Some of the best memories I have from elementary school were the holiday parties. My mom always volunteered to help with food and games, and I remember that I loved having her come hang out in my classroom. Each party had its highlight- Halloween was fun for dressing up and candy, Christmas was fun because it meant break was just a few days away, and Valentine’s Day was all about passing out those cute little Valentine’s Day cards adorned with your current favorite cartoon character or superhero.
My mom would always have little presents and candy waiting for us at the kitchen table on Valentine’s Day morning. We always ordered a heart-shaped pizza and had heart-shaped desserts as well. As basic as these things sound, they are the things that I warmly remember.
Now that I’m in the mom role, I want to make those special memories for my kids. For some reason, I immediately connect buying new toys, books, and clothes with making my daughter happy and I am trying to get myself out of that habit. Kids are happiest when their caregivers are present and giving them positive attention in a calm, happy, and loving environment. That is what I want to focus more of my time and energy on.
I’ve done some research and rounded up some fun, low cost, and easy-to-do activities for you and your little ones to do for Valentine’s Day.
1.) Bake cookies! I did this the other day with Phoebe and she had a blast playing with the dough and sprinkles. Of course, I did most of the work and clean up. Darn kids. I used this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction and a royal icing recipe that worked really well from Williams-Sonoma.
2.) This Baby Center link (it’s the UK version) has lots of craft ideas for toddlers. They’re basic and look very entertaining for even the shortest of attention spans.
3.) Easy Valentine’s Day Cookies for the non-bakers out there are perfect for little kids too. The only prep that’s needed is melting chocolate and kids can help with dipping and sprinkling without leaving too big of a mess.
4.) Valentine’s Day Popcorn is another easy-to-make treat with little prep and mess. Another plus is that it makes a huge batch and can be bagged up for kids to pass out with their Valentine’s cards (or just give a big ol’ bag to their teachers).
5.) I stumbled upon this Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt that can easily be adapted to all age levels and budgets. You can use things that are already in your home for the objects that need to be found, buy little things from the $1 section at Target, fill pink eggs with candy, use pictures instead of words for the scavenger list, and hide things out in the open so little kids can find them.
6.) Make a Valentine’s Day photo collage to display in your home. This blog has a cute picture display idea, but I think a collage would be more fun and doable for kids. Here’s all you need to do: print out tons of pictures (old, new, with the kids, without the kids) or let them browse through your iCloud or Google Photos and then print them out, arrange them onto a heart-shaped poster board, glue them down, pick a special place to hang it. Kids love looking looking at pictures of themselves, and they will be able to help with selecting, cutting (for older kids), and gluing. It’s also a fun way to bond over old memories and you can save each collage and look back at all the pictures your kids picked out.
7.) Set up a Valentine’s Day photo shoot. No fancy camera or props needed. Use the V-Day decor you have on hand, hang a V-Day table cloth against a wall for a back drop or use red Christmas lights, and have the kids pose away. Like I said in #6, kids loooove looking at pictures of themselves, especially when they’re silly pictures.
8.) Just watch a lovey, dovey V-Day movie. Yes, I know, not the craftiest, funnest, most engaging activity. But, sometimes it’s okay to cuddle up on the couch in your pajamas with a bowl of ice cream and candy. Let’s be honest- Supermoms watch TV, too.