Healthy Heart Week
Reinvent Valentine's Day into a wholesome and nutritious week of healthy learning.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
In 2002, I lost my mother unexpectedly to a massive heart attack the day after Valentine's Day. The next year, as the anniversary came around, I tried to think of ways to help me get through what used to be one of my favorite holidays. I found that outlet in my kindergarten classroom. We devoted the entire week to learning about heart health. I have continued that as a tradition in my class ever since.
We spend each day learning about the various ways to keep your heart strong. On exercise day, we wear workout clothes. Our math activities involve exercising for counting and addition. In Science, we learn about how exercise affects our bodies. One day is devoted to rest, and we wear our p.j.s and learn about how important rest is. We also devote a day to coping with negative feelings and eating right.
On Valentine's day, we shun the usual party food. We enjoy healthy food, water, and make a healthy recipe together. My little ones learn so much about the heart. I try to bring in a heart model, stethoscopes, and other things that help them to understand that their hearts are much more than just a shape.
This week and all that is a part of it, has provided such healing for me. I never thought I would be able to look foward to Valentine's Day, but now it is again one of my favorite times of year.