“Valentine’s Day is not about what you love,” Foxy explained. “It’s about who you love.”
(Foxy in Love, by Emma Dodd)
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My daughter and I used this book, Foxy in Love, to talk about the meaning of Valentine’s Day. We talked about all the special people in our lives and what makes each of them special. We live far away from our families, so it’s important to me that we regularly acknowledge our love for family members even if we don’t see them often.
I love using books and yoga as tools to discuss important topics. Our book display is filled with love and friendship books in preparation for Valentine’s Day. And we went through a Sun Salute, saying “I love you” to our favorite people in our lives.
14 Love Books for Kids
The following are some of our favorite books about love and friendship that feature a relationship between two people or between people and animals. These books help to highlight Foxy’s idea that Valentine’s Day is about who you love!
Because Your Mommy Loves You, by Andrew Clements and R.W. Alley
Because Your Grandparents Love You, by Andrew Clements and R.W. Alley
Because Your Daddy Loves You, by Andrew Clements and R.W. Alley
Mama, Do You Love Me?, by Barbara M. Joose and Barbara Lavallee
Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw
Amy & Louis, by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood
Lost and Found, by Oliver Jeffers
You and Me Together: Moms, Dads, and Kids Around the World, by Barbara Kerley
The I LOVE YOU Book, by Todd Parrs
I Love My Daddy, by Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd
I Love My Mommy, by Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd
How Far Do You Love Me?, by Lulu Delacre
Foxy in Love, by Emma Dodd
Anna and her Rainbow-Colored Yoga Mats, by Giselle Shardlow and Emily Gedzyk
Love and Friendship Books for Kids
I LOVE YOU Yoga for Kids
Your children can first make a list of five people they would like to acknowledge in their I Love You Yoga sequence. This could be Mom, Dad, their grandparents, or their friends. For each of the following yoga poses for kids, in the Sun Salute sequence, say:
“I love you, (fill in the blank with the name of someone special).”
They can repeat the sequence with the same five names or think of another set of five names. Do whatever suits your child and follow their interests and needs. Link your breath to the movement and take the opportunity to think of ways to show gratitude to these special people in your lives.
To get started, you could bring out a yoga mat—or a towel, if you’re on a non-slip surface. Yoga postures are best practiced barefoot and a little while after eating. Your child will feed off your enthusiasm for the experience, so get into it yourself and embrace the idea of spreading love through a sun salute.
For this I LOVE YOU Yoga sun salute sequence, we’ll use the example of honoring your mom, dad, grandparents, and best friend:
1. EXTENDED MOUNTAIN POSE: I LOVE YOU, MOMMA.
How to practice Extended Mountain Pose: Stand tall in Mountain Pose, look up, and reach your arms up to the sky. Say “I love you, Momma.”
2. STANDING FORWARD BEND POSE: I LOVE YOU, DADDA.
How to practice Standing Forward Bend Pose: From Mountain Pose, bend your upper body, keep a straight spine, and reach for your toes. Say “I love you, Dadda.”
3. DOWNWARD FACING DOG POSE: I LOVE YOU, GRANDMA
How to practice Downward facing Dog Pose: Place both palms flat on the ground and step back with both feet so that you’re in an upside-down V shape, with your buttocks high in the air. Straighten your legs, relax your head and neck, and look down between your legs. Say “I love you, Grandma“.
4. TABLE TOP POSE: I LOVE YOU, GRANDPA
How to practice Table Top Pose: Shift forwards and bring your knees gently to the ground in an all-fours position with your fingers spread out and palms flat on the ground. Ensure that your back and neck are in a straight but neutral position. Your shoulders should be over your wrists, and your hips should be over your knees. The tops of your feet are flat on the ground. Say “I love you, Grandpa.”
5. CHILD’S POSE: I LOVE YOU, FRIENDS
How to practice child’s pose: Come back to sit on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest in front of your knees, and rest your arms down alongside your body. Say “I love you, (name of your best friend).” Take a few deep breaths, thinking about all the special people in your life.
Note that this sequence has been specifically laid out to flow from one pose to the next in a safe, logical way. Feel free to adapt the sequence to suit the age, needs, attention span, and energy level of your child.
Who did your child pick to acknowledge in their I Love You Yoga experience? Were there any surprises? What could they do to show gratitude to that person?