15. Make their breakfast themed

It doesn’t have to be a pink and red smorgasbord to be a fun Valentine’s Day breakfast! Serve up some sliced strawberries, heart-shaped toast, pancakes, or toad-in-the-hole for a quick breakfast before they head out the door to school, smiles on their faces.

14. Make handmade valentines cards together

It may be easier to pick up a box of cards from the store, but making simple Valentines for the people they love or their classmates is a fun activity to do together! All you really need it some paper, markers or crayons, stickers, and a list of people you’re going to make them for. Pro tip: Don’t use glitter unless you want to find it around the house for months.

13. Decorate their bedroom door with “You are …” notes

The night before Valentine’s Day, cut out some hearts and using a marker, write encouraging and kind things about your child that start with “You are”. Then stick them on the inside of their bedroom door while they sleep so they wake up feeling loved! It’s a simple way to call out and encourage their strengths this holiday. You can get more detailed instructions and ideas here.

12. Write them a lunchbox love note

My mom used to write me little notes of love and encouragement and put them in my lunches. What better day than Valentine’s Day to do that for your kiddo?! Grab a scrap piece of paper and jot down a few sentences to remind them how loved they are. Easy peasy.

11. Bake and decorate cookies together

Time to get baking! If you’ve got some time on your hands, consider making the cookies from scratch. However, if you’re strapped for time, grab some premade sugar cookie dough and bake them before sitting down together to ice and decorate them with sprinkles! You get both a sweet treat and some quality time together, so you can’t go wrong even if the cookies don’t turn out to be works of art.

10. Read a Valentines Day themed bedtime story

It doesn’t matter if you buy it new or used, fish out an old book from the bottom shelf of the bookcase, or head to the library! Snuggle up before bed to read a new holiday-themed book together. It’s a great and inexpensive way to end Valentines!

9. Do a random act of kindness together

Know someone in need personally? Or how about a local organization? Or just someone in the drive-thru behind you? There are so many people in need and Valentines Day is a great opportunity to teach your children how to “love” and care for others and grow their empathy. Get your child involved in the planning and allow them to come up with ideas.

8. Make a craft together

Why not set some time aside and make a Valentine’s Day craft? Some great options include homemade bath bombs, a stained “glass” heart, or some Valen-Slime! Get creative and use your imagination together.

7. Do something your child loves that you don’t do often

This may sound general, but the point is to make it specific to your child! Do they love sledding or skating, baking, or spending time with animals (to name only a few of thousands of options)? Plan to do an activity that they love, but don’t get to do often whether because of time, money, or distance! It’ll make the day extra special.

6. Let them chose their lunch for school

This was one of my favorite things that my mom did for me growing up. Whenever there was a special occasion or class party, we’d go to the grocery store together and she’d let me pick my lunch – whatever I wanted! I normally had very healthy, nutrition-packed lunches so getting a Lunchable, cheese bun, soda, fruit roll-up, or small bag of chips was very exciting and always made the day particularly special! Why not try this with your school-age child this Valentines?

5. Have a sitdown family dinner

If it’s not the norm to sit down together (not in front of the television), take a moment to eat together. Catch up on each other’s days and share things you love about each family member. It may seem cheesy, but everyone will end up feeling loved and isn’t that the point of Valentines? Better yet – make dinner Valentine’s Day themed! If you don’t have the time or energy, order a pizza! Many pizzerias actually offer pizzas in the shape of a heart on the day of love.

4. Get heart healthy

Take a different spin on Valentine’s Day and get active together to get your heart healthy! Do you some yoga, go for a long walk, or throw on a Youtube video (like the Fitness Marshall!) to get moving together.

3. Have an at-home mini spa

Kids will love this fun pampering activity! Stop by the drugstore or dig through your bathroom cupboard for manicure/pedicure supplies, face masks, and lotion for mini massages. Put on some music and have fun together! Your manicure may end up a little sloppy, but the memories are more than worth it.

2. Watch a movie

It’s simple – choose a movie together that has a Valentines or love theme and plop down to watch it together! Maybe even eat some of those cookies you decorated earlier!

1. Make Love Buckets

This is a fun tradition you may want to do every year! Starting February 1, family members place a daily note, drawing, or treat in each person’s bucket. The anticipation of seeing their own bucket filling up is exciting and every family member will feel loved and cared for. Then on Valentines, you all sit down together and read your notes and eat your candies! Check out the full tutorial and explanation by Simply Kierste here.
PHOTO AND TUTORIAL BY: SIMPLY KIERSTE