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Love is Literal: Valentine’s Day Ideas Inspired by Amelia Bedelia

In today’s post, I welcome you to a world where language dances with whimsy, where love is literal, and terms of endearment take on a delightfully literal twist. Anything inspired by Amelia Bedelia, who takes words and phrases at face value can only result in heartwarming and humorous results! I even took on the challenge of being Amelia Bedelia-ish for a day.

So what is love?

When you put the words ‘love is.. ‘ in a search engine, it can complete that with words and phrases like

  • blind
  • all around
  • in the air
  • war
  • only a feeling
  • a verb
  • patient
  • kind

But what about you? What do you think love is? On the one hand, love is literal-ly a four-letter word; one that can conjure images of warmth, hearts, roses, candy, joy, even pain, heartache, etc. On the other, love is so much more simply because of its power to conjure all those various images and results.

Because of that, it finds itself in so many cool, heartwarming, fun, wonderful phrases making it ripe for fun activities. And since I always enjoy playing with words as well as to explore the playful nuances of language making each word a canvas for creative expression, today’s post is my attempt to show how love can easily be a delightful and literal play on words.

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When Love is Literal: Amelia Bedelia Valentine’s Day Books

Amelia Bedelia’s First Valentine

Amelia Bedelia’s First Valentine: Special Gift Edition by Herman Parish with pictures by Lynne Avril

Description: A lovely pick for Valentine’s Day—or any day—Amelia Bedelia’s First Valentine will have readers making room in their hearts for this charmingly literal little girl.

My favorite part: Amelia taking the phrase ‘wearing your heart on your sleeve’ literally, like she always does!

Be My Valentine, Amelia Bedelia

Be My Valentine, Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parish with pictures by Lynn Sweat

Description: Mrs. Rogers is throwing a party on Valentine’s Day. But Amelia Bedelia lost the guest list. No problem — she takes her cues from the Valentine’s Day cards with the invitations

My favorite part: The moment where she decides to use the words to figure out the recipients.

Love is Literal: Amelia Bedelia Inspired Valentine’s Day Activities

Literal Valentine’s Cards

Encourage kids to create Valentine’s cards with literal interpretations of love-related phrases. For example, they can draw a picture of an apple in an eye for “You’re the apple of my eye” or a heart with wings for “Love is in the air.”

Ideas inspired by the books:

  • Literally Inspired: Put a bandaid or a string over a card that says ‘Hi heartbreaker’, include a hand-warmer/mittens to a card that says ‘you’re cool’, some trail mix to a card with the words ‘I’m nuts about you’
AI generated image for this post by me but will be making such cards and the boxes below for sure!
  • Make fun personalized cards for people. In ‘Be My Valentine, Amelia Bedelia,’ we see Amelia handing out party invitations to people based on what the card said.
    • For example, she entrusts the card ‘you stole my heart’ to a police officer so he can help find that stolen heart! And one that says ‘you are my sweetie pie’ to a baker!!
  • Some phrases you can use:
    • You’re like a burst of confetti!
    • To someone who is as cool as a cucumber!
    • You’re a high-five waiting to happen!
    • You’re a total rockstar!
    • You’re the sprinkle on top of the cupcake of life!

Decorate Your Own Valentine’s Day Box

Inspired by Amelia Bedelia’s festive Valentine’s Day box (in Amelia Bedelia’s First Valentine), have kids decorate their own heart shaped boxes with literal interpretations of Valentine’s Day symbols.

Things you can use:

Disclaimer and note: all images used here were generated by me using AI (but i will be making these for giving little gifts!)

Literal Language Games

Create and play games inspired by literal translations of love!

Heart Thief

You stole my heart” could be interpreted as someone physically stealing a heart. You could make it a guessing game where each person draws a card and one person is supposed to be the ‘heart thief’. Then have everyone try to guess who it could be with a 20 questions pattern or other ways.

Other Fun Interpretations

It could be something like pretending to physically place (paper) hearts into objects for the phrase “putting your heart into something”

Love Letter Pictionary

Play a game of Valentine’s Day-themed Pictionary where players draw literal interpretations of romantic phrases or actions. For example, you could draw a picture of a “broken heart” for the phrase “You broke my heart.”

Valentine’s Day Vocabulary Puzzles

Create word puzzles where players have to match literal interpretations of Valentine’s Day phrases with their actual meanings. This could include matching images with phrases or completing fill-in-the-blank sentences with literal interpretations.

Story Writing Adventure

Encourage little and older writers to write their own Valentine’s Day stories featuring literal misunderstandings, just like Amelia Bedelia. Provide writing prompts or story starters to spark their creativity. Then share these stories for a fun storytelling session

For more ideas, look at this activity list from

Related Reads and More

    And Now, the End of This Post

    Dear reader, have you read the Amelia Bedelia books? Or other similar reads? Your thoughts and recommendations are welcome! And which of these ‘love is literal’ ideas appeal to you the most? Do share any other thoughts, ideas, comments on this post.

    Love is Literal: Valentine's Day Ideas Inspired by Amelia Bedelia

    7 thoughts on “Love is Literal: Valentine’s Day Ideas Inspired by Amelia Bedelia

    1. I love Amelia Bedelia. I had so many of the books and Amelia always made me smile. She reminds me of my son with autism, who always takes things literally.

      Great ideas here!

    2. I’m always looking for creative ways to celebrate holidays with my family, and your ideas have sparked so much inspiration. I love how you’ve taken literal interpretations of love-related phrases and turned them into fun activities like creating Valentine’s cards and decorating heart-shaped boxes. Can’t wait to try out these ideas with my little ones!

    3. These books are fabulous and they make the perfect gift idea for my niece. She will totally love them and I love gifting her books.

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