I have had a long time struggle with Valentine’s Day and the fact that the world, and the schools, seem to want us to include our kids in what was originally a romantic holiday. I get that really today it’s a pink and sparkly holiday and an excuse to eat chocolate–and I’m totally into any excuse to eat chocolate–but still, part of me struggles with the school parties and sending out Valentine’s to that one kid in class whose last name you don’t even know.
This year I think I’d like to try something different and just celebrate the fact that I love my kids, and they love me, and sometimes they even love each other (although those moments are rare!) So, with that in mind, here are some tips to turn Valentine’s Day into a family day!
This year, I’ll turn Valentine’s Day into an experience to remember rather than a secondary holiday for giving heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. It can be fun to get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day with those whom you admire most. Check out these ideas for special ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family. and in line with Christian principles.
A night out on the Town
Pull the kids away from iPads and the TV by taking the family to experience the magical excitement of live entertainment. Unlike video games or cartoons, a Broadway play or on-stage musical enthralls children on a different level. The performers singing and dancing captivate children as a story unfolds right before their eyes like ripples in the water. To get the most authentic, memorable experience, splurge on a weekend getaway to New York City to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Plan the trip together and select a family-favorite hit show to see, such as “Aladdin,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Matilda the Musical” or “The Lion King.”
Family Dinner Date Night
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special family dinner that’s out of the ordinary. Pack a picnic to enjoy on the living room floor and use a cookie cutter to make festive heart-shaped sandwiches. To keep with the theme, pair the sammies with sweet red snacks like strawberries, sliced apples, and cherry Jell-O Jigglers. Also, kids love pizza — and making it! Check out this heart-shaped pepperoni pizza recipe by How Sweet It Is. Not only is the heart-shaped pizza fun to make, but the heart-shaped pepperonis make each bite delicious and full of love.
Valentine’s Day Party
Get creative this Valentine’s Day by making homemade arts and crafts with the kiddos. Ideas by Popsugar can inspire your next home project, like heart stamps for Valentine’s cards, confetti paper hearts, paper heart rosettes, pink and red cupcake liner garland, and heart sun catchers created from colorful tissue paper. Kids love simple crafts too, like cutting construction paper into hearts and dazzling them with glitter. I guess I’ll have to find all possible excuses to NOT have to go to the gym…
Next, decorate your home with all your kids’ creations and plan a Valentine’s Day dance. Invite friends and neighbors over for karaoke, a lip sync battle or name that tune. Sweeten the party with heart-shaped Rice Krispies treats dipped in chocolate and pink sprinkles or conversation heart sugar cookies.
Cupid’s Game Night
Valentine’s Day is all about enjoying sweet treats, but when it comes to the game “Life is Like a Box of Chocolates,” eating chocolate is the game itself. Kids will love to play this fun game that requires tasting a piece of candy blind-folded and guessing what it is. Mix it up with chocolate varieties like Snickers, Twix, Reese’s and Kit Kats.
After filling up on candy, play Valentine’s Bingo by pasting printable bingo cards onto pink and red construction paper and using heart candies as chips. Kids will also love to play Valentine’s Tic-Tac-Toe made upon a large paper heart cutout marked with rows and played with felt heart bean bags. Now this is a project! Product management is something totally different.
Acts of Kindness
Celebrate love this Valentine’s Day by teaching your kids the value of kindness and gratitude. Create Valentine’s messages to give to special people like a neighbor, teacher or coach. As a family, you can also put together Valentine’s gift packages to give to seniors in a nursing home or the homeless.
Spread even more kindness with a fun Valentine’s Day countdown challenge. First, brainstorm simple gestures with your kids like donating toys to a charity, helping out more around the house or mailing a handwritten letter to grandma. Then decorate 14 Valentine’s envelopes — each containing a daily act of kindness to select and carry them out from Feb. 1 to Feb. 14. For 14 days, these acts of kindness will serve as daily reminders to love and appreciate our loved ones, as well as to be kind to others.