When someone says “Valentine’s Day,” we think long-stemmed red roses and gazing soulfully into the eyes of our sweetheart over a romantic dinner. Maybe something a little racier, like champagne, gifts of lingerie and feeding each other the finest chocolates…and let me just say that is pretty far from my life right now but some people might still be in that season of life. Sigh. valentine's day with kids
Roses and romance are nice, but did you know Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday to celebrate with kids? Here are four fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with kids that go beyond exchanging cards at school:
4 Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Kids
1. Dress up your home
Colored lights and inflatable snowmen at Christmas? Check. A family of Jack O’ Lanterns on the porch in October? Check. A colorful wreath adorned with gold coins, rainbows, and shamrocks to let your neighbors know you are hardcore Irish, at least for one month out of the year? Check.
So why not decorate for Valentine’s Day?
Get a heart-shaped foam wreath from the craft store and decorate it with flowers. Cut hearts out of pretty paper and string them in your trees, shrubs or flower arrangements. Make a garland using pre-cut wooden hearts strung on twine. Check out Pinterest for inspiration — there’s a DIY project for every age and ability. If DIY isn’t your thing, most craft and home stores have ready-made décor that will add Valentine’s Day flair to your home.
And listen. I mention Pinterest with some hesitation because you can get some great ideas but you can also get overwhelmed which might bring on an attack of the shouldas. You SHOULD do what is fun at at your ability level that compliments the amount of time you have to spend. And, it doesn't have to look perfect at all. Your kids will love it no matter what.
If you’ve never decorated for Valentine’s Day, start small. Buy or make one thing this year and add to your collection in years to come. Get used to hearing “When are we putting out the Valentine’s Day decorations?” in late January because kids love to decorate, and they’ll get into the spirit of the holiday. Their enthusiasm will be contagious so go with it!
2. Make treats!
Valentine’s Day is all about confections: beautiful heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and cute little conversation hearts with “Crazy4U” stamped on them, but why not kick it up a notch? 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. Boring baloney and cheese becomes an extra-special lunch when it’s shaped like a heart.
If you’re more adventurous or if you’ve got the next Top Chef Junior on your hands, hop on Pinterest and check out some homemade truffle recipes. You just might start a new family tradition.
3. Talk about heart health
February is also National Heart Month, so what better time to teach children about their real heart? The Texas Heart Institute’s Project Heart has fun activities for kids focused on heart anatomy and heart health. It’s never too early to start learning about heart health.
4. 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.
Schmoopy, mushy, romantic stuff is awesome. And, if that's your thing, you should totally indulge. But don't count celebrating with your kids out – it's super-fun and they'll love feeling included. Celebrate Valentine's Day with your kids. You won't regret it.