Valentine's Day is one of my favorites as a mom of little children because it is low- pressure and fun! Check out some of the fun activities, meals, and gifts that we have used to celebrate Valentine's Day with our little girls in years past!
Hi, Moms! NuMama here from NuAngel, Inc.
Valentine's Day is this Thursday! Believe it or not, Valentine’s Day has become one of my favorite holidays since becoming a mom! February 14th became a special day for our family as I found out that I was expecting our first daughter on Valentine's Day of 2014, after a long road of infertility. We love to think back on that special day and consider it a little anniversary of the beginning of our family!
In the years since, I’ve really enjoyed Valentine’s Day with our young children because it has been the “lowest pressure” holiday. There are no costumes, usually no big events, no big gifts, no traveling. There really are no big expectations or pressures to make it “perfect”, and it’s a holiday that you can make as stress-free or as “big-deal” as you’d like to!
For us, Valentine’s Day is a special day set aside to make memories and show our girls how much we love them! My husband and I try to go out on a date and spend a few hours to ourselves sometime around that day, but actual Valentine’s Day has become a family time for us in this season.
Every year has been different depending on the age and stage of our children, but we’ve made special memories all the same! We enjoy a variety of special activities, special meals, and gifts each year. I don't do *everything* I've listed below each year, but choose things based on what my children will enjoy and what will make "stress free" family time!
Here are a few Valentine’s activities, meals, and gifts that we have enjoyed in the past!
One fun activity that we do each year is take a special Valentine’s photo at home! We love documenting our girls around Valentine’s Day and have fun using our at-home photo props!
We also enjoy buying a Valentine’s outfit for our girls to wear in the month of February. We wear them for our pictures at home and try to wear them as much as we can during the month!
Keepsake Crafts are so much fun to make at home! Each year, we’ve made a hand or footprint canvas in the shape of a heart as a gift for my husband. They’re a simple gift that we pull out each year for decoration. I love it when my daughter brings home keepsake crafts from school and we display these each year as well!
Is your child old enough to enjoy games and activities? Valentine’s is a perfect time for easy, inexpensive activities. For example, you can play “find the hearts” by hiding foam hearts around the house (like Easter eggs) for your child to find! You can buy a bag of conversation hearts and do simple activities like sorting by color, patterning, and stacking games.
My daughter likes to play play-doh bakery and make “special treats” with play-doh, heart cookie cutters, and conversation hearts!
Valentine's Day isn't complete without actually making Valentine's! Depending on the age and interest of your child, this can be as simple as adding stickers to store bought cards or as involved as actually making homemade cards. My daughter has shown interest in making homemade cards this year and has enjoyed using heart shapes, google-eyes, and glue by herself for the first time!
Meals and "Special Treats"
My daughter loves to make “special treats” at home! In the past, we’ve made easy heart cookies or cupcakes and let her decorate them. It’s more about the time together and the process than the end result!
We also love to visit the local family-owned bakery and pick out “special treats” for her preschool teachers and her daddy. We love their heart-shaped strawberry mini-cakes! Visiting the bakery has been a fun tradition that we’ll continue!
On our first Valentine's Day with children, our daughter was 4-months-old and we managed to cook a nice dinner at home! We ate at the dining room table and used our nice dishes. This was manageable and a fun "home" date with just one baby!
In this season with our two little children, our “special meals” are simple and easy! For breakfast, we’ve done heart-shaped pancakes or cinnamon rolls. Did you know you can make a heart-shaped cinnamon roll by unrolling a pre-made canned cinnamon roll, pinching in the middle, and rolling the two ends into a heart shape?
For dinner this year, our “special meal” will be a heart-shaped pizza picked up after dance practice! You can buy these pizzas at local shops, or make one yourself. Sometimes, I buy heart plates from the dollar tree to make it really feel like a family party.
In a few years, we plan to make our own nicer dinner and pull out the nice China for our girls!
Each year, I buy an inexpensive Valentine’s gift bag for each girl and add a few special surprises for them to open. They’re usually nothing fancy, but putting them in a gift bag tends to add to the excitement! If you choose to do gifts for your little ones, here are some ideas that we have used in the past:
On her first Valentine’s Day, my oldest daughter turned 4-months-old. My husband surprised us both with a special engraved sterling silver rattle. It’s become a special baby keepsake that is displayed in her room. This has become a tradition and my youngest daughter will receive hers this year!
Each year following, our daughters have received Valentine’s Books! To me, books are a wonderful gift for any occasion. We like to write a special note to our daughters and the date in the cover of the book. They can be read any time of year, but we make a special book basket at the beginning of February with all of the Valentine’s books from years past. It’s special to re-read the notes out loud to our daughters! You can even do this in lieu of a card.
Last year, my daughter received her first flowers from her daddy at age 3. We didn’t know if she’d care much about them, but it was her absolute favorite thing! She was so proud to receive her own flowers just from her daddy!
One inexpensive gift that our girls absolutely love is a Valentine’s helium balloon! Who knew something so inexpensive and simple could make such a big impact? Last year, even our two-month-old was mesmorized by her Valentine’s balloon!
Next year, when our daughter is five, we plan to get her another keepsake item—her first piece of jewelry from us. Of course, it will be nothing too expensive or excessive, but we know our daughter will feel like such a special “big girl” wearing her first real jewelry! You can start this earlier with “little girl” play jewelry, or even a baby bracelet.
Do your little ones need any practical items? Don’t count these out! This year, our oldest will receive a new unicorn lunch box in her Valentine’s Bag to replace the lunchbox she’s had since she was a baby. We have also done new crayons or play-doh, cups, or anything else practical that needs to be replaced.
We are a card-loving family, so we choose a special Valentine’s Card for our girls each year. We each write a special message to our girls and try to write about something that is currently happening in their lives. We save them in a keepsake box that they can read later!
A traditional Valentine’s gift is a stuffed animal or doll. Last year, our girls got small stuffed animals with their names added. Is your stuffed animal collection out of control? Ours is beginning to be, so this year, we’re skipping this part! I’ve also started storing “holiday” stuffed animals and toys and pulling them out just around that holiday. It’s like having new themed toys every year!
Of course, you can’t forget about candy on Valentine’s Day! Our older daughter didn’t receive candy until age 3. This year, she’ll get her own small box of chocolates! I remember getting a box of chocolates each year, so I’m excited for her to have her own small box this year.
These are a few of our family favorites for Valentine's Day! What are some ways that your family celebrates Valentine's Day with your little children?