Valentine’s Day was never my favorite holiday. It seems arbitrary to have everyone celebrate their “love” on the same single day with unnecessary chocolate and crowding restaurants. It wasn’t until I had kids that I realized what a special opportunity it is to celebrate our love as a family.
Holidays, particularly minor holidays, are areas that parents can get big “bang for their buck.” Any amount of celebration, however simple, can be extremely exciting and meaningful to children. I’ve compiled a list of several simple (and a few less simple) ideas that families can try. Pick, choose, and modify to find a celebration that will make this holiday special for your children. [Updated 1/27/2021]
–Pink Breakfast: Add a little food coloring to your child’s milk, eggs, or pancake batter.
Prep: Food coloring (can’t go wrong with some sprinkles in pancake batter either)
–Heart-Shaped Food: Use a cookie cutter to create heart-shaped toast or sandwiches. Reshape premade cinnamon rolls into hearts. Cook or order a heart-shaped pizza. (Papa Johns and several other pizza places usually offer heart-shaped pizza around V-day. Chick fil a is also selling heart-shaped nugget platters!)
Prep: Pick up a heart cookie cutter to have on hand. Opt: order food ahead.
–Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Warm up some chocolate and let the kids help you dip them. If you are able, deliver some to loved-ones, neighbors, or friends.
Prep: Strawberries, chocolate chips, paper plates, optional note.
-For more great themed food ideas, check out this post from Forkly. Make sure to look at #25!
This is a tradition I haven’t done but hope to start and continue each year. What better reminder for you to document this time than to write a yearly “love note” to each child (and spouse). Be sure to keep a copy. Check out this great list from iMOM to help you get started.
Prep: Write or type the letter.
On the morning of Valentine’s Day, stick several hearts on your child’s bedroom door, room, or bathroom mirror. If you have an older child, you can add reasons you love him/her. Some parents start on February 1st and add one heart per day.
Prep: red/pink/white construction paper cut into hearts, tape, scissors, pen
“Fancy” Family Dinner
Skip the 40 minute wait and pricey babysitter on Valentine’s evening and instead, turn the lights low, light a few candles, and have a fancy night in. Allow your kids to dress up, or even act as the waiters.
Prep: candles, food (I feel fancy cooking the freezer pasta meals, but you could also get take-out or pizza)
Family Game or Movie Night
Hold a family game or movie night…on a school night?! Make it extra special by adding popcorn with festive treats mixed in. Our favorite is A Charlie Brown Valentine (there are several copies at the library).
Prep: TIME. Movie rental (or stream), treats, popcorn.
Valentine’s Day Ball
Turn on some music, get dressed up nicely (or don’t) and hold a Valentine’s Day Ball. Another chance to keep it simple …or not!
Prep: Music, optional dress-up.
Go old-school and deliver Valentine’s in person to those you care about. You can leave them at the door and watch from the car as they open them to make it Covid friendly.
Prep: Any type of note, gift, Valentine.
I got this idea from a blog called Bombshell Bling and it sounds like a lot of fun (more details there). Up to one week prior to Valentine’s Day, each member of the family chooses who they will be the “Secret Cupid” for. Parents may hit up the dollar store for a few fun items to have so that each person can then select some of those items to share with their person throughout the week. This is a good opportunity to teach children about doing service as well. Don’t forget to be sneaky!
Prep: Spend a few dollars for some simple treats or items (pencils, toy cars, note pads, etc), write names down and draw.
Valentine’s Day Bible Verse Countdown
I got this idea from a blog called Not Consumed. Such a precious idea! “Valentine’s Day is all about love, of course. But before we can pour out love on others, we must first fill up with the only source of TRUE love: God. Most of us struggle daily to really grasp how deep and how wide the love of God really is. Why not do a Valentine’s Day Countdown and fill up on God’s love?”
Prep: Head to the website using the link above and add your email for a download link to be emailed directly to you. Then, simply print and get started.
This may involve the most prep and patience of all, but what is more festive than to ice and decorate heart-shaped cookies? Even if it is the pre-made dough, store-bought frosting, and just adding a few (or thousand) sprinkles, your kids will know it’s special. Short on time? Honeymoon Bakery sells these cookie-decorating kits.
Prep: Cookie dough, frosting, opt: sprinkles. Make it as simple or elaborate as you choose.
Do a craft with your kids or have them write/decorate cards and mail them to loved ones far away.
Prep: Prep early. Craft and/or paper supplies, mailing supplies.
Create a Valentine Basket similar to an Easter Basket with goodies or toys. Or you can just leave a simple box of chocolate or conversation hearts out for your child to find and be surprised.
Prep: Gift or bucket/basket. Purchase any goodies, toys, or useful items for the basket.
Valentine Gingerbread Houses
You may have missed the boat on this one this year, but after the holidays next year, pick up a Gingerbread House Kit on clearance and save it for Valentine’s Day.
Prep: Plan for this after Christmas and purchase a kit.
Celebrate Valentine’s in Rome
Rome- Floyd Eco Center: Make plans to drop-in at the ECO Center for a special Valentine’s Craft Day! Don’t miss the chance to visit us during extended hours and have fun making valentines together! Space is limited, so reserve your spots by calling 706-622-6435 before they fill up.
Michael’s Kid’s Club Is offering virtual online classes throughout the month.
Chick Fil A If you’re looking for a delicious no-fuss dinner Truett’s Chick-fil-a Rome is offering various heart shaped trays February 1st- February 13th.
Papa John’s Heart-Shaped Pizzas these are a classic that anyone can appreciate.
Sweet Bar (706) 295-7113 Is helping you remember the little things in life with their Valentine treats.
What are your own family traditions? What do you think you’ll try?