WTF is up with Valentine’s Day? My kids love Valentine’s Day almost as much as they do Christmas morning or Halloween night. Perhaps it is because Valentine’s Day is another holiday that promises candy and chocolate. . . and lots of it.
When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day wasn’t more than a few cheap grocery store cards with some kids sloppy handwritten name on it. There was the time when my boyfriend in 4th grade gave me a box of those gross candy hearts and on the outside of the box he crossed out FROM and wrote LOVE and I felt my heart would burst with such a show of 9-year-old love. I took each chalky heart out of the box and read the message written on it as if my little boyfriend had them each engraved himself.
Back in 2000, when my husband and I were just newlyweds, he surprised me with a pair of Tiffany diamond earrings at a nice Valentine’s dinner. I was so so surprised since I had never owned anything so luxurious before that I smiled for a week straight. I still wear the earrings everyday as a reminder of that one year, 15 years ago, when Valentine’s Day was about me and not my children.
Now each February my kids strategize what kind of Valentine’s activities they will insist on torturing me with.
For years my older daughter insisted on a Valentine’s Day party. This party consisted of a tea party, complete with heart shaped tea sandwiches and chocolate covered strawberries. We did a few Valentine’s Day crafts like painted rocks. As you may notice from the middle picture, my daughter is having way too much fun.
Last year when she asked me for a Valentine’s Day party, I said no. I have enough kid-centered parties to throw each year, so I kicked Valentine’s out of the party rotation. Yes I did feel guilty for a few minutes. Then I realized there are so many other cool things we can do to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
ONE: VALENTINE’S SCAVENGER HUNT
Six years ago, I unwittingly started a Valentine’s Day tradition that I am now stuck doing for the rest of my days. Each year I create a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt. I make a poem for each six clues and hide special Valentine’s gifts for the kids to find based on these poetic clues. You don’t need to go out and spend a lot of money to have an awesome scavenger hunt. I found great stuff at the $1 Target aisle or Dollar Tree. My kids absolutely adore this tradition and it is fun, creative and relatively inexpensive.
This is the one I am doing this year. You have my permission to steal it and use it for your own Valentine’s fun:
TWO: HEART GARLANDS
This is just so cute and I can see a craft like this creating a huge smile on my kids’ faces. Create your own heart garland. There are two ways to make this idea special: you can write each message yourself and hang it for a surprise when the kids wake up Valentine’s Day or you can get your kids involved in cutting and writing messages for each other and together you can hang it in the house. I know I am going to get everyone involved in the fun so my kids are forced to think of nice things to write to other people.
THREE: VALENTINE LABELS
Get free printable Valentine’s labels from World Label to put on treat bags or mason jars. The designs are so cute and they are FREE.
FOUR: HEART-SHAPED PIZZAS
My kids love to make their own pizzas, so this Valentine’s Day we are going to make our own heart shaped pizzas with heart shaped pepperoni. How fun is that?
FIVE: DUCT TAPE BRACELETS
We made Valentine’s Day themed duct tape bracelets to hand out to friends on Valentine’s Day since there is no candy allowed at my children’s school. They were surprisingly easy to make. I found the duct tape at the Dollar Tree and the only other ingredient needed is ribbon.
SIX: DECADENT CHOCOLATE CAKE
Heart shaped chocolate raspberry cakes? Yes please. These look very time consuming but worth the trouble.
SEVEN: CLEVER TREAT TOPPERS
These treat bag toppers are so creative with their clever sayings and colorful style. Throw some gummy worms in a bag and staple this printable label “love bugs” to the top and your kids have a unique Valentine’s treat for their friends. My kids can bring this one to school since it is not candy:
EIGHT: FUNFETTI PANCAKES
What kid doesn’t love pancakes with sprinkles and heart shaped strawberries? These Strawberry Funfetti Pancakes would be a fun way to start out Valentine’s Day morning. And since Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, making these pancakes on Valentine’s morning is actually more realistic. A little chocolate syrup and whipped cream would make them even more delicious.
NINE: XOXO TIC TAC TOE
My kids love to play tic tac toe. In fact, they make me play it with them at every restaurant we have ever dined at. This adorable xoxo tic tac toe has a printable card and is played using tic tac candy in Valentine’s Day colors. I will be including this as one of the clue stops for the Valentine’s Scavenger Hunt.
TEN: DIRTY SHIRLEY
Oh how I love this drink! The Dirty Shirley is the perfect Valentine’s Day cocktail because it is a pretty red color and it tastes super delicious. Who doesn’t like a shirley temple all grown up? So when you make your kids some shirley temples on Valentine’s, just set some aside and throw some extra ingredients in, like vodka for example.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.