Feb 082017
 

Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day or just looking for an excuse to snuggle one with your little ones, you will enjoy these wonderful picture books about love! These are some of our favorite stories to read together. They not only give everyone the warm fuzzies, they all have important lessons for kids about the depths of love and its ceaseless ability to grow and include others.

Picture Books About Love | Alldonemonkey.com

Related Post: Teaching Kids to Choose Love

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Plenty of Love to Go Around for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Picture Books About Love

I’m so happy to feature this brand new picture book from Emma Chichester Clark, who is also the author of one of our favorite books about sibling love, No More Kissing. Her new book, Plenty of Love To Go Around, is based on her real life dog, Plum, and the affection she has for her main character is obvious. Children will easily identify with Plum as she deals with jealousy over a new cat next door. Plum is used to be the only special animal in her family’s life, and she’s not sure she likes all the attention Binky the cat is getting. On top of that, Binky actually wants to be friends with her! I love the gentle message of this book, but especially how Plum’s owner reacts with such understanding when Plum acts out. Great lesson for kids about the limitless quality of love.

Hug Machine is a book I have recommended to so many of my friends, because my preschooler and I just love it! It is a sweet, sometimes silly book about the power of hugs and the lengths that one determined boy will go to in order to make sure that no one misses out on a good hug.

Related Post: Creative Ways to Show Kids Love

And how could I not mention Snuggle Puppy, the book that’s meant to be sung to your own little snuggle puppy? It is one of my favorite picture books about love. I have such fond memories of singing this one to each of my kids when they were small. My oldest even used it to practice his letters when he first started to read! A true classic.

When I was still a very new mother, just adjusting to the incredible emotions that my tiny newborn evoked in me, a friend gave us the beautiful book I Love You As Much…. It perfectly captures the infinite love a parent feels for her child by drawing on the boundless quality one feels in nature: “Said the mother bear to her child, ‘I love you as much as the forest has trees.'” The gorgeous paintings and gentle rhymes and rhythms of the text make this a perfect book to read together at bedtime.

A wonderful book to share with elementary aged children is The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage. It is a wonderful introduction to the couple whose case made interracial marriage legal throughout the US. It is a lovely treatment of a difficult subject, underscoring at every turn the power of love and its ability to change hearts. A great way to teach children that love does conquer all, with some help from courage and determination.

Feb 122014
 

Valentine's Learning Activity for Kids - Alldonemonkey.com

Looking for a fun but educational activity for your child’s Valentine’s Day party? 

Last year when our preschool co-op decided to throw a little party for the kids on Valentine’s Day, I came up with this love-themed learning activity for them.  I loved it because it was easy to put together and was a fun way for them to practice their numbers.

What you need:

Markers

Card stock (4 sheets of red, 1 -2 sheets of another color)

Glue or tape

 

1. Sketch with dotted lines the letters “LOVE” on the red card stock, one letter per page.

Valentine's Learning Activity for Kids - Alldonemonkey.com

2. Write consecutive numbers at each corner (write numbers on the four points of the “O” as well).

Valentine's Learning Activity for Kids - Alldonemonkey.com

The completed puzzle

3. With your other color card stock, create figures (such as cats, trains, etc.) with numbers that match the letters you sketched on the red card stock.  This is what the completed puzzle will look like.

On the day of the party, I hid the blue number figures around the room, and the kids had to hunt for them all.  As they found them, they brought them to the front of the room and we started putting them in numerical order.

Once they had found all 15, I had them match the figures to the numbers on the red sheets and tape them on the correct spots.

Valentine's Learning Activity for Kids - Alldonemonkey.com

Then we pulled out the crayons, and they connected the dashes to complete the letters.  We sounded out the letters and showed them out they spelled “love.”

Valentine's Learning Activity for Kids - Alldonemonkey.com

The kids all enjoyed this active game, and it was a nice addition to our Valentine’s Day party!

What do you have planned for Valentine’s Day this year?

Feb 102014
 

Showing Kids Love Series by All Things Kids

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click through and make a purchase on Amazon, you are contributing to the maintenance of this blog. We appreciate your support!

Last month the moms behind All Things Kids brought you a Winter Books Craft and Activities series. This month, thinking of Valentine’s Day, our theme was Showing Kids Love.

Each blogger took one of the “love languages” mentioned in The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.  Learning to communicate your love in different, creative ways can help your child really feel loved.

What are the languages? Physical touch, receiving gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, and quality time.  

Here is an overview of what we did.  We’d love to see your ideas, too!  Our linky is live through the end of the month, so be sure to link up your own posts on showing kids love, or share in the comments!

