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For many of us, trying to find something meaningful to do for Valentine’s Day is a challenge. This is especially true when it comes to our kids. We want to show them that the day is more than just a Hallmark holiday (even though that’s pretty much what it is.) And we want to make it fun. Starting Valentine’s Day traditions with our kids that may go off the normal path of flowers and candy can be a challenge. Mainly because that’s all you can find relating to Valentine’s Day.
But, there are ways to keep the day fun. Creating new Valentine’s Day traditions with you kids gives lasting memories. And then if they have kids of their own, it gives them something to pass down one day. Celebrating Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to break the bank, or drive you insane. There are plenty of low key things to do that don’t require a ton of additional work. And many don’t require you to be a crazy Pinterest mom either. Just go to your local craft store and buy a few heart cookie cutters or stencils and that solves half your problems. Or you can go to your local party supply store — this is what they’re made for. Here are a list of some relatively easy Valentine’s Day traditions you can start with your kids.
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What kid doesn’t love pizza? It’s basically the most perfect kid food. And they also really love foods that are not in their natural shape. So, how do we combine those and still make them Valentine’s friendly? Pizza in the shape of a heart naturally. Because nothing says love quite like pizza and hearts. Many local pizzerias have Valentine’s Day specials on heart pizzas, so be sure to give yours a call for a very special lovely dinner. And the best part is that you don’t have to cook dinner that night. Chances are, you don’t need to pick it up either!
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A solid breakfast is a great way to start the day. And it’s a great Valentine’s Day traditions, making a fun and special breakfast. Breakfast foods are some of the most easily changeable, so you can have so much fun with a Valentine’s Day breakfast spread! You can add food coloring to milk and make it pink. You can also make heart shaped everything: fruit, toast, waffles. You can even make pink heart chocolate chip pancakes for an extra special treat. If you really want to make it fun, you can serve breakfast on fun V-Day plates!
This is relatively fun and easy to do, but it’s a Valentine’s Day tradition that will always be enjoyable. All you have to do is cut out a bunch of hearts and scatter them. If you start next to your kids’ beds, you can create a trail all the way to the breakfast table for a special Valentine’s Day breakfast. You can do the trail wherever you want actually — if you rather them get ready first, have it lead to the bathroom and then the kitchen. And if you don’t want to cut out a million paper hearts? Buy some candies, or Valentine’s confetti and use that!
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For most of us, Valentine’s Day is all about the chocolate. But we don’t want our kids to be sugar high all day. So there are other ways to give them something special instead of just chocolate. Finding small treats, like a sticker book, or maybe a stamp kit. You can get small things like Matchbox Cars, a Beanie Baby, or if you’re feeling daring, some slime. Then you can create a little display for them with the small toys and a few pieces of candy. Throw in a little Valentine’s confetti or a heart balloon and make it extra special.
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Valentine’s Day is all about being sweet. And you can’t get much sweeter than cake. While on most days, cake for breakfast would be a big no-no, it’s okay on V-Day. The possibilities for a Valentine’s Day breakfast cake are endless. You could make it in the shape of a heart, or if you don’t want the hassle, simply decorate it with hearts. If you’re feeling really festive, you can dye it pink (or get cherry or strawberry cake mix.) Or, you can simply make a vanilla funfetti cake, but instead of rainbow sprinkles, use pink, red and white sprinkles instead!
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Again, who doesn’t love sandwiches that come in a fun shape? Pretty sure if there were options to have sandwiches in different shapes every day, lunch would be more fun. For a special Valentine’s Day lunch, you can give your kiddos a sandwich straight from the heart! You can buy a sandwich (or cookie) cutter in the shape of a heart for a Valentine’s surprise in their lunchbox! Because let’s be honest, if you could have a turkey sandwich in the shape of a heart, it will taste better. It may be kind of annoying, but your kiddos will love it.
Who doesn’t love a good love story? Pretty sure everyone does. And a romantic movie for Valentine’s Day night can still be a family friendly option. Finding an animated movie that has a love theme and sitting down to watch it all together is a fun Valentine’s Day tradition to start. At a loss for ideas? Lady and the Tramp is always a good choice, if only for the scene with the spaghetti alone. Or if that’s not your style, Beauty and the Beast or maybe Cinderella are also good options. You can even sprinkle your popcorn with Valentine’s Day sprinkles!
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Who doesn’t love ice cream? Not many people, let’s be honest. Ice cream can be a totally fun family dessert experience to end a fun Valentine’s Day. After dinner, why not set up an ice cream sundae bar? Have two or three flavors (Baskin Robbins has a special Valentine’s flavor — Love Potion no. 31) and all the trimmings. You can use red food coloring to turn vanilla ice cream pink! Get things like red candies, Valentine’s Day sprinkles, or even use sugar cookies or brownies in the shape of hearts. Then you can get red and pink plastic bowls and spoons too!
