Once you have kids, Valentine’s Day becomes more than just a special evening with your significant other. It’s about showing love to your entire family and others.
I absolutely love starting traditions with my family and ones they may pass on to their kids one day. I want them to have something to look forward to aside from the gift exchanges at school because one day that will come to an end. I want them to know that more importantly they are loved at home. Also it is important for kids to see their parents showing acts of love to each other as well as receiving them. So even if you and your spouse aren’t into the Hallmark holiday (I can relate) try to do a little something for each other that the kids will notice, it really makes a huge impact!
Since we have had children and now that the older ones are school-aged, Valentine’s Day has become about more than just the two of us having a date night. The kids love the holiday as much as any of the others! In the years past, I have bought them a few little gifts, made something special for breakfast like cinnamon rolls. But I hadn’t started a tradition that they looked forward to until last year and they were SO excited!!
I wanted to think of something that was more of an “experience” versus giving gifts and candy since they get enough of that at school parties.
I am going to share what I am doing as well as some other ideas I came across. These are all simple and inexpensive! You don’t have to be a Pinterest mom, have baking skills or endless funds to do these.
- Decorate your kitchen table for Breakfast! My kids love walking downstairs and seeing the table decorated for Valentine’s Day. I typically go to the Dollar store or Target and buy a tablecloth, paper plates, cups, flower petals and Hershey kisses to use as a centerpiece. I only spend around $10. (I may get some flowers too). I’ll probably have a Michael Buble playlist playing to make it extra “cheesy”. I’m sure they will hate this when they are older- but it will continue 😉
- Valentines Breakfast food– I am planning to make pancakes in the shape of hearts and serve with strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. Other ideas are pink pancakes (which you can make with beet root powder or beet puree to avoid using dyes- but I have not tried this personally). Dunkin Donuts has valentines donut options and Bojangles has heart-shaped Boberry biscuits!
- Valentines Dinner out or Dinner In! Again, you can decorate the table for this instead of for breakfast or reuse from the morning. This can be as simple or elaborate as you want. You can order take out or make your families favorite meal. Wear PJ’s or have everyone get fancy! My husband is out of town this year and I saw that Papa Johns has heart-shaped pizzas so I may be doing that for my kids to keep it easy! I also bought plastic wine glasses the kids can use at dinner. My oldest loves sprite and we never have soda in the house so I bought some to surprise her with and raspberry lemonade for my other two (again something special that we don’t normally have). I also got some mini cupcakes for dessert.
- After dinner, plan a game night or watch a movie! (Bonus points if it’s a love story) Serve popcorn and let them add sprinkles, marshmallows, chocolate chips etc. to it. Or do Chocolate Fondue!
- Slip a note into their lunch boxes with a Hershey’s kiss telling them why you love them. Or a note simply saying I love you.
- At some point in the day give them each a rose and or a card. I got cards for mine I’ll probably give to them with breakfast in the morning.
- At a meal time have everyone go around the table and say 1 thing they love about each person.
- Let them each pick a person to call that day to surprise and say I love you.
- For the Dads- Plan breakfast in bed for mama and let the kids help prepare. Or get yourself and the kids dressed up fancy and take mama to dinner or have dinner at the house together. Keep it simple- take out is always fine!
- Father Daughter dances happen most frequently during the month of February. Starting in January look up local churches, ymca’s, large gyms to check the schedule. Most of them will have a dance you can take your daughter too. If not, have them dress up for a date night out with you! This goes for the boys too, they may not have a dance to go to but you can still plan a special night out with them doing what they love!
- Doorbell Cupid. I am not going to do this one but I think it sounds really fun! You fill a basket of goodies for your kids (from Cupid) and you leave it at the front door, ring the bell and run. They open the door to the basket of surprises!
- Place a heart on their door each night with a reason why you love them. I stumbled upon this on Pinterest last month and thought it was such a sweet idea. Last year I wrote reasons why I loved them on hearts and placed on the table for valentines breakfast but how sweet to stick one on their door each night leading up to the holiday. My sister reminded me of this as she started doing it the beginning of the month. I plan on starting it tonight so they will each have 5 hearts placed on their door by Valentines morning.
- Lastly, this one is a fun way to show love to others which is SO important. Make an Acts of Love countdown chain to valentines day. Grab construction paper- red, white or pink to be festive. Cut out however many links you need as days leading up to valentines day. We will have 5 links. Write an act of love to show others on each one and then link them together by stapling or using tape. Each morning have them tear a link off and share what it says. At the end of the day everyone can share their experience of when they showed that act of love! This past Christmas we made a kindness chain like this and it was a huge hit for our entire family. My kids still talk about it so I know doing this acts of love chain will be something they look forward to every year as well.
I hope you find this list of ideas helpful! I tried to find ways to keep it really simple but still just as sweet. I can’t wait to continue and start some of these traditions that they will look forward to every year!
Please share if you end up doing any of these or comment with other traditions you love!
Happy Valentine’s Day!