Showing Kids Love Series by All Things Kids

Monkey Kisses & Dinosaur Hugs : Creative Ways to Show Kids Love - Alldonemonkey.com

Physical Touch

Monkey Kisses and Dinosaur Hugs – All Done Monkey

 

House of Burke - Toddler Valentine's Day Basket

Receiving Gifts

Toddler Valentine’s Day Basket – House of Burke

 

Mamas Like Me - 25 Simple Ways to Show Children Love Through Acts of Service

Acts of Service

25 Simple Ways to Show Children Love with Acts of Service – Mamas Like Me

Sugar Aunts - Random Acts of Service and Kindness for Kids

Acts of Service

Random Acts of Service and Kindness for Kids – The Sugar Aunts

 

Crayon Box Chronicles - Alligator Affirmation Box

Words of Affirmation

Alligator Affirmation Box – Crayon Box Chronicles

 

Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails - 10 Simple Ways to Spend Quality Time with Young Kids

Quality Time

10 Simple Ways to Spend Quality Time with Young Kids

Don’t forget to follow All Things Kids on Pinterest, and join the discussion in our Google Plus Community!

Now it’s time to share your own posts about ways to show kids love – special activities you do together, gifts you’ve made, etc.!  Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

 

Feb 032014
 

Monkey Kisses & Dinosaur Hugs : Creative Ways to Show Kids Love - Alldonemonkey.com

This post is part of the series Showing Kids Love from All Things Kids.  Visit the main page for more details and a full schedule.  To link up your own post about showing kids love, see the bottom of this post.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means that if you click through and make a purchase on Amazon, you are contributing to the maintenance of this blog.  We appreciate your support!

Physical affection comes easily to me.  I grew up in a very physically demonstrative family, and when we get together everyone always seems to have an arm around someone else or a head on someone’s shoulder.

Monkey Kisses and Dinosaur Hugs: Creative Ways to Show Kids Love - Alldonemonkey.com

So it came as quite a shock to me to have a child who, from his very early days, did not much like to cuddle.  It’s not that Monkey doesn’t enjoy hugs and kisses.  He does, just not all the time.  And he does like to snuggle – in small doses, before running off to do something else.  So eventually I adapted by trying to communicate my love for him in other ways, like verbal affirmations, rather than force him to cuddle or hug when he didn’t want to.

But a light bulb went off for me when I read the The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.   (For more on “love languages,” see my introductory post).  Chapman and Campbell write that physical touch is one of the five ways (or “love languages”) that we use to communicate love, but that this is not always shown through hugs and kisses.  A child whose primary love language is physical touch may be more inclined to pokes, pulls, bear hugs, and wrestling matches.  Hmm, sounds like my Monkey to a “T”!

And so I have been trying to give Monkey his fill of physical affection, while still being careful to respect his boundaries.  If he says he doesn’t want a hug, we might do a high five or blow kisses instead.  And rather than being annoyed at his constant playful “attacks,” I try to recognize them for what they are – my little boy showing me that he wants to play and interact with me in the way he finds most fun.

So as we gear up for Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to channel his incredible energy into a game we would both enjoy.

I started off by asking if he would like a “butterfly kiss.”  (I knew he would!)  For those that have never tried this, all you have to do is lean very close to your child, so that you can “kiss” their cheek with your eyelashes – aka, butterfly wings!  Even better is when your child gives you a butterfly kiss back!

Monkey Kisses and Dinosaur Hugs: Creative Ways to Show Kids Love - Alldonemonkey.com

So from there I threw out the names of various animals, etc., and we tried to invent how they might kiss or hug.  Here is a list of what we came up with.  What can you and your child add to this list?

Monkey kisses: Lots of jumping around, of course – leave it to my Monkey to make kissing into a jumping game!

Dinosaur hugs: Give a big ROAR! before squeezing the other person tight.

Robot kisses: Make sure to beep between kisses!

Doggie kisses: Just as you might imagine, be prepared for your child to lick you repeatedly!  Chances are, this will be his favorite!  Kids seem to find this one hilarious.  Mothers, less so.

Giraffe kisses: Crouch down then “grow” yourself really tall until you are on tippy toes before giving a kiss.

Shark kisses: Okay, just kidding.  I wasn’t brave enough to try this one.  I had a feeling how it might turn out – Use at your own risk!

Visit our series main page for more posts on Showing Kids Love!  And don’t forget to follow All Things Kids on Pinterest, and join the discussion in our Google Plus Community!

Now it’s your turn!

Feb 022014
 

Showing Kids Love Series by All Things Kids

This post contains affiliate links.  This means that if you click through and make a purchase on Amazon, you are contributing to the maintenance of this blog.  We appreciate your support!

