I don’t know about you, but since having children, Valentine’s Day has taken on a whole new meaning for me. I still think it is incredibly important to celebrate with your spouse and take some time for just the two of you. However, I have two new loves in my life now and I want to share this day with them as well. As mothers, I know that we spend every day of the year trying to make sure our children know how much we love and care for them, Valentine’s Day included. But why not make an extra effort on the “Day of Love” to really let them know just how special they are to you? Here are a few simple ways to do that.
1. Decorate Their Door With Love
When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I just knew that I wanted it to become a tradition in our family. Everyone loves to hear nice to things about themselves and children are no exception. There are several ways to do this, so choose what works best for your family. On this site, the night before Valentine’s Day she writes down positive affirmations about her children and then tapes them all over their bedroom door. How fun for your child to wake up in the morning to their door covered in hearts describing all the things you love about them! Another idea from Pinterest is to start at the beginning of February and give your child one heart each day leading up to Valentine’s Day. We chose to do this, and every morning my son gets so excited to check his mailbox for his heart! A little while ago I found some small metal mailboxes at the Target Dollar Spot and they work perfect for this, but a decorated tissue box, bag, etc. would work just as well. I absolutely love seeing his face beam as he hears about the many things I love about him. After Valentine’s Day is over, I’m planning to save all the hearts each year, so they can forever look back and remember how much they are loved. No matter how you choose to do it, I can guarantee that your child will feel special.
2. Bake Together
Spending time in the kitchen with your children is fun at all ages. There are so many yummy Valentine’s treats to make, so this is the perfect time of year to grab some aprons and bake something up together. Getting to enjoy the treats after is just an added bonus! It is also very important to me to teach my children to love and serve others, so baking together provides the perfect opportunity to make a special treat to share. Make some valentines to go with them, and deliver your goodies to friends, family, and other loved ones.
3. Play With Conversation Hearts
Oh the conversation heart. The staple of every classroom on Valentine’s Day. I personally find them rather unpleasant, but as a child I enjoyed getting them, and most children love them. Whenever I let my son “play” with candy, he gets so excited and it makes for a special activity to do together. Pick up a box and enjoy some fun, and educational, activities together. Here are a few ideas:
– Sort the hearts by color, then count how many you have of each. After sorting, create a graph with your hearts. Ask questions such as which had the most, least, etc.
– Create patterns with your conversation hearts.
– Find different objects to “measure” with your hearts. Line up the hearts next to the object and see how many hearts long it is.
– For children who are reading, find matches of hearts that have the same saying.
– Make heart towers. See how tall you can make your tower before it falls!
– Put the hearts in a bowl and see how fast your child can find one with a particular saying, color, etc. With two or more children, make it a race!
– Create a story out of conversation hearts.
– Play a family game using the hearts. Assign each color a question or activity, such as, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” or “Hug the person to your right”. Pass the bowl around the table, taking turns closing your eyes and choosing a heart, then completing whatever is assigned to that heart.
4. Send a Secret Message
This is another Pinterest idea (of course) to enjoy with your child. Cut a heart out of white paper, then using a white crayon, write a short message to your child (make sure to press hard as you write). Give your child the heart along with some watercolor paints. As they paint the heart, watch their excitement as they see the secret message appear! My son is not a huge arts and crafts guy, but he loved this! He kept wanting to do more and even wanted to make them for his friends.
5. Go on a date
This is a tradition I have always wanted to start in my family. Every child loves getting to spend quality one on one time with their parents. In addition to going on a date with your spouse for Valentine’s Day, why not take your child out on a date as well?! This year, my husband will be taking my daughter to the father/daughter dance at our church and I will take my son out for a date of his choice. I plan to get us both dressed up, and then let him choose a restaurant and activity for us to do together. I can’t wait to spend time with just the two of us, and I hope these dates become special memories for them as they get older.