I love Valentine’s Day. To be honest, I didn’t always care for it, especially when the focus seemed to be on couples sending cheesy gifts to each other in high school and college.
Now that I’m older, and somewhat wiser, I love the sentiment of Valentine’s Day. It’s an opportunity to let family, friends, and obviously my husband, know how much they are appreciated. Additionally, now that I have kids, I want to do fun stuff for them and with them.
A quick google or Pinterest search has endless ideas of Valentine’s crafts and ideas for kids to send Valentines to other kids. While it can be fun to get trinkets and cute gifts for kids, it ends up being more stuff. And let’s face it – after the holidays, the last thing they need is more stuff.
What if instead of buying toys, candy and miscellaneous stuff, we found ways to spend time with them? Gift giving is love language that speaks to many. But for those who don’t want to, or financially can’t, there are options with some not costing a lot if any.
1. Find a Way to Say “I Love You”
This can be as simple or extravagant as your heart desires. Just find a way to tell your kids you love them and what you love about them.
You can do something as simple as making a list of what you love about them, and then frame it as a reminder. Try making a paper chain and every day write something new. Take a glass jar and write something nice about your kids. You can also have them write something about you.
For younger kids, put pictures of family members on a heart tree. For the base of the trunk you can trace one of your kids’ hands and then have them help glue pictures to the tree.
2. Give a Coupon
This one is great to use throughout the year and allows for you to spend time with kids. There are a variety of printable coupon books, especially on Etsy.
You can even make one yourself, depending on how crafty you are or how much time you have. Coupon ideas include: a big bear hug, date with mom or dad, playtime with mom or dad and a day off from chores. Make it fun and silly!
Baking is a fun way to spend time with your children. You can bake some cookies or make a cake with your kids. You can start from scratch or buy a boxed kit. Even if your kids are younger, let them help with mixing or measuring. Spending time in the kitchen allows for math and science learning. Plus it serves as a great bonding tool. Let go of any OCD tendencies and have some messy fun.
4. Serve Others
This may be better to do with older kids but there are ways to utilize younger kids in service projects. Serving the community or a friend allows their empathy to expand and sets forth a good example of loving others.
If you have younger kids, sign some Valentine’s cards or assemble treat bags and deliver to a nursing home or assisted living place. There are a variety of places to deliver goody bags to including homeless shelters, a parent’s job or the police or fire station.
As for older kids, you can still assemble goody bags and deliver to a place. You can also sign up to volunteer with your kid at an assisted living place, homeless shelter or a nonprofit that interests your kids. Talk with your older kids about something that speaks to the empathetic side of their heart. As always, do research and ensure you are supporting reputable organizations and keeping safety in mind.