heart! I have included a free printable for you below. To make: Cut out printable and glue to a piece of colored cardstock or construction paper. Tape or glue a penny to the center.
Orange Bird Feeder Craft
This craft connects with our discussion of being kind to nature and to animals. Making a bird feeder is a great way to think about and be kind to the birds, especially in the wintertime when their food may be in short supply.
This craft will require adult help/supervision. You could prep the orange halves by running a knife in a circle between the flesh and the skin; then kids can get their hands messy by pulling out the inside of the orange halves. (This is great tactile & sensory learning – talk about how the orange feels in their hands. Is it wet, sticky, cold, etc?) They will also need help tying the string, but can work on fine motor skills by using a spoon to fill the oranges with bird seed.
To make one bird feeder, you will need:
Spread the love by creating love rocks! You can paint them, write kind word or affirmations on them, stamp them, place heart stickers on them, or mod podge fabric hearts onto them…..decorate them however you want! Then you can give them to someone special or leave them in places for people to find to brighten their day. You can either collect rocks outside or pick up a bag at the dollar store.
You can check out some inspiration for creating your own here:
- Love Rocks Project by Happy Sunshine Yoga
- Conversation Love Rocks by Emily Neuburger
- Love Rocks by Love Drenched Life
FOR MORE IDEAS: