Remember when Valentine’s Day used to be much more fun and not so filled with pressure? You’re going to have to think back pretty far – like back to childhood. When we were kids, Valentine’s Day wasn’t about expensive jewelry, relationship milestones, or gourmet chocolates. Well, it was admittedly a little about the chocolates. But somewhere along the way, we grew up, our hormones started raging and everything changed. This heart-shaped holiday became something far more serious than the cutesy “I ch-ch-ch0ose you” Valentine’s Day cards we used to hand out to our classmates. In adulthood, it’s a day devoted to expressing your innermost feelings and making sweeping romantic gestures. If you currently have a significant other, you’ve probably been hard at work coming up with this year’s swoon-worthy Valentine’s Day ideas.
But it’s never too late to tap into the childhood fun of this special day, too. What are your kids’ classes planning? How can you make your little sweeties’ Valentine’s Day extra fun and special? It makes sense for this holiday’s celebrations to include your little ones because – let’s be real – they’re your whole heart.
With our curated list of entertaining options, you won’t have to sweat over planning.
1. Homemade Decorations
“Hallmark holiday” or not, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to go pink and red with everything. Have you taught your little one how to make paper doll chains yet? Make paper heart chains, instead, to hang around the house. Or just use strips of red and pink construction paper to make those ring chains and loop them around, well, everything.
2. DIY Valentines
If your bug is a big fan of a certain show or character, you might have a hard time convincing them to skip the store-bought valentines for their class. However, you guys can still craft some super cute, crafty V-Day cards to their grandparents or aunts and uncles.
3. Make A Special Treat
Whether your kiddos get sweets every day or they’re saved for a special occasion, making their own treats can still be loads of fun. It can be as simple as heart-shaped Rice Krispies treats or as intricate as homemade heart-shaped chocolates. It’ll be messy. But, it’ll be fun.
4. Cupid-ify A Meal
Speaking of special treats: What are you planning for meals that day? What about an entire pink meal? (Red Dye 5 is your friend.) A heart-shaped sammie is just as fun. There’s also a pretty easy trick to turning strawberries into hearts, as well.
5. Make Your Kiddo Your Extra Special Valentine
I know it’s overwhelming to think about – you’re already bogged down with trying to make your honey feel special. But, while you’re crafting homemade valentines with your kid, consider making one for them, as well. You can slip it under a pillow for them to find in the morning.
6. “It’s a learning opportunity”
Anyone else have a mom who loved to use that phrase and ruin fun moments all the time? How many ways can you say, “I love you” or “kisses?” Leading up to Valentine’s Day, use the Googlebox to learn some new, foreign ways to share your affection with your little buddies – maybe use the language of your ancestors. Bonus: Learn how to say, “I love you, too” so that you can answer them appropriately.
7. Leave Their Mark
Are you keeping track of your child’s hand and footprints as they grow? You might have the clay Christmas ornament, but you can also help them turn their hands and feet into flowers. Use finger paint, so it washes off easily.
8. Valentine’s Themed Sensory Bin
Are you doing sensory bins in your house? Toss some rice in food coloring and some food flavoring (maybe strawberry or cherry?), then pop in some other textures. Maybe some jelly candy hearts and some smooth heart-shaped beads.
9. Lacing Activity or Nail Art
There are tons of ways to use the Valentine’s Day theme in your hand-eye and pincer-grab training. You could punch some holes around the edges of a paper heart and let your child weave yarn through it. You could also channel your inner-Etsy goddess and start some heart-shaped nail art for them to finish off with red or pink thread.
10. Will You Be My Valen-slime?
Yes. Slime is awful. It ruins clothes and carpet. But, what if you made slime… and then gave it to someone else’s kid? If you’re desperate for something more original than those store-bought valentines, this is the trick. We dare you to find a kid who will turn down the chance to make slime. Make it red or pink (or both!), add some glitter and a cute card with the play on words and you’ve made every kid’s day. (You’ll need to practice your “sorry not sorry” smile for the other moms at the party, though.)