Valentines Day and….toddlers?

With the Easter holidays over, it’s back to pre-school. And that made cast my mind back over the holidays and festivals we have celebrated at preschool.

Among them was….Valentine’s Day.

It was all very developmentally appropriate, in that there were some red cards to be decorated with crayons and paint. There was chocolate-scented playdough to play with and a cooking activity making heart-shaped sandwiches with plastic cookie cutters.

And yet, I was uncomfortable with the whole thing.

In my mind, Valentine’s Day has always been associated with romantic love. That might not be historically or religiously correct, but commercially that definitely the message I’m getting.

And our classroom, with the hearts, chocolates and cards, seemed awfully close to that commercial holiday.

Now, romantic love is wonderful, and I admit I like receiving cards and flowers etc from my husband, but is it wonderful for 2 year olds?

A quick google search threw up lots of ‘gift ideas for children for Valentine’s Day’. Clearly there are a lot of people out there who think that it is appropriate, even important, for their children to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

I’m not so sure. On the one hand, if Valentine’s Day really is about celebrating love in general then fine. In that case, we’d be giving cards, flowers etc to lots of people.

But if it’s really about romantic love, and in an awful lot of ways it does seem like it is – would you ask your son or your boyfriend to ‘be your valentine’? – then this might one holiday where it is appropriate, even healthy, to leave the children out.

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