Last week I had each of the kids make their own Valentine's mail folder by gluing pink and purple hearts onto a red folder with their name on it. (Oscar got a little help.)
Although these folders can and probably will be used on Valentine's Day, for the kids to exchange Valentines cards, I wanted to first use them for delivering messages of kindness.
Whenever I get a chance, I write a personal message for each of the kids on a heart made out of construction paper. I use a little sticker (we have so many) as a stamp, which makes it more fun for them. I put the letters in their mailboxes. Then, usually at mealtime, I lay the mail folders out on the dining room table. They come up and I read them my newest 'love letter'. It's a nice way to remind them of behaviours they exhibited that I liked, and for them to get some recognition in front of their friends for that. Even though Oscar doesn't completely understand this activity, he still gets the good vibes, and it's essential for his friends to see that he also needs to be appreciated verbally (even though he can't yet talk).
I have also been encouraging the kids to come up with nice messages to say to each other, which I then write for them on a heart. I helped B. come up with some nice things to say to his friends when he got up from nap earlier than the others one day.
Noah came up with his own messages of appreciation after the kids had gone home one night. He said things like "I really love you, Oscar", and "You were really good outside today, Aidas". He came up with the same message for mine: "You were really good outside today, Mommy." Good to know I behaved myself! He wrote one to his daddy too, which was just so cute we had to put it up on the fridge.
Later, he praised his daddy further, saying "You went outside....all by yourself..." So sweet!