Hello Readers! I hope your Superbowl party was a hit and that everyone had a good time this weekend. We enjoyed attending my sister’s party, mostly to spend time catching up and seeing one another. Our son Sean is fascinated with my sister’s split level staircase, and he spent the entire time going up and down the stairs, when he wasn’t showing us his nice hands with her Golden Lab and Golden Retriever!
Anyway, today I want to talk about Valentine’s Day and a couple of celebration ideas I have for you to share with your family, and especially with your kids. Now, whether or not you agree with the history of the holiday or its origin, one thing is for certain: it’s a fun holiday for kids to enjoy. Just like Halloween, Valentine’s Day can be made into a celebration that kids can enjoy just as much as adults. So, let’s get started!
My first idea is the Heart Attack. Literally, give your family a “heart attack”. Here’s how it works: prior to Valentine’s Day (roughly a week before), spend some private time cutting up hearts from construction paper, computer paper, and what not. I know you’re thinking that you don’t have that time, but I know I typically have at least an hour between the time our son Sean goes down for the night and when I go down for the night, and I typically spend that time watching Last Man Standing or a movie and scrolling through my social media because I want something to do with my hands. So, instead, take that time to cut up hearts, or try doing it when the kids go down for a nap. Then, on the big day, scatter the hearts all over the floors and the furnishings, tape them to the walls, and use them to decorate the house. When your kids see it, they will be amazed! Yes, it’s messy. Yes, it takes time. But the look on your kids’ faces will be worth it in the end. If you include a fun trinket or gift in the center, it will make that gift ten times more special.
Next up, do a special breakfast. Make heart shaped pancakes, or make them pink and red with food coloring, top them with strawberries and whipped cream. Or, you can make red velvet ones. Or red velvet waffles. The sky is the limit on this one. Whatever you do, make their Valentine’s Day breakfast a great one. My idea: red velvet pancakes cut into hearts, topped with whipped cream and strawberries and strawberry milk. Something as fun and simple as this will really start the day off right.
Now, for lunch, I would suggest doing something special as well. Hide little messages under their sandwiches or fruit. Cut their sandwiches into hearts, cut their their fruit into hearts. Send them with a small treat, such as a mini Hershey’s bar or a Kiss or two. Make their lunch something extraordinary. Still keep it healthy, with a great variety of fruits and vegetables as well as good sources of healthy fats and fiber, but do something with their lunch to make it special. My own mom, for example, used to use cookie cutters to make special shapes for our sandwiches for various events, such as our birthdays, holidays, and special events in our schools and community. For example, every January our hometown hosts a Cowboy Poetry event at which many western poets perform their works. During that week, my sandwiches were always cut into fun western shapes like cowboy boots, cowboy hats, horses, and whatnot. It made the week a special one for me. And since then, she’s passed her extensive collection of cookie cutters on to me so I can do the same thing at a later point. Anyway, you probably have a heart-shaped cookie cutter you can use for this as well.
Another thought is to do the cut outs even if your kids are at home with you. I do this with Sean even now with his sandwiches, and I use my miniature cutters to make fun shapes for him. Toddlers may not appreciate it right away, like Sean who doesn’t notice, but they will eventually see the shapes and enjoy the event.
Now, I also recommend making sugar heart cookies with your kids for the holiday. Even Sean enjoys making cookies and cakes with us and with his family members. They are fascinated with the process, and it’s a great way to bond with your kids. Getting them involved will also teach them basic cooking skills that can help them later in life. You can even set them down to decorate the cookies after they’ve cooled down. Use a pink or red frosting, sprinkles, candies, and chocolate to decorate the cookies at the table. Cover the table in a vinyl cloth or newspaper taped down with masking tape, put the kids in an apron or in their painting clothes, give them a spatula or kiddie knife, and let them go to town. It’s a great way to enjoy the holiday, and your kids will love being able to make a mess while getting creative. Keep in mind that they will probably eat more than they decorate, but they will love the experience and you can easily keep them occupied for an hour or so.
A final thought is to do a Valentine’s Day box. Much like a Christmas box, this can be a great addition for a family night activity on Valentine’s Day. I know that the event falls on a Tuesday, which may not be your typical family night, but make an exception for the holiday if you can. Find a Rom-Com or Disney movie to watch, place it in a box with their favorite treats and popcorn, add in their favorite juice drinks or water, and wrap it in the paper you reserve for weddings and anniversaries. And then let your kids open it after school, after their homework is completed, or after dinner. And then spend the night as a family watching the movie and celebrating the holiday. It’s a great way to pass the evening, and your kids will feel special that they get to do the extraordinary on an ordinary day.
I hope these ideas inspire you to make the holiday a hit in your family!
Until next time,