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If you’re feeling crafty and you have some extra time, making Valentines for the family could be really fun. Kids love things like glitter and glue, and it can be surprisingly relaxing for adults too. That doesn’t mean you need to hand make Valentines for everyone you know, but doing them just for each other could be a special keepsake. Get some construction paper, a few pairs of scissors, glue sticks and go to town. Lay down one of those plastic tablecloths and when it’s all over, you can just throw all the scraps and everything into the trash, easy peasy.
Most people celebrate Valentine’s Day by going out to dinner. But if it’s family night, you can stay in instead. But as a way to create a Valentine’s Day tradition, you can make things seem a little more elegant. Getting a red or pink tablecloth is a good start. And you can get fake crystal glasses from a party goods store. Then you can create a special menu, maybe spaghetti and meatballs, or roast chicken. Or you can just serve your regular dinner on Valentine’s themed plates. Maybe get a few of those flameless candles to make it feel like you’re at a fancy restaurant too.
One of the best things about Valentine’s Day is those chalky conversation heart candies. Well, if you don’t actually want to eat them, you can borrow their idea. Creating your own conversation hearts for your kiddos is a great Valentine’s Day tradition and way to remind them that you love them. Each heart can say something like, “You’re generous,” or “You’re smart.” But you can also make them more personal, like “You’re an excellent helper,” or “You’re really good at (blank.)” Then you can put them on their doors or on their mirror so they can always see them. A little love goes a long way.
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If you’re anything like us, you have extra cardboard boxes laying around. Either from the million Amazon Prime deliveries, or from shoes. If you want to do more than just throw them in the recycling, you can turn them into mailboxes! Then those mailboxes can hold Valentine’s — either special ones from the family, or ones they may want to hold onto from their friends. You can use Valentine’s Day stickers, stamps, and wrapping paper to decorate the boxes. Or you can get creative and print out pictures to add. Then they have a lovely keepsake to hold onto their special Valentine’s.
Pajamas are the actual best. And theme pajamas are so cute. Christmas pajamas are a thing, so why can’t Valentine’s Day be a thing too? Many children’s clothing stores make special pajamas for Valentine’s Day, so it could become a cool Valentine’s Day tradition to give new pjs every year like we do for Christmas. Then you can wear them for your special breakfast. And then you can put them on again to have a little pre-bedtime movie or snuggle session. If you really want to make it a true family affair, you can try to find matching jammies for the whole family!
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Celebrating love doesn’t just have to happen by giving presents. You can add some festive decor around the house, which doesn’t require a lot of work on anyone’s part. Decor can even become a fun DIY project on a weekend if you have no plans. Or it could be a fun snow day activity if you’re stuck inside the house. Cut out some paper hearts and decorate them, then you can put them up anywhere. Plus you can make heart garlands or ring garlands in pink, red and white and hang them around the house. And if you’re not into DIY, just buy some window clings!
If you’re looking for something a little more personal than just a card, this book is a great idea. Each page features prompts and space for you to fill in the blank. With prompts like “I never get tired of your ______” and “I love going to _____ with you” it can be a lot of fun. And it’s another great keepsake to have for the future. There are over 30 pages for you to fill, you can buy a few to start a Valentine’s Day tradition. Plus, if you get one for your kids to give to you, it could be fun to see what they cherish most!
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Bedtime is always a great time for having special moments. In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, reading stories to your kids about love can be really special. Collecting new books every year is a great Valentine’s Day Tradition to start. And a bedtime story is always a great way to get the kids to wind down before it’s time to sleep. Plus, who needs an excuse to cuddle. These are some great books to share: Llama Llama I Love You by Anna Dewdney, I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak and I Love You, Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton are great books to start with. For more ideas, look here.
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There is literally no holiday that isn’t made infinitely better with some sort of sweet treat. Instead of a box of chocolates, what about a box of brownies that all look like hearts? They’re still chocolate, but they’re just a little different. Baking treats for a Valentine’s Day tradition is fun, because you can involve the kids in it too. Most kids love to help in the kitchen. You can make sugar cookies and use heart cookie cutters, or you can bake a pan of brownies and cut out hearts once they’re done baking. And then you can decorate them however you’d like!
Sure, kids can be terrible when it comes to looking for stuff. But if you give them a map, chances are it’ll be way more exciting. You can do it inside the house (or if you live someplace warm, inside and outside) and set up little surprises. Going beyond just leaving candy, you can leave sweet messages, little trinkets like small toys, and maybe even some “redeem this for one cool thing” type stuff. If you really want to raise the stakes, you can set a timer and see if they can find all the items in twenty minutes or something similar!