by Kas Winters, The Mother of Family Ideas™
Be My Valentine
Those we love enjoy receiving Valentines and children have fun making them too. To get started, here are some materials that inspire creative card design. (You don't need them all, these are just options and possibilities.)
Construction paper or other papers in shades of red, white, pink, and purple are good for making the card itself. Kids love stickers and heart-shaped or Valentine ones are especially delightful to use for greetings. We save old Valentines from classroom exchanges and sometimes reuse them by pasting them on new cards. Doilies in red, pink, silver, or white, and round or heart-shaped, are perfect options for decorating Valentines. Many other pink and red things can be used as well. If you have ribbons, small silk flowers, glitter, sequins or even buttons, they make great finishing touches and kids love to glue them in place. Rubber stamps with hearts or flowers are plenty of fun to play with and add a personal touch. For a simpler version, provide crayons, markers, or colored pencils and white paper. Make safe scissors and school paste or white glue available. (Of course, for young children, you might have to do the cutting and help with the glue. Keep children safe.)
Plan a special Valentine dinner for the family and get children involved. Use one or two of the following ideas or go big if you have the desire, time, and an older helpful kid or more. Use a red or pink tablecloth if you have one or let a child or children decorate 11” x 17” pieces of red or pink construction paper to make holiday placemats. Place a love note at each person’s place setting. Fresh or silk flowers can make a centerpiece.
Make foods “red” to make you giggle. (Visualize adding red food coloring to mashed potatoes for a pretty pink.) Bake a meatloaf in a heart-shaped pan. Serve red Jell-O™, strawberries (dipped in melted chocolate), cherries, or bright red apples. Heart shaped cookies, a special cake, strawberry shortcake or chocolates are possibilities for desserts that top off the meal in a sweetheart sort of a way. Of course, you want to select menu items that your family enjoys and try not to go overboard with the sugar and less healthy options.
Here are some silly games for fun. Toss a deck of cards (yes, 52 pick-up!) and give a small prize to the person who picks up the Queen of Hearts. Inflate red balloons and see how long you can keep them in the air. Toss balloons from one person to another or try to keep several up at once. Laughter is permitted! (For safety, limit balloons to older children and immediately dispose of any pieces of broken balloons. These are filmy and a serious choking hazard. Teach children that they should never, ever, put balloons pieces in their mouths.) Read the messages on “conversation hearts” out loud. They can be funny in some situations. Play with a teddy bear and be sure to give one another a big “bear hug” at the end of your Valentine celebration.
Tell each person in your family that you love them, and include something special that you see in them. Good words last a long time and make a positive difference to those who hear them.
My family activity guide, Mother Lode has over 5,000 activities for children.
For other February family activities, go to: February Holidays.