While it’s often thought of as a holiday dedicated to swooning couples and sweet, romantic gestures, Valentine’s Day also brings a great opportunity for you and your entire family to take time out from busy schedules and show each other how much you love and appreciate one another. Getting the kids tuned into celebrating the day of love is easy. Help them create an itinerary for the entire day that includes holiday-themed meals, snacks, crafts and special activities. Here are some suggestions for fun ways to fill your family’s Valentine’s Day agenda.
Special Snacks, Meals and Treats
The kitchen is the heart of the home for many families. Whipping up some special Valentine’s themed snacks and treats is a great way for everyone to bond. A heart-shaped cookie cutter can be used to make traditional sugar cookies or heart-shaped pancakes or French toast for breakfast (top them with strawberries to add a yummy pop of red). Make heart-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches to float in tomato soup for lunch. You can blend up pink smoothies or strawberry milkshakes, fill a heart-shaped dish with fruit chunks, bake strawberry or cherry chip cupcakes with pink frosting or use a candy mold to make heart-shaped chocolate suckers. Cooking together, sharing your goodies and having fun is the most important part.
Handmade Valentines and Love Notes
There is nothing sweeter than receiving a handmade Valentine from your child or family member. Cut out hearts from red or pink construction paper and use glitter, markers, stickers or stencils to decorate them. Make sure to include a special message of love then exchange them with your loved ones. The cards themselves can be as fancy or as simple as you want, it’s the effort and the thought that counts the most.
In today’s technological age, it seems like sitting down and actually drafting a handwritten letter is becoming something of a long lost art. Dedicate part of your time on Valentine’s Day to have each person hand write a personal love letter to each family member. Write down how much you love them, what they mean to you and what makes them special.
You can also verbally express your love to each other in a fun, love notes game. Make fill-in-the-blank slips that say things like: I love (blank) about you. You are special to me because (____). My favorite memory of us is when we (____). You are great at (____). You really made me smile when you (____), and so on. Make at least two to three slips per family member, fold them and put them in a bowl or jar. Then take turns drawing out a slip, reading it aloud and filling in the blank for each of your family members. This game is guaranteed to generate some loving, heartfelt smiles.
Taking time to express your love for each other with cards, notes and kind words will undoubtedly be the best Valentine’s Day gift you can give each other and will be something you can treasure forever.
Family Fun Night
Who says a Valentine’s Day date has to be reserved for couples? Maybe there’s a special art exhibit, play or concert you and your family can attend. Or, you can keep it simple by going bowling or to your family’s favorite restaurant and a movie. Depending on your local climate, there are also plenty of outdoor activities for you to enjoy. Skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and ice skating are fun winter activities. If you live in a warmer place, you can go biking, swimming or hiking. Whatever you decide to do, just spending time together is a great way to celebrate the holiday honoring love.
Lori Melton is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.