Last month the moms behind All Things Kids brought you a Winter Books Craft and Activities series.  This month, thinking of Valentine’s Day, we are sharing ideas to Show Kids Love.

We all love our kids and do our best to show this love to them, but it’s easy to get caught up in the routines of every day life and lose our focus.  So this week we are sharing some creative ideas for how you can shake things up a bit to really help your little ones feel the love :)

Our series is loosely based on the wonderful book The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.  The idea behind this book (and the others in this series) is that all children – and adults – speak different “love languages.”  While we all give and receive love in all of the languages, we each have one that is primary.  Learning to communicate love in the language that is easiest for your child to understand goes a long way towards helping your child really feel loved.

What are the languages? Physical touch, receiving gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, and quality time. 

Each day this week a different blogger from All Things Kids will take one of these languages and give us a creative way to express love for your kids in that language.

Please note, children give and receive love in all of these languages, so try to use a mix of them, though focusing on the one that is primary for your child.  (There are tips for how to discover this primary language in the book!)  Also, the authors write that for young children, it is better not to focus on finding out their primary love language, as it doesn’t usually become clear until the school age years.  Again, a mix of the languages is best, as you observe and explore what works best for your child.

So enjoy!  We look forward to sharing these fun and creative ideas with you and seeing yours!  Starting tomorrow our linky will be live through the end of the month, so be sure to link up your own posts on showing kids love!

Showing Kids Love Series by All Things Kids

Monday, February 3 – All Done Monkey – Physical Touch

Tuesday, February 4 – House of Burke – Receiving Gifts

Wednesday, February 5 – Mamas Like Me – Acts of Service

Thursday, February 6 – Crayon Box Chronicles – Words of Affirmation

Friday, February 7 – Sugar Aunts – Acts of Service

Saturday, February 8 – Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails – Quality Time

Don’t forget to follow All Things Kids on Pinterest, and join the discussion in our Google Plus Community!

This post has been shared at the Sunday Parenting Party.

Jan 272014
 

Valentine's Treat Ice Cream Hearts

My Monkey loooves ice cream.  It is his absolute favorite treat, so this year I thought we’d have some ice cream fun to get ready for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine's Treat: Ice Cream Hearts - Alldonemonkey.com

After the ice cream softened, we laid out cookie cutters on a baking sheet.  (I can sort of understand why he thought the “bumpy circle” would be a nice addition, but I’m really clueless about why he picked the letter “F”!)

Valentine's Treat: Ice Cream Hearts - Alldonemonkey.com

Then we scooped some ice cream into the shapes, and Monkey smoothed down the tops.  Monkey did ask for a number of “sampling” breaks, which might be why our ice cream really started to melt!

Valentine's Treat: Ice Cream Hearts - Alldonemonkey.com

As a final decorative touch, Monkey made faces out of frozen blueberries.

Valentine's Treat: Ice Cream Hearts - Alldonemonkey.com

After chilling in the freezer for several hours, they were ready!  They were fairly easy to push out of the cookie cutters, though you can also use a knife to loosen the edges.

How are you getting ready for Valentine’s Day?

This post was shared on Share It Saturday from the Sugar Aunts.

Feb 142013
 

This Valentine’s Day I wanted to write something from my heart for my two little Valentines, to attempt to convey those sentiments that tend to get lost in the day to day.

What would you like to tell your children about how you feel about them?

Love Note to My Sons on Valentines Day - Alldonemonkey.com

To my boys:

I want you both to know how much you were wanted.

You were my dream, which for many years I thought might never come true.

And now you are my everyday – my crying, jumping, kissing, singing everyday.

Love Note to My Sons on Valentines Day - Alldonemonkey.com

I hope one day you realize even one tiny part of how much I love you,

How my morning can’t start without those little hugs,

and how I will drop everything for one of those messy kisses.

Love Note to My Sons on Valentines Day - Alldonemonkey.com

You are worth it:

Worth the years of waiting for the “right time,”

Worth the agony of miscarriage,

Worth the aches and pains of pregnancy and childbirth,

Worth the sleeplessness and bewilderment of babyhood,

The tantrums and recklessness of toddlerhood.

Love Note to My Sons on Valentines Day - Alldonemonkey.com

Worth the worry over coughs and fevers,

Worth every penny of those toy trucks and cars you didn’t need but had to have,

Worth all the trips to the playground, the library, the train museum, and the park,

Worth listening to your favorite songs over and over and over again.

