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Who Will Be My Valentine This Year? Book Day Tutorial

Step-by step instruction manual how to bring books to life in your home!

As January concludes, our focus shifts to February's celebration of Valentine's Day! This festive occasion becomes even more delightful when children are involved. There's nothing like the sweet aroma of chocolate. The exchange of valentines creates a warm atmosphere of friendship.

Enter the world of a delightful hippo who is on a quest for the perfect valentine. If your child has a fondness for animals and you're seeking a fresh and entertaining perspective on Valentine's Day, Who Will Be My Valentine This Year? by Jerry Pallotta, is a must-read!

Wayfair Chocolate Chip Cookie Cutout


Book Days starts with the backdrop. The area designated for the theatrical reading sets the tone for the whole day. Here are the two steps to create your Book Day room:

1. BACKDROP- The first thing I do, is pick the color of the backdrop based on the book. For this book, I picked red to contrast the book and provide a Valentine theme.

2. FOCAL POINT- The focal point for this Book Day was the heart garland! Find it at Hobby Lobby or make your own chain garland out of construction paper!

Eating a chocolate chip cookie


Book Day snacks are the biggest hit of the day. The great thing about these snacks is you don't have to reinvent the wheel. I took pre-made cinnamon rolls and shaped them into hearts before I baked them. You can either cut a section out with a knife or physically mold the rolls to create the effect.


One of my favorite Book Day activities is the sensory play! Every bin introduces a larger understanding and exploration of the world around them. It is ideal for infants and toddlers, but still so beneficial for Pre-K and elementary age children. One of the biggest benefits of sensory play is how it fosters social interactions between children. (Source).

Child playing with sensory bin

Here are the products used to make this Valentine sensory bin:

-1 Storage box from Walmart

-2 Bags white rice

- 1 Pack of mini heart bowls (Hobby Lobby)

-1 Bottle of pink sprinkles

-1 Bottle of red sprinkles

-1 Set of Valentine spatulas (Hobby Lobby)

-Optional- Add mini zoo animals

Begin creating this sensory bin by placing the rice as the base. Sprinkle the red and pink sprinkles over the rice. Place heart bowls strategically in the bin. Fill in the gaps with shovels, spatulas, and animals if you wish.

Child creating chocolate chip cookie


One of the beautiful things about kids crafts is that they can be simple without a thousand parts and a novel of instructions.

The themed craft of the day was an invitation to create a valentine. Each child received a mini canvas, and access to a variety of colored paints and valentine foam stickers. It is so interesting to see what their imaginative minds come up with!

Tracing letters with chocolate chips

Fine Motor

Fine motor activities are important because they strengthen children's hand grips that are essential for every day tasks, such as tying shoe laces. (Source)

The fine motor activity for this Book Day was passing out valentines. Each child brought valentines to share with each other. It was a great exercise in hand-eye coordination finding each friend in the room and delivering the valentine to them.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)

Milk and Cookie experiment

I added this category to the original curriculum because I didn't want literacy to be separate from the sciences. My hope is that children doing this program, will not only have a greater love of reading, but experience a wholistic bundle of developmental activities.

This STEM activity was called "Valentine Engineering." I gave each child access to mini foam blocks, valentine conversation hearts, and colored popsicle sticks. I challenged them to engineer a valentine house. The little kids used these products in a different way by matching the conversation hearts to the appropriate color popsicle stick. Matching is a fundamental math skill and a fun one when you pair it with candy!

Final Comments

Who Will Be My Valentine This Year? is a playful story your kids will love and a great resource for doing some new themed activities.

I hope this post has inspired you to see the depth of wealth that is sitting on your children's book shelves! Bringing books to life at home can provide an out-of-the-box event while creating an engaging hands-on educational experience. Whether you do one activity or all five, I know the kids in your life will be invigorated to read more and approach learning with a passion. Remember, everyone has a role to play in early childhood education. Whether you are a mom, dad, aunt, uncle, or grandparent you have the ability to bring wonder through the lens of a book!

I want to challenge you to create a Book Day in your home! Let us know about it ( so you can be featured on our page "Book Days Across America."

Until next time,


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