Once our family has recovered from the Christmas craziness and had a few weeks off to breath again, I am often ready for a little more festivity! Valentine’s day comes at the perfect time for a mid-winter pick-me-up that can give us something to look forward to and activities to enjoy. And although this holiday is known for being commercially driven, there are many fun Valentine’s Day ideas and activities that you can do with your family that don’t necessarily have to cost a lot!
So, as usual, I would like to encourage you to find an activity or 2 that your family will enjoy, but that will not add stress to your already busy schedule! THIS IS NOT A BUCKET LIST! Instead, it is a list of ideas to encourage you and your family to have some Valentine’s related fun!!!
Valentine’s Day Ideas
One of the Valentine’s day ideas that I enjoy is to decorated my mantle! I usually keep my winter/Christmas decorations up thru January. However, by February 1, we are usually all ready for a change!
What makes this simple, is that I use (pretty much) the same decorations year after year. I made a few of the items, like large painted letters that spell LOVE several years ago. We also use photos of our family in frames with red mats that help us to remember that love does not only mean romantic love.
I love having meals that have a theme, or having a holiday themed dessert to finish a meal up! The possibilities go on and on, but here are just a few!
- Enjoy a Valentine’s breakfast on a weekend morning in February! Make heart-shaped pancakes and place them on a skewer with fruit (check out this awesome idea from thisolemom.com), biscuits & heart shaped bacon with strawberry jam, nutella & strawberry stuffed french toast (heavenly!!) from Melskitchencafe.com, and serve it with red juice or smoothies. Buy simple valentine’s paper plate, napkins & cups to make your table look extra cheery! This can be as simple or as elaborate as you like!
- Make your own heart-shaped pizzas! I love homemade pizza, but I rarely have the time to make the pizza dough in advance. However, most grocery stores now carry pizza dough in the deli section, so you can easily set out toppings & let your kiddos go to creating a heart-shaped masterpiece!
- Enjoy a fun dessert here and there on the days leading up to Valentine’s day. You can always buy the pre-made valentines cookies if you are short on time, add a few heart shaped sprinkles & you’re good! Or try my simple recipe for Cherry Chocolate Chip Milkshakes. These are a fun & delicious end to a yummy meal!
- Make spaghetti & meatballs, italian bread, & set your table up like an Italian restaurant. After dinner, sit down and watch Lady & the Tramp together as a family.
- Conversation Cuties- write sweet messages on your oranges or bananas at home. A little way to show your family that you really care!
Because Valentine’s comes so soon after Christmas, I try not to buy toys for my children as a treat. However, I have found that books are a great Valentine’s day gift idea! There are so many great books to choose from! Here are a few of our favorties:
- Never Too Little to Love by Jeanne Willis (it’s beautiful & has moving parts)
- Who’s Your Valentine Charlie Brown? adorable board book
- I Spy With My Little Eye Valentine’s Day
- Banner With Hearts- Make a simple paper banner with red hearts & bakers twine to string around your mantle.
- Decoative Paper Fans– Find Valentine/heart themed scrapbook paper, and fold it back and forth like a fan. When you get done, connect them in the middle and make the edges meet!
- Make fun crayon hearts! These are super simple, really pretty, and will last from year to year! I hang these from my light above my table!
Fun Valentine’s Activities
- “Heart-Attack” Someone’s Car or House– This is a fun idea that I had not heard of before until reading it in the book”Simply Tradition”! Have your children make a bunch of paper hearts (you can even write sweet messages on them). Then take them & put them all over their grandparents’ or friends’ car, kitchen, bedroom, etc. If you are applying the hearts to a car, be sure that your aren’t using anything that will harm the car’s paint!
- Special gift for a teacher- Christmas & the end of the school year are the typical times that we think about giving our child’s teacher a gift, but a small Valentine’s wish could go a long way in brightening up their day!
- Watch a Valentine’s-themed movie as a family. One of my favorite is “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” & A Charlie Brown Valentine”
- Leave notes of encouragement for each other on post it’s around your house (check out these awesome heart shaped post-its). This can be as much fun for the giver as the recipient!
- Handmade Family Valentines– One of my favorite ideas came from a story in the book “Sacred Holidays”. The writer told that each year, everyone in her family would “draw names” of someone else in their immediate family & make a valentine for that person. And then, on Valentine’s day at dinner they would each sneak their Valentine onto the plate of the recipient. Then, they would take turns watching each one open their surprise valentine! What a sweet traditions!!!
Where TRUE LOVE Comes From…
The most important thing we can do for our children in life is to point them to God! And the Bible clearly states that “God is Love”! So, how imperative it is for us to be sure to teach our children that can’t truly love apart from God! That if God hadn’t shown us how to love others first, we wouldn’t have love in our hearts to share with others!
Take some time to plan some Christ-centered activities as well during this special holiday. One of the best things to point out to our children is that Christ-centered really means, “others-centered”! Jesus was always reaching out to those who had less or were sick! We can show His love to others by being His hands & feet today (and every day!).
- Love One Another Jar– It can be difficult for kids and adults to show love & kindness to those that we are closest to! Give your children a visual reminder (and maybe an incentive) to “Love One Another” by setting up a jar & filling it with tiny toy or candy hearts when you catch them showing love to each other. When your jar is full, you can go on a special family outing!
- Take some time to teach your children Bible verses (John 3:16, Deuteronomy 6:5, 1 John 4:7-8) that talk about love! Download Valentine’s scripture cards here!
- Participate as a family in random acts of kindness. Pay for the people’s food that are behind you in the drive thru, help people carry their groceries out at the store, hand out treats at a jungle gym, etc. Whatever you do, teach your children the important part is knowing in their heart that they did something good, not that everyone else knows what they did!
- If you have a homeless community in your area, you & your children could pack goodies bags for the homeless with peanut butter crackers, water, toothbrush & toothpaste, & maybe a small game or word search puzzle!!
Whatever you choose to do during the time leading up to this holiday, take some time to tell those that you live with how much you love them, and maybe if you have some extra time, take these Valentine’s day ideas and make some fun, heart-shaped memories!!