Since around the 3rd Century we have celebrated a holiday called Valentine’s Day. From a letter from a Roman, Valentinus, to a young woman, signed “From your Valentine,” comes our current celebration of love and devotion. And everything red, pink, and sugary. And don’t forget the “My First Valentine’s” onesie! Whether you celebrate as a family or as a couple, this somewhat commercialized holiday can be meaningful and fun. So in that vein, we’re including some ideas for Valentine’s Day activities with little ones.
Making Valentines for parents, grandparents, siblings, classmates or play group friends is fun for small children regardless of the end result. I have seen everything from homemade cards with a little stamper tied on with yarn, to marshmallows on sticks made into various figures or dipped in chocolate/candy/sprinkles. A particular favorite was “Will Zoo Be Mine” cards cut out with those little plastic animals tied to them. Easy, cute, and have a toy that their friends will actually play with later. Child handprints and footprints made into cute shapes or letters is popular now. The handprint used as a tree with the fingers as branches and little hearts hanging from each was a good activity for the youngest group, since they only need to press a hand on the paper and place the hearts on paper (mom gives the back a wipe with the stick glue). One person I knew shared the (last minute) idea to buy those fruit/veggie pouches and had their child place a card on the front stating “my main squeeze.” Light, funny, and very easy to do. Paper hearts strung on a string, paper plate hats, pipe cleaner hearts, pink play dough, the list goes on and on. The more complicated ideas I will leave for internet searches. Enjoy, there are hundreds!
What about a Valentine’s Dinner at home? If you don’t go out, are there foods to make for this holiday? Yes! Purchase or make dough, then form it around any variety of savory or sweet fillings, form into a heart shape and bake. Or cut burgers and buns into heart shapes and serve with mac-n-cheese baked in heart shaped metal cookie cutters. Finger sandwiches can become heart sandwiches, and any sweet treat can be baked with a Valentine’s Day theme!
One of the best parts of Valentine’s Day with kids is the excitement they have over little things. There are endless possibilities; it’s not just about candy anymore! So on this day of fun and love, find YOUR family’s way of expressing these to one another…and enjoy. Happy Valentine’s Day from our family to yours.