You want to make Valentine’s Day special and magical this year – but you may also want to keep it small like we do. I love a good celebration and I can’t resist making Valentine’s Day just as fun as other holidays. It is all about love, after all, and I really love my family! So, I’ve included my favorite, super simple, ideas for all ages below.
Set the Scene
It doesn’t take much to bring some excitement into the month. There are some amazing books out there that celebrate love, Valentine’s Day, kindness, and friendship. You can see my favorites, below or on my blog post, The Best Valentine’s Day Books for Toddlers. I place these on our bookshelves several weeks before Valentine’s Day. Each year I add one or two as Valentine’s Day gifts, which means our collection slowly grows. There’s no need to purchase them all at once!
Start the Day off Strong
You don’t need to do anything crazy. Pull out those Winter Holiday pajamas from December and make them feel like Valentine’s Day! Waking up in your *special* jammies is really what matters. As the parent, throw on jeans and a pink or red shirt. Add a fun headband or earrings. Your kid’s outfits don’t need to be matching or uber-themed in order for them to feel special. A white t-shirt with a bow, hat, or fun socks is great!
Set up a cute table for breakfast. Use 12×12 card stock for “placemats.” You can use them as-is, or cut out a large heart shape! If you have some chargers, add those and place paper plates on top. Or just use regular plates! Or, or, or! Pink and red plates that you already have, like these $0.60 Target plates or an Ikea set for $1.99.
Breakfast can still be simple while feeling special. You could go “big” and make heart-shaped pancakes or cinnamon rolls, but I am a huge fan of just cutting toast into a heart shape, using cookie cutters. You can top it with jam, Nutella, peanut butter, butter, or even a little cinnamon and sugar (YUM). Or even better, let your child spread their own topping. Use mini fruit and vegetable cutters to cut up fruit and place the fruit pieces on candy sticks, creating kid-friendly fruit kabobs. Watermelon, pineapple, honeydew, and cantaloupe work really well for this and are super affordable. Add some red food coloring or strawberry syrup to your milk and throw in a paper straw to make it special.
Activities to Make Valentine’s Day Special
At each seat, place a small Valentine’s Day activity. Stickers are fun for any age, so print out a few of the free sticker activity pages HERE, or purchase the entire pack in my store. (You can use LOVELOVELOVE to save 25%!) Wrap a small bundle of crayons in ribbon or twine to make them feel special or place coloring utensils in a Ziploc bag and draw hearts all over the bag with permanent markers, to make them feel *special*.
Some other fun activities are homemade playdough, making Valentine’s Day cards, creating a Rainbow Hearts Dot Sticker Activity, This Heart and Dot Sticker Activity for the Wall, or this Color and Size Order Heart Activity.
Small Gifts for Your Family
While I don’t plan on going crazy, I do plan on having a small gift for each family member!
My husband and I simply exchange Valentine’s Day cards and the kids get a book at breakfast! This year Lachlan is also getting a Mini Yoto Player and a set of the Yoto Player “Vroom Vroom, Beep Beep” cards to go with it!
Valentine’s Day Dinner
Every year my aunt and uncle make a large heart-shaped meatloaf for dinner, paired with macaroni and cheese and some delicious wilted green beans. So we recently adopted that tradition. It’s so fun to sit down, add some candlelight, and enjoy a yummy meal together. It doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive to be special!
While Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday, there’s no need to break the bank or go crazy. Some simple additions to the day can make it one your family will always remember.