Love Note to My Sons on Valentines Day - Alldonemonkey.com

Worth it all just to see one smile,

to hear that incredible belly laugh, that sweet baby cooing,

to watch you wave those tiny arms in your crib or do your wild dance around the living room.

Worth it all just to hug you each morning and tuck you in each night.

Love Note to My Sons on Valentines Day - Alldonemonkey.com

And so I hope that one day, when you have both moved on to your own adventures,

that you will think kindly of the old lady who loves you so much,

and remember to call sometimes, or even better, come to visit,

so she can squeeze your cheeks one more time and hold you just a little longer,

and ask you again and again if you are happy.

And I hope, more than anything, that you can always tell her yes.

Happy Valentines Day, everyone, to you and yours –

Learning to be the Light - Valentines Day on Alldonemonkey.comChristi and Daniela (10 years old)
Learning to be the Light

De Su Mama - Valentines on Alldonemonkey.com
Daddy D and Alina (1.5 years old)

De Su Mama

Fantastic Fun and Learning - Valentines on Alldonemonkey.com

Lovey (Age 3), Shaunna, Tinker (Age 1)
Fantastic Fun and Learning

Thanks to the bloggers who shared the sweet photos above.

World Citizen Wednesdays #14: Valentine’s Day

 multiculturalism, Valentine's Day, World Citizen Wednesdays  Comments Off on World Citizen Wednesdays #14: Valentine’s Day
Feb 062013
 

World Citizen Wednesdays - Alldonemonkey.comWelcome to World Citizen Wednesday!

Each week we pose a question to members of the fabulous Multicultural Kid Blogs group and share their answers here.

To find out more about these amazing bloggers, check out the Multicultural Kid Blogs Facebook page. And watch for our group website, coming soon!

I was not quite prepared for the often negative memories that this week’s prompt evoked for many of our members.  Is Valentine’s Day a cheery, fun holiday or not? Judge for yourself!

This week we ask:

Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day growing up?  If so, how?

Annabelle of the piri-piri lexicon: Never. I remember my mum saying that Valentine’s day was for people in love. Real love is something adults feel. You may like someone as a child/teenager but it is not the same. Her words – not mine!

Cordelia of Multilingual Mama: I hated it. I lived the Charlie Brown valentines. School cards, never any for me.

Alyson of World Travel Family: No, never. I hated it. I think I’m still traumatised by V Day as a kid…scary! I thought everyone was getting Valentine’s day cards except me. In reality, I don’t think anyone was getting cards. My husband and I have never bothered with it.

Olga of The European Mama: Me, neither. But my friend’s grandmother used to celebrate Valentine’s day by calling everybody in the family and telling them that she loved them! I thought it was cute.

Varya of Little Artists: Never. It was a “capitalist” holiday, just as Christmas was. Plus Valentine’s Day became more International in the past 15-20 years or so. We still don’t celebrate it.

Lynn of The Diary of a Nomad Mom: I did and looking back I remember being very stressed out about which boy to send a valentine card to….and whether or not he would return my sentiments.

Carrie of Crafty Moms Share: We did. My family always exchanged cards and we did class valentines when we were in elementary school (everyone gave one to everyone in class). As I got older the valentines became only for good friends or significant others.

Aisha of Hartlyn Kids: My mother always got me a gift and thinks it is strange that I don’t do the same for my daughter now. Also in school, we did exchange Valentine’s – now this I did last year. My daughter made valentines for her whole class which we enjoyed doing together.

Amy of International Book Giving Day: I have good memories of decorating a box to bring to school for classmates to put Valentine’s in. I also really enjoyed purchasing store bought Valentines. My family did not consume much, and purchasing store bought Valentines for classmates felt like a big treat.

Frances of Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: I’m in the same boat as Amy. I have good memories, but it was mostly “store bought” cards to exchange with classmates. It was fun going through all the cards, and some candy, too!

Jody of Mud Hut Mama: I loved Valentine’s Day as a little kid. We would wake up to little sweets at our places on the table. Who wouldn’t love combining cereal and conversation hearts! Then we would have a party at school where we all exchanged Valentines. Everyone would have one for everyone in the class so it wasn’t until I was much older that there was any real angst around Valentines Day. I like to think that the fact that I almost never had any romantic prospects on Valentine’s Day was good character building.

Thanks to all the bloggers who shared their answers here! You can read answers to earlier questions in our previous installments of World Citizen Wednesday, including tips for traveling with kids!

Find out more about these wonderful bloggers by visiting our Facebook page, subscribing to our Facebook feed, following us on Twitter, or following our group Pinterest board! On Twitter, you can also find us by using the hashtag #multiculturalkids. And watch for our very own website, coming soon!

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