Following on from my blog last weekend on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day when you’re a parent (Valentine’s at Home: Stay-In Date Night Ideas for Grown-Ups!), this weekend, it’s the turn of your pint-sized people.
This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday; and so, for a lot of children, it’s a day in the week that they spend in their educational settings, and for a fair few of us grown-ups, it’s a day at work. So, how can you celebrate tomorrow, with your children? Here are a few last-minute ideas...
A Valentine’s Breakfast
I don’t know about you and yours, but my two children absolutely love a themed food experience: whether it’s a Christmassy afternoon tea, an Easter Egg hunt or making a Halloween pumpkin pie, the combination of something fun and something to snack on is always a winner.
So, why not start Valentine’s Day with a Valentine’s Breakfast? Think pink (and red!) and apply this literally, ‘lovely’ seasonal theme the most important meal of the day. Whether you dollop a heart-shaped portion of jam onto your little person’s toast, or whether you go all out and make pink pancakes served with raspberries and strawberry milk, they’re bound to love it and you can celebrate and still be on time for the school run!
Make the day special for your children by decorating a room in the house.
I’ve created two completely FREE printables for you to use in decorating your home for Valentine’s Day.
Firstly, a page of cut-out “I love you because...” mini Valentine’s notes. Once you’ve written these, you can either pop them up like Post-Its for your little one to find, or you can put them all into a jar. Either way, looking at them and reading them together is a lovely way to remind your little person how much you love them, and it’s a really good way to promote those language skills too!
Secondly, I’ve made some beautiful bunting, with the words “You Are So Loved” printed on it. Perfect to hang up ready for your Valentine’s breakfast!
*Not sure what to write on the love notes? Here are a few ideas:
· I love you because you are brilliant at giving hugs
· I love you because you are kind
· I love how much you love dinosaurs
· I love your beautiful drawings
· I love your crazy bum-wiggly dance
If you and your children are at home for the day, or if you have any remaining energy after work/school(!), then sitting down together and enjoying a Valentine’s craft activity can be a lovely way to relax and celebrate the day as a family.
Some easy to do Valentine’s crafts for kids:
· Fold a long pipe cleaner in half, forming a V shape. Thread beads onto both prongs of the pipe-cleaner before joining it together at the top in a heart shape. Run a ribbon through the heart and, voila, you have a hangable Valentine’s decoration!
· Bend the inner cardboard tube of a toilet roll in half and you’ve made an easy-to-hold and heart-shaped stamp. Dip it in paint and let your little one create some Valentine’s “he-artwork”!
· Valentine’s Jewellery: as simple as it sounds; dig out some lovely pink, red, white and purple beads and let your little one thread them onto string to make adorable seasonal dressing-up bracelets and necklaces.
· Using either a shop-bought threading frame or just a heart-shaped piece of card with holes punched into it, threading and weaving with wool is a fun Valentine’s activity for young and old. You can buy plastic or wooden needles in all good craft shops, or you can use a cotton-bud, tying the wool on.
In the same way as food is, themed play is always popular in our house and of late, we’ve been enjoying some fun seasonal play set-ups. Have a look at my page (@mummyscrummie) and the likes of @ourplaydaze for some fun Valentine’s play ideas!
Baking with your children needn’t be stressful, and it can be a lovely, mellow way to spend time together celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Here are a few of my favourite child-friendly Valentine’s bakes:
Much like the Valentine’s breakfast, a Valentine’s picnic does what it says on the proverbial tin: it’s a themed, (indoor – in this weather!) picnic, and who doesn’t love a picnic!
Roll out your Macintosh squares and your blankets and set up camp in your sitting room or lounge, ready to host a Valentine’s picnic supper.
Ham sandwiches, jam sandwiches, cherry tomatoes and red peppers; blackcurrant squash, strawberries, Angel Delight, and good old jelly and ice cream are all perfect component parts of a rosy-looking Valentine’s Day picnic.
Family Night In
And last but not least, in the same way I recommended an at-home cinema night for grown-ups in last Sunday’s post, this weekend, I’m advocating a family night in.
Pick a film, curl up on the sofa together with blankets and cuddly toys and enjoy some family down-time.
My Top Family Films to Watch on Valentine’s Day:
· Encanto – Romantic? Not really, but the message of self-love is brilliant. Prepare to have the soundtrack on Repeat in your brain for at least the next few years.
· The Princess and the Frog – Romance, strong female characters, beignets and jazz music: that’s my idea of a good film!
· Shrek – A fun and fast-paced reminder that sometimes an “evergreen” love can be found in the least expected of places!
· Tangled – Disney’s take on the classic Rapunzel fairy-tale: funny and soppy and ear-wormingly catchy.
· Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown - Just pure, unadulterated seasonal charm from the Peanuts gang!
And... that’s all, folks! Those are my top ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year with your children. They’re all simple and unfussy things to do, and I think, sometimes, that’s exactly what we need.
Happy Valentine’s Day you lovely lot; next week I’ll be giving blog readers an exclusive first look at the very exciting Catkin Toys Brand Rep Photo Competition, which you’ll all have a chance to vote on and in doing so help decide the winner.
Have a fab week, see you back here on Sunday! Xx