Growing up the only thing I did to celebrate Valentine’s Day is exchange cards in school. Every kid did it so we did it. We didn’t celebrate at home or talk much about it. The words “I love you!” were rarely mentioned, that’s just how my parent’s generation were brought up.
Now that I’m raising my own kids, I find it important to show and express love. Valentine’s Day doesn’t always have to be about love between couples...share the love you share with your littles as a parent/member of their family. Help your kids feel like a million bucks on Valentine’s Day.
Here are 10 fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids.
1. DRESS UP YOUR HOME
You decorate for Halloween. You decorate for Diwali. You decorate for Christmas. So why not decorate for Valentine’s Day?
Build up to the big day with DIY Valentine’s Day decorations. Get your kids started now to keep them entertained. If you’ve never decorated for Valentine’s Day, start small. Buy or make one or two things this year and add to your collection in years to come. You can cut hearts out of construction paper and string them together like a garland to hang in your home. You can also buy pre-made garlands and decorate if the whole DIY thing isn’t your cup of tea…which is totally OK. The goal is to have fun and add some Valentine’s Day flair to your home. I got the ones below from the Dollar Tree nearby. I’ll have the girls paint it and decorate it as a fun craft so they get to be involved.
2. MAKE TREATS!
Find a Valentine’s Day treat you can enjoy making (and eating!) with your kids. You can buy heart-shaped cookie cutters just about anywhere. Dig out your favorite sugar cookie recipe and make Valentine cookies with pink frosting and sugar sprinkles. If you want something savory, use that same cookie cutter on your sandwiches. Make heart shaped pancakes on Valentine’s morning. I use a squeeze bottle to make the heart shapes out of the pancake batter and I add some food dye to add some pink/red fun to it.
3. MAKE VALENTINE HEART LOVE NOTES
Decorate your child’s door with love notes. Use construction paper hearts and fill them with things you love or appreciate about him for him to wake up to on Valentine’s Day. Or start on February 1 (or whenever you choose) and post one or two hearts each night. You can have them do it for each other as well, and for you! Let your kids decorate them with stickers, glitter, and candied hearts.
4. TALK ABOUT HEART HEALTH
February is also National Heart Month, so what better time to teach children about their real heart? It’s never too early to start learning about heart health. Plan a family walk or bike ride, or crank up the love songs and get your hearts pumping with a Valentine’s Day dance party!
5. ENJOY A FAMILY DATE NIGHT
Many of us aren’t making reservations this year….but why not get dressed up in nice clothes and dine at home. You can decorate your table, light some candles, and enjoy eating at home a little differently. You can even wear your beautiful ethnic clothing and dance the night away to some rockin’ Bollywood music. I know I’m missing a fun night of dancing these days!
6. HOST A VIRTUAL PARTY
Use your favorite app and invite your child’s friends. Decorate a background (if you want), and have a few themed games in mind. You can have all the friends wear matching tees and set up some craft activities from the Dollar Store. An example of a fun game could be a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt: Set a time and list of items for everyone to find in their home, like something heart-shaped, something chocolate, a Valentine Car, a loveable stuffed animal etc. You can also just have them enjoy some time to chat or a game of “Among Us.” My girls go nuts for it.
7. SPREAD THE LOVE
In addition to giving Valentines to friends and family, spread the love a little further by sending some Valentine’s cards to loved ones far away. (Bonus Points: if they make them at home.) Since we are still dealing with Covid, video call loved ones and tell them how much you love them. Have you children talk to family that they aren’t able to see. Show your children how much the simple gesture means to others.
8. HAVE A VALENTINE’S DAY MOVIE NIGHT
You can watch classics like “A Charlie Brown Valentine”, “The Little Rascals”, “The Parent Trap”, “Cinderella”, “Shrek”, “Beauty and the Beast”. You can also watch some Bollywood Classics also “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, “Dil to Pagal Hai”, “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” etc. Ask your kids to pick a movie that represents love to them. Please make sure your selections are age appropriate.
9. MAKE “SWEATHEART” ROCKS
Get outdoors with a “Sweethearts” version of kindness rocks. Kids get lots of health benefits from outdoor time, and this is a great activity to get them outside. Have your child paint rocks with Valentine’s Day messages – from “Sweethearts” candy classics like LOVE and XOXO to updated messages like ROCK ON and #SMILE. On Feb. 14, go on a walk and place the rocks in special spots to surprise others that walk the streets or trails.
10. SAY “I LOVE YOU.”
Hearts and chocolates are awesome, but Valentine’s Day is about love, and you can never tell your kids you love them too many times…so say it aloud and often! Although we show love for our children in countless little ways each day, there’s no substitute for saying those three little words. You love your kids. Tell them. It’s that simple.
This day can be a great reminder to reach out and tell those we love, especially our kids, what we admire and love about them. These small celebrations will create beautiful memories for your kids and years later they will be reminded of how loved they are. I hope you LOVE celebrating Valentine’s Day with your kids!