Another candy holiday upon us. But who says it has to be all about the sugar and chemicals? My daughter’s class this year made hearts from juice pouches and recycled felt, then sold them to schoolmates, teachers and parents to raise money for a membership in Nature Abounds. And today they’re celebrating with strawberries, apples, red grapes and dark chocolate for dipping. (I’ve already written about how much my daughter’s teacher rocks. Seriously, I heart her.)
Even the Valentines themselves are in check. Our school asks kids not to bring candy for classmates. (Can I get a woo hoo?) In fact, they don’t even bring Valentines. Instead, each child makes a large Valentine card that’s decorated outside and blank inside, then all the kids sign each other’s cards. Nice, simple, no drama or worries about someone being left out. No loading up on junk or meltdowns or food-dye ballistic children at the end of the day. (At least not in our class. Party food varies from room to room.)
Anyone else celebrating some V-Day sanity today?
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That is fantastic! I love it! Love it love it!
My daughter’s 2nd grade class did a real red food tasting – the kids got to taste red peppers, dried cranberries (no dyes!), watermelon, strawberries, pomegranates, red grapefruit and grape tomatoes. They each received a sheet where they recorded their observations on what the food looked like, felt like, and tasted like. Then they rated them on a scale of 1-3, 1 being “I really don’t like this”, 2 “I might try it again” and 3 “I love it – please get me more!” Then, they will tally all of the answers and use it for a math lesson. There were lots of 3’s! They had a lot of fun with this activity.
That’s terrific, Adrienne. For anyone not familiar with this type of “naturally red” party, here’s an example that I mentioned in my recent food dyes post.
This is sooooo awesome and we’re so honored that your daughter chose Nature Abounds as her charity of choice. Thank you for raising such a champion for the planet.
We have a newsletter coming out in mid-March, and I’m hoping to feature this effort. Could you send me a short paragraph maybe about it, and a picture of your daughter or one of you and her we could use?
Again, THANK YOU!!
Melinda, President of Nature Abounds
Melinda, thanks for stopping by. It was actually my daughter’s teacher (in collaboration with the kids) who chose Nature Abounds, so all the credit goes to her/them! But I’ll be in touch off-board about your newsletter.
I heart your daughter’s teacher too! As I destroyed a forest and stayed up till midnight with the silly little cards that are probably all in the trash today, I did think — what is the point? I’m filing this idea away to suggest to my kids’ teachers next year!
But I especially loved the fruit. Seems like it would make the day better for the teachers, too!
I so agree with you about the cards. Homemade or not, it seems like such a waste. And these days it seems like their just a vehicle to tape candy to, which is even worse.
Very impressive! These are all great ideas.
The Valentine’s card idea is such an improvement! It becomes more of a team effort rather than a competition.
we were 50/50 for good vday experiences at school this year. PK teacher added “red food that encourages healthy habits” to her normal party donation request. 1st grade teacher embraced the real red food party. I was actually happy to see at least half of parents did not send candy in with valentines, i saw pretzels, tattoos, glasses, play doh. i was tickled pink when my 4yo said he passed over the fruit roll-ups on the treat table, because “there was red all over and i didn’t want that food coloring in my brain” not surprisingly, he came home with half the pomegranates I sent in (how could 22 4 year olds not demolish one pomegranate??). hard to get kids interested in real food when junk is on the table too. in the first grade class, all students tasted the marinated pink and white beets i sent in and half liked them. i was impressed!
I love the fruit ideas.
I used to send valentine’s (or other decorated) pencils. Thankfully we’re past that stage.
J in VA
Sounds like your daughter had a better time than mine. I wrote about our experience on my blog.
Just found your blog and am enjoying the posts.
Welcome, Kristen, and feel free to share the link/synopsis about your daughter’s experience. I’ll go take a look, too.
What a perfect idea to celebrate Valentine’s Day. And I love the “real red food” tasting too, Adrienne.
Just wanted to share my preschooler’s Valentine’s Day experience:
She came home on Monday with the requisite load of sugar-laden candy from her preschool class. She took a lot of time going over everything in her bag. Last year, I just confiscated the entire thing and threw all the candy away and she never missed it, but this year I decided I needed to start teaching her about why what was in her bag wasn’t good for her. I talk about the candy in the goodie bags she gets at birthday parties too, but honestly, she’s way more interested in the toys and gadgets than she is the candy, so I can usually very easily throw it out when she’s not around, and she never asks for it.
I let her play with the candy, pencils, stickers, etc. from her Valentine’s bag and when she came to me with a package of Skittles I explained to her that they weren’t good for her tummy or her teeth, and were full of yucky chemicals and dyes they wouldn’t help her grow big and strong like fruits and vegetables would. I wanted to see what, if anything, she would do with the information gave her.
She took them and put them back in her bag.
After dinner that night, she asked for the Skittles. I gave them to her and asked why she wanted them.
She said, “So I can throw them away.”
And she walked over to the can, and threw them in.
She wasn’t trying to suck up or score points. She went off to play right after that and never asked or talked about them again.
A proud mama moment for sure.
Our first grader’s class last year did the big valentines too but instead of giving them to each other, they delivered them to the aides, secretaries, lunchroom staff, specials teachers, and principal. They each got doilies, stickers, and a small photo of the whole class and could each decorate one as they wanted, then they all signed all of them. I even spied one or two still up this fall. Can’t wait to do it again!