Discover 7 Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day with Your Kids

Dad and daughter smiling with valentine's glasses on

Valentine's Day emits images of candle-lit dinners, bedrooms covered in rose petals, or perhaps even those chalky conversation heart candies that people either love or despise. As a parent, however, often the only thing making your heart pitter-patter over this holiday is driving around town the night before, frantically looking for 25 over-priced pieces of cardstock that ultimately receive a cursory glance before it's thrown away the very next Day.

Just me? 

Whether you're suffering the V-Day blues or on the hunt for classroom valentines, check out these seven ideas that will make you fall in love with Valentine's Day again!

Valentine's Day countdown 

A big part of the excitement for a holiday is the anticipation! Get the whole family looking forward to Valentine's Day with a fourteen-day countdown! For younger children, this can look like a pink and red paper chain where you tear off one link daily. Older children (even teens!) may appreciate waking up each morning to a new paper heart on their door, listing something you love about them. 

Sharing the love

Extend the paper heart idea by working together as a family to give someone you love a "heart attack." There's probably a more excellent alternative name for this idea. Still, essentially you make paper hearts with things you love or admire about that person and "attack" by sticking them all over their front door/car, so they will find them as a surprise when they leave the house. Just be mindful of the weather — this may not be the best idea for a very windy/rainy/snowy day. 

A sweet morning for your sweethearts 

Greet your loved ones on Valentine's Day morning with heart-shaped pancakes! The great thing about heart shapes is they are easy to pour and don't need to be perfect. You can even add some strawberries in the batter to make them pink, or serve with strawberry syrup! 

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Make a treat you'll love

Speaking of sweets ... one of the most deceptively easy (and delicious) dessert ideas often associated with Valentine's Day is chocolate-covered strawberries. Take turns dipping strawberries in melted chocolate; ensure little ones are careful if it's hot! You can even jazz them up by adding some sprinkles or drizzling a different color of chocolate on top! If all else fails, any treat will do. The idea is that you are spending time together, making and enjoying it! 

Get crafty! 

Crafts are not everyone's jam; however, they can be a really great way to express creativity, practice problem-solving, and bond with your children. From cutting paper heart chains to making handprint hearts, there are tons of ideas for every skill level. The crafts you make can facilitate beautiful memories and provide your home with cherished decorations and keepsakes you'll adore for years. 

Check your community 

Many cities and communities have holiday-themed events, and Valentine's Day is no exception! Check your local city's website or Facebook page for anything happening in your area. If you are still looking for something, feel free to ask around. Small businesses frequently host holiday sales and events like crafts, dinners, or dances. Nature centers or park departments might host a "heart hike," inviting families to walk a trail looking for heart shapes in nature. If no one is doing something already, you may give them the idea and set a great new tradition in your area! 

Give yourself a date night! 

One of the best things you can do for your children is model a healthy, loving relationship. This could be with your significant other or even with just yourself! Taking some time and setting it aside for you will teach your children to do the same. You don't have to break the bank, and if a babysitter isn't available, you don't even have to leave the house! Streaming a new movie, taking a bubble bath, or even having a classic candle-lit dinner are easy ways to turn an ordinary night into something a little more special. The internet has some adorable and thrifty date night at-home ideas if you're looking for inspiration.  

Finally— however you choose to celebrate Valentine's Day, be kind to yourself! No one's situation looks the same, and some years can be more complicated than others. Whether or not this Valentine's Day is romantic, it is a great opportunity to celebrate all kinds of loved ones. 

And as for parenting this Valentine's Day, you don't have to have the best homemade cupcakes or the cutest custom valentines for your child (or anyone!) to love you. Lean into your favorite kinds of traditions and give yourself and your children a chance to feel the love this Valentine's Day! 

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