Valentine’s Day is about showing love to the people you care about, so make it a fun-filled day with your entire family. No matter how old they are, kids need to hear that they are loved and appreciated. Here’s a list of some family Valentine’s Day activities and games to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day together.
There are actually two ways to make Valentine’s Day pancakes. One way is to make a normal pancake, then press a small heart-shaped cookie cutter in the middle. Replace the pancake on the griddle and fill the hole with batter. Once it’s cooked, the pancake will have a heart-shaped center. A second way is to add red food coloring to pancake batter until it turns red or pink, then use a funnel to pour it into hearts or cursive messages like “love.” You could have a contest to see who can create the best-looking pancake.
Go with a “red” theme for Valentine’s Day dinner or lunch. Have Hawaiian punch or pink lemonade to drink. The main course could be pork or chicken with red sweet-and-sour sauce. Side dishes could include strawberries, red Jello, bread with red jelly, or mashed potatoes with red food coloring. For dessert, serve red velvet cake. If you want, decorate the room with a red-and-pink theme, including a red flower centerpiece at the table.
Gather up all your children’s broken crayons, remove the wrappers, and put them in a heart-shaped muffin tin (available at Target and most other mass merchandisers). Pop them in the oven at 250° for 10-15 minutes until they melt. Let them cool and remove from the mold. You can use the heart-shaped crayons to color immediately, or you could tape them to cardstock and add a message to make unique Valentines for friends.
Cut out paper hearts, using a different color for each child. On each heart, write a personalized compliment. Hide them around the house and see who can find theirs the fastest. Children in elementary school will usually just get a kick out of finding the paper hearts, but for older children you may want to tape a chocolate candy heart to each one for extra incentive to play along.
Valentine’s Day Trivia
Prepare a family trivia game by having each family member write down five things they think no one knows about them on separate slips of paper (younger children will need help.) Draw the slips one at a time and see if anyone can guess who the author is. Parents of very young children can modify the game by preparing several slips with questions like “Who never crawled before walking?” and “Who broke their arm at age 2?” and let children take turns guessing.
Kids enjoy getting a basket filled with goodies on Valentine’s Day, just like they do on Easter. Fill it with candy and inexpensive Valentine-themed pens and pencils, toys, activity books, or small stuffed animals. These items are available at drugstores or any other mass retailer.
Family Love Letters
A great Valentine’s Day tradition is the family love letter. Each parent writes a separate letter to each child, letting them know how much he is loved and appreciated. Parents can save these letters for children until they are older, so they will have years of love letters to look back on. When children are old enough to grasp the concept, they can begin dictating their own love letters to their siblings and parents.
Dinnertime “I Love You” Scrabble
Put a Scrabble tile with the first letter of each family member’s name into a basket, and pass it around the table a few times before Valentine’s Day dinner. Each person must draw a letter and give a kind word or compliment to the person whose tile she draws.
There are lots of possibilities for celebrating Valentine’s Day with your family. Some of these fun games and activities might even turn into traditions that your children will enjoy every year.