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Christmas Can Be a Time to Learn That Some Gifts cannot Be Wrapped

Updated on December 3, 2018
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Love Gifts Can be Free

Love gifts are free
Love gifts are free | Source

Love Gifts Can Be Free at the Holidays

Most young children do not have money to spend at the holidays. They see everyone shopping and they want to participate in gift giving, but do not have the resources or the ability to go out and purchase a gift. The holiday season is a great time to begin teaching young children that some gifts do not have a price tag. Stacy McAnulty's LOVE is a creative picture book recommended for ages 4-7 that teaches the concept that some gifts can be free if given from love. Helping Mom and Dad with jobs around the house, helping a friend, and showing love to a pet or other animals are all gifts of love. Joanne Lew-Vriethoff contributes her talent as an illustrator with her large and colorful illustrations that show activities that are love gifts. Making greeting cards and cooking special candy gifts are illustrated. Young children will want to participate in one or more of these activities as they turn the pages to see all of the ways that gifts can be free if they come from love. Children who have pets will relate to the illustrations in which the characters are showing love to their pets. How about a gift of flowers from the yard? Some gifts do not have to be wrapped and this holiday season is the perfect time to begin teaching that giving can be free.

LOVE was published by Running Press Kids and has an ISBN of 978-0-7624-6212-4.

Charming and Colorful Illustrations Show Gifts of Love That Are free

How about flowers for Grandpa?
How about flowers for Grandpa? | Source
Animals and pets Need Free Love Gifts
Animals and pets Need Free Love Gifts | Source

Holiday Classroom Lessons to Use This Charming Picture Book

Teachers and caregivers in childcare early childhood classrooms will want to use Stacy McAnulty's LOVE as a holiday story to talk about giving gifts. Gifts of love are free and do not have to be wrapped. The large and colorful illustrations that fill the pages will hold the attention of young children. The illustrations feature young children giving all kinds of love gifts that young readers will want to add to their ideas of what to give parents, grandparents, and even their pets for a holiday gift.

*Read LOVE in a story time session. The cartoon-like illustrations are fun and all kinds of love gifts are illustrated in each illustration.

*Talk about each love gift as you read through the book. The large print presents an opportunity for young children to point to the words as you read. Have the children describe the activities in each illustration in their own words.

*Give the children an opportunity to present their ideas on what kinds of love gifts they could give their families and friends this year. Young children can draw pictures of gifts that they could give.

*Call attention to the illustration of the little girl creating greeting cards as a love gift. Place art materials for children to make their own holiday cards. Homemade holiday cards are a fun way for young children to create a gift for their parents and other family members.

*What shape is "love"? The "heart" shape is representative of love. Give the children the opportunity to learn the heart shape. Draw Christmas hearts and have the colors of the season available for children to decorate Christmas hearts. You might have a small classroom tree to hang the decorated paper Christmas hearts.

*How many children have pets? What kinds of free love gifts can they think of to give their pets for holiday gifts?

A Homemade Gift of Food for the Holidays

Cooking is always a fun activity for the holidays in an early childhood classroom. Call attention to the illustration in McAnulty's LOVE picture book that features children making cupcakes. You might bring in undecorated cupcakes for children to decorate for the holidays. Have red and green sprinkles, chocolate or vanilla icing, and other holiday decorating items that are available for decorating Christmas cupcakes. The children can decorate a cupcake to take home as a love gift.

© 2018 Cindy Hewitt


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