Valentine’s Day can be an overly-commercialized affair just about flowers, chocolates, and going out to a fancy, candle-lit dinner. Or it can be a great chance to enjoy time with the kids instead, if you get a little creative – and for many parents, going out for a romantic dinner isn’t really easily in the cards anyway.
So here are some ideas for some fun and meaningful Valentine’s Day activities you can do with the kids instead:
1. Introduce them to the wonderful world of Poetry
Poetry is the communication of Love, and Valentine’s Day is a great time to begin to share poetry with your little ones. Depending on their age and interest, you can make the poems silly or sweet, long or short, funny or serious. You can also read them existing poems from other poets, write them some yourself, or help and encourage them to write their own. Remember there are lots of different kinds of poems – you can do acrostic poems and have them write their own associations with each letter of a Valentine’s Day-related word (examples could include: Love, Valentine’s Day, Hearts, Sweetheart, Be Mine, I Love You, etc.), or try a haiku, limerick, or free verse.
2. Make some awesome Valentine’s Day-inspired food and treats
Everyone loves celebrating special holidays with special foods! Kids will really get into celebrations when it gives them the chance to eat fun, unusual, or tasty treats as part of the holiday. Great ideas for Valentine’s Day foods that you can make with or for your kids include: chocolate covered strawberries, heart-shaped cookies, heart-shaped homemade pizzas – the kids can help you make the dough from scratch and then they can help decorate their hearts with their favorite toppings, red jello heart-shaped jigglers,
3. Make Valentine’s Day cards for friends, family, and people who could use some Love
This is a great holiday to teach kids about thinking about those who may not have a lot of people thinking about them. Help them make cards for your elderly neighbor, or someone who may be having a hard time, or maybe any friends, family members, or strangers in the hospital. Service members always appreciate getting mail too, and this could be a fun way to teach your kids about thinking about those who are far away doing a big job to protect them and their country. Similarly, other members of the community who are providing valuable services such as policemen and women, firefighters, and first responders could always use a little extra love and appreciation too. What other people can you or the kids think of who might like to be shown some love?
4. Gather the family around for a fun talk about Love
Use the holiday that’s all about love to tell each other what you love – in life in general, and about each other. It’s a great time to directly and indirectly teach your kids about how to talk about and share their feelings in such a way, and practice expressing gratitude and appreciation for each other. It may help to have everyone write a list first so they’re not stumbling over the words and thoughts when it’s time to share them.
Have a happy Valentine’s Day!