Hugs, kisses, silly songs, games, smiles, cheek pinching and tickling are expressions of love that all kids crave and that don’t cost a penny. Make the Valentine holiday extra special for the children by taking the opportunity to express love to them. If possible, even take the day to have one-on-one time with them.
There are lots of ways that families can spend Valentine’s Day. Make it an full-day event by adding festive and silly Valentine-themed foods and activities. For those with young children, a Valentine basket that greets them at their place setting will bring smiles to any youngster. A box of candy hearts or a little mini box of chocolates, a cute Valentine card and even a small toy all tucked into a heart-shaped container makes for a fun surprise.
Start the day with fun ways to dress for the day. Wear red and pink-colored clothing. Children can even take some time to decorate an old white t-shirt using markers or fabric paints. Thread the tennis shoes with red shoelaces. Take an old pair of jeans and paint red hearts on them with washable paint. Let the girls do up their hair in crazy styles with red and pink hair bobbles. Make a contest out of the whole thing to see who can be the most festive for Valentine’s Day.
Create a fabulous Valentine breakfast with heart-shaped pancakes. Serve them on red party plates along with Valentine napkins and party cups. Add some bacon or sausage, scrambled eggs and orange juice to complete the fun. Serve alphabet soup for lunch and spell out “I love you” on their spoon with pasta letters. For dinner, make a homemade heart-shaped pizza followed by chocolate cupcakes topped with cinnamon-flavored candy hearts.
Spend the afternoon making Valentine cards for each other with construction paper, stickers, glitter or any other craft items. Take silly pictures of each other. Print out the pictures and attach them to cards that can be decorated and given to grandparents or friends. Watch a movie while munching on frosted heart-shaped sugar cookies that were decorated by the kids. Play a version of "Simon says” as “Cupid says.” Hide silly notes around the house with little chocolates attached to them, with clues to where the next note is hidden. Have them all lead up to a toy surprise hidden in the dryer.
The key to a great Valentine’s Day is not the money spent, but the time invested in showing love to each person in the family. This is especially important for busy families or families with single parents. While it may not be available to spend this much time with the kids every day, celebrate Valentine’s Day by saying “I love you” in as many fun and memorable ways as possible.