1.Handmade Valentines– When it comes to gifting cards, something handmade is always so much more special. Avoid the commercialized, identical valentines that are meaningless to your child (that we usually sign for them anyway), and let your little one create a few handmade ones for the people they love the most.
When setting up an invitation to create, lay it out beautifully in a way that easily allows your child to do what you are hoping they’ll do (such as glue things together, cut pieces, etc.) When preparing materials for crafting, try to offer just as many natural materials as man-made materials. Avoid using commercialized, cheaply made things (i.e. character stickers, cheap and brightly colored plastics and foams, etc.) and stick to items that are simple, beautiful, and versatile. Everything I used below was found around my house, in my existing craft bin, or in my neighborhood. Re-purposing is better than purchasing.
2.Tea Party– there aren’t many things more special than intentional time playing with your children. When you’ve put everything else aside to be present with them and enjoy conversation together, it just can’t be beat. Hosting a tea party for just you and your sweet pea can be super fun. Get creative setting it up with real tea cups, a flower theme, or your child’s favorite snacks. Since this particular party will be for Valentines Day, choose special items and tea party activities that represent Love in your family. For us, it means a lot of conversations, games of I-Spy, a family movie, crafting, and lots of snuggles. Go outside the box to make it special and meaningful for your fam- just keep the focus on love and connection, because that’s what Valentines Day is all about…
3.Love Spice- I did this as a child and it was so special for many years- it never got old. Take an old herb or spice container from your pantry, remove the label and give it a good cleaning. Once its fresh and revived, decorate it to represent Love, Kindness, Joy or another intention that you hope to have an abundance of in your home.
Keep it on your kitchen counter, and allow your child to “sprinkle” some into everything you make together. Keep the jar empty and emphasize that the intention is felt, not seen…. it adds to the magic… plus, it keeps potpourri, confetti, or other jar-filling possibilities out of your food!
4.Read Together- reading together goes without saying, but for Valentines Day, reading stories (or TELLING STORIES) is an amazing way to focus on the heart and soul of this holiday. Talk about what Love means to your children and what it means to you. Talk about their feelings, emotions, and the interpersonal connections in your own family. What works, what doesn’t, and what ideas do your children have to build positivity, love, and kindness in your home? When your little ones become active contributors to plans and their ideas are heard, they understand and care so much more about bringing these ideas to life!
Below is a list of our favorite books on Love & Feelings for the season…
- In My Heart
- I Love you as Big as the World
- The Giving Tree
- Love is You and Me
- The Way I feel
- Mama, Do You Love Me?
- Love You Forever
5.Sensory Role Play- For Valentines Day, instead of giving my little one a box of chocolates, (another!) stuffed animal, or a ton of heart shaped items that will inevitably get lost or trashed, I like to set up a special activity the morning of. She wakes up to a special surprise and paves the way for a lovely day together.
Sensory play is an always-awesome go-to for young children, and is so versatile that it can be done for virtually any occasion, in any season, etc. I like to set up a table top or work space at my daughter’s level for easy access, and provide her with lots of beautiful things to experience. Think vessels for pouring and dumping, tools for scooping, stirring, and grabbing, and vibrant items to touch, smell, or listen to. In light of Valentines day (the images below were from last year’s activity), I used fresh flowers, crystals and gems, and spring time natural materials. This year I plan to do dried flowers and potpourri making station.
As your child explores, be there to encourage role play such as flower arranging, cooking, buying and selling, etc. It will be a time to remember!
6.Mailbox Love Notes- At the start of February, have each member of your family fashion & decorate their own mailbox (from a shoe box, birdhouse, jar, etc… get creative) and let each person place there box somewhere special around the home.
Throughout the month, encourage family members to drop spontaneous notes or objects into one another’s boxes to promote love and care! Don’t make it a task or chore… allow it to happen spontaneously and without too many rules! Utilize the activity all month to build one another up, praise each other’s strengths and accomplishments, and provide much needed encouragement to every family member.