Creative Child

How to Make Your Child Feel Cherished on Valentine’s Day

by Rebecca Eanes

I think somewhere along the way, holidays have become lost in the shuffle of a busy life. Sure, we still acknowledge them, but more so in a hurried and commercialized way rather than a meaningful one. Valentine’s Day is no exception. We typically profess our love with store-bought cards and the boxes of candy, and those are sweet gestures, but what if we choose instead to create purposeful traditions that make our children feel truly loved and cherished? After all, we only get roughly 18 Valentine’s Days with our children at home. Let’s make each one count! 

Prepare a special meal. Heart-shaped foods like pizza, pancakes, and cookies are a simple and sweet way to show your love. Make it a family affair by getting the kids to help mix the batter or roll the dough while you chatter with them. Alternatively, you could do a theme of red foods and prepare pasta with red sauce with red velvet cupcakes followed by fruit punch, for example. Add a hand-written love note and it’s a meal they’ll remember.

Give tickets to an experience. Most kids are swimming in “stuff” already. Instead of adding yet another stuffed bear to the pile, consider giving the gift of experience. Ideas include concert tickets, skating lessons, cooking or yoga classes, horseback riding, movie passes, tickets to a zoo, aquarium, or sporting event, etc. An abundance of research shows that experiences bring much more happiness than material possessions, so skip the bears and flowers and give the gift of happiness! 

Set up a Valentine’s Day themed play invitation. Children value play time with their parents. Few things make a child feel more loved than a parent who is engaged in play with them. Some play ideas for Valentine’s Day include creating a themed sensory bin for them to explore, doing a Valentine’s Day craft together, sewing stuffed hearts together, and painting the word “love” which you’ve pre-traced onto a canvas.

Play themed family games.From Valentine’s Day bingo to minute-to-win-it style games, there are plenty of ideas to be found on the internet! One of my favorites is to draw a large face (with no mouth) on a big sheet of paper tape it to the wall. Give your child a big pair of lips to pin on the face! Play this 

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