Valentine’s Day seems tailor made for children. There’s love, hugs, kisses, candy and stuffed animals. It’s a cuteness overload that children will appreciate.
It’s only natural they want to get involved in the Valentine’s Day fun. Here are some ways you can help your children celebrate the big day in an age-appropriate way.
From a kid’s standpoint, the best valentines are the ones that don’t come from a store. I remember when I was little, I would cut out a lopsided heart out of construction paper, pour an obscene amount of glue onto the paper and dump a truckload of glitter onto the page. And you know what? I thought my work was a masterpiece.
Little kids are like that. They don’t see faults – they see creativity, they see beauty. They are always amazed and impressed. It’s part of their magic. So don’t just buy a supermarket valentine. Get your hands dirty, and let your child help.
Bake a Special Treat
Most people equate Valentine’s Day with treats. You can buy a box of chocolates, or you can unleash your inner chef and whip up something extravagant and tasty. Ask your child for help, and make it clear that both of you should work on this special project together.
Have a Snugglefest
Grab everyone in your household and cram them all onto the couch for a Valentine’s Day-inspired snugglefest. Snuggle time doesn’t happen enough in our busy days, and there’s no better day to make it a priority than Valentine’s Day.
Make sure you tell everyone in your household how much you love them, and encourage your child to do the same. Ask your toddler to name three things he loves about you, and tell him three things you love about him. His responses will probably be completely off the wall. Something you might not think is important might be one of his favorite things about you.
Make Fun Food
Desserts get all the attention on Valentine’s Day, but ordinary food can be festive for the day too. If you make pancakes, use a cookie cutter to shape them into hearts. Your children will get a kick out of their new fun food, and it will turn an ordinary meal into a special occasion.
Put on Some Special Colors
Explain to your child that red, white and pink are special Valentine’s Day colors. Let her look through her clothes and find her best Valentine’s Day-inspired outfit. Resist the urge to re-dress her or make a different clothing selection for her. Just take a picture and enjoy the moment.
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.