Updated: Feb 14
Celebrating Self Love (and Sharks) with a cute Valentine Craft inspired by “Shark in Love” by Alma Hammond.
Shark in love is an adorable story by Alma Hammond that follows a young shark in her attempts to befriend a fellow shark. However, she soon learns the only validation they need comes within themselves and (self) love will follow!
The concept alone is worth picking up the book for your tiny human. It's not your traditional Valentine-themed or lovey doves story; it explores different themes of love. More importantly, it doesn't glorify love and showcase stereotypical (unhealthy) relationships. For instance, the old adage of "if he chases you, he likes you", won't be found in this book. Moreover, it explores what it means to love oneself and the value in that.
This is a great read for Valentine's Day, year-round, or whenever my tiny human forgets just how amazing he is. Coupled with the following craft and activity, it is a chance to sit with ourselves and critically think about all the things that make you and your tiny human awesome!
The activity is simple and can be as elaborate as you want to make it. It could be a quick list on lined paper or use foam hearts to write down one or more things your tiny human loves about themselves, don't forget to think of something for yourself!
Originally I created this activity for our patrons at the Canyon Lake Library. We made it into a monthly activity and it was so exciting for the kids to come in and talk about what they loved about themselves rather than a traditional valentine's exchange or love for others. It would be ideal for all in a group to participate in the same thing even if it wasn't at the same time.
For our annual Valentine's exchange for our homeschooling families, we elaborated on the concept of self-love. We used construction paper or cardstock, our OOLY crayons, markers, and Chunkie's Paint Sticks, and other decorations to do the same. Only this time we left it up to the kids to use their fine motor skills and imaginations to cut their own hearts. The additional time allowed us to critically think about the qualities within ourselves we like and think are amazing!
For a more in-depth or long-term activity, begin on February 1st and have your tiny human write down one thing they love about themselves each day. Do this together to help them find qualities important to your family. The things that they come up with are so enlightening.
I especially love doing this activity because it's a simple way to start or continue a conversation about confidence and self-love. We have created a tradition I hope to continue for years to come!
Writing utensils, such as markers, crayons, pencils, etc.
Paper I like to use construction or card stock
You can also use felt heart shakes or foam heart-shapes that you can get at the dollar tree or craft store.
Coffee filters or paper doilies or use additional colors of construction paper to decorate.
1. Cut your piece of paper into a heart shape. Depending on ability, learn about symmetry by folding in half or tracing for your child so they can practice cutting out the shape or for the more experienced cutters free hand cutting a heart.
2. Write on your piece of paper or card stock or foam heart shape one or more things you love about yourself.
3. Glue it on towards your backing paper
4. Have fun exploring with your tiny humans all the different things they love about themselves!
We would love to see your finished product or interpretation of our craft. Tag mentoring tiny humans in your post so we can see!
Happy Valentines Day!