Valentine's Day for kids doesn't need to be only about hearts, flowers, candy, and cards. You can make Valentine's Day an opportunity for time spent with family. Try these simple ideas with your kids.
Saint Valentine's Day, which is celebrated every year on February 14th, was originally established to honor two Christian martyrs, Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Originally a Roman Catholic holiday, Saint Valentine's Day originally had no association with romance. The true origins of Valentine's Day as a day of romance are largely unknown, since no documented historical link between the Roman Catholic holiday and Valentine's Day as it is currently celebrated exists. Nevertheless, in modern times, Valentine's Day has come to symbolize romantic love. The first person believed to have made this link is Geoffrey Chaucer in his 1382 poem, Parlement of Foules (Assembly of Fowls) with the line, "For this was Saint Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate."
Celebrate Valentine's Day with Your Kids
When planning Valentine's Day for kids, you can involve your children in many activities associated with the current holiday. While Valentine's Day traditionally celebrates romantic love, it has also come to symbolize familial love, friendship and appreciation. You can focus on any of these as you structure Valentine's Day activities for kids.
Heart and Flower Activities
The heart is the universal symbol of this holiday. Every year, children cut hearts out of pink and red construction paper, adorn them with lace, and turn them into some kind of holiday art or cards. Here are some suggestions for enhancing the heart-related activities:
- Have children write heart poetry. Acrostics and haiku both lend themselves well to this activity. For an acrostic, have children use the letters H-E-A-R-T as the starting letter for each single word line of the poem. For haiku, have children follow the simple 5-7-5 syllable line structure, using the word heart in each line.
- Young children can create heart animals. Cut hearts out of construction paper in various sizes and colors, and allow children to glue them together to make different animals.
- Very young children can also make laced hearts. To prepare, cut large hearts out of construction paper and use a hole punch to punch holes around the perimeter of the heart. Give children a piece of red yarn, and allow them to "sew" it in and out of the holes, tying it in a bow at the bottom.
- Create coffee filter flowers using food coloring or watercolors, round coffee filters and pipe cleaners. To make the flowers, dampen the coffee filters and place them on newspaper. Drop food coloring or watercolors onto the filters and watch the colors expand. When the filters are dry, scrunch them together to make flowers, using pipe cleaners as stems.
Holidays are always an excellent opportunity to spend time in the kitchen with your kids, and Valentine's Day is no different.
- Make heart-shaped crispy rice treats. Follow the standard recipe and then press the treats into heart-shaped molds. You can tint the marshmallow pink by stirring in a few drops of food coloring as the marshmallows melt.
- Invest in heart-shaped cookie cutters to create festive sugar cookies. Frost with pink icing, and allow kids to decorate the cookies with sprinkles, red hots, or candy hearts.
- Have a heart-shaped 'top your own' pizza dinner. Use prepared, uncooked pizza dough and press it into heart shapes. Place a variety of toppings on the counter and let kids design their own Valentine's Day pizzas.
Have a movie day with your family focused on romantic movies. Pull out all of the Valentine's Day treats you have baked as snacks, and snuggle up to watch one of these love-themed movies:
- Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown
- Lady and the Tramp
- Herbie the Love Bug
- Beauty and the Beast
These are just a few of the many ways you can make this Valentine's Day with your kids fun for the whole family.