by Amy Smith
It may be chilly and gray outdoors, but February also brings Valentine’s Day — a joyful reminder to celebrate with our loved ones, including our kids. Plan a fun-filled day for the kids by infusing Valentine’s Day with new and fun activities. Struggling to come up with fresh ideas for this holiday? Try some of these love-themed crafts, snacks, and games.
Colorful Crafts to Share
Overcast days making you or your kids glum? Even cloudy-day sunlight will seem brighter on Valentine’s Day when it’s passing through a rainbow-colored heart suncatcher. Using tissue paper, clear plastic, and Mod Podge, this craft is easy enough for preschoolers but beautiful enough to catch the interest of older kids.
Are your kids planning to give valentines to parents, grandparents or siblings? Try this creative card, using your child’s handprints and an accordion-folded strip of paper to show just how much they love that special person. Or is your kid planning valentines for friends or classmates? Go humorous with “Be My Valen-slime” — individual jars of pink or red slime for a friend to squish!
If you need snacks to share or hand out at a Valentine’s Day party, try these super cute (and super easy) love bug fruit cups using sparkly pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and googly eyes to turn chopped fruit cups into cute and edible ladybugs.
You’re trying to keep healthful food choices on the table, but lots of Valentine’s Day snacks are loaded with sugar, artificial flavors, and dyes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up on nutritious choices for the holiday — you just need to make your healthful choices more decorative!
Maximize the natural sweetness and beautiful colors of fruit by creating strawberry roses on skewers for an edible bouquet. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter and a few different varieties of melon to craft yummy fruit kebabs with a yogurt-and-honey dip on the side. Or go totally fruit-crazy with this delicious fruit pizza, featuring a lovely variety of sliced fruit on a giant cookie.
Don’t leave the other food groups out of the heart-shaped fun! Try using a heart-shaped cutter on cheese, cucumbers, and sausage to create a savory snack platter.
Games Everyone Will Love
Planning a party or just an afternoon of family fun on Valentine’s Day? Either way, get kids (and parents!) moving with some heart-themed games. To play “Catch My Heart,” use a red ball as the “heart” and call out another player’s name as you toss the ball in their direction. They must catch, call another name and toss the ball to the next player. Use multiple balls to keep older kids jumping.
Organize relay races using red and pink balloons. Try creating static electricity by rubbing the balloon on your hair and sticking it to the front of your shirt while running the relay.
Make a “Heart-and-Seek” treasure hunt using large hearts, writing on each heart a few words that will lead kids to a secret spot in the house. Cut the hearts into several pieces and hide them around a room. Kids must find the pieces and reassemble them to create the message, which will direct them to a hidden treasure trove of Valentine’s Day treats or toys.
With just a few of these crafts, snacks or games, you can make this Valentine’s Day a blast for everyone, even your puppy-loved teens, without wiping out your energy, your budget or your kid’s patience!
Amy Smith is a writer specializing in family and parenting. She teaches English, Latin and music at a private school and lives with her husband and five children on a small homestead in rural Pennsylvania.