It’s that time of the year and love is in the air! How are you going to spend that special day, though? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We have over 25 ways to spread some joy and spend quality time celebrating Valentine’s Day at home with your littlest loves.
A LOVE-ly Breakfast
It’s the most important meal of the day—for starting our celebration off right, anyway. Heart shaped cinnamon rolls, Chocolate covered strawberries, pancakes with red and pink sprinkles, or valentine’s pastries from your local bakery are just a few fun Valentine’s breakfast options.
My daughter’s favorite is heart-shaped egg-in-the-hole toast. Easy-peasy, just cut out the middle of a piece of bread with a heart shaped cookie cutter, then fry an egg in the heart shape. Add a berry smoothie for a fun and festive pop of color.
Just because you aren’t going out, doesn’t mean you can’t get fancy for the occasion. Make it festive and put on your Sunday (or Monday, or Tuesday) best. For even more fun, let the kids shop in each other’s closet, or even yours, to put together a special-to-them ensemble for the day.
While the kids are all gussied up, take the opportunity to set up a mini DIY photo shoot! Use curtains or a fun blanket as the backdrop, or take in the view in your front yard. Bribe the sweet shots by promising some silly ones after. Wear a feather boa, heart shaped glasses, or print off some Valentine’s themed photo booth props to bring some extra silliness.
Valentines Tea Party
While you are all decked out in your polished duds, set about for a tea party fit for royalty. Invite all your favorite stuffed animal guests and make some tiny sandwiches to share. Grab your china (paper cups work, too!) brew your tea, set the places, and don’t forget—pinkies up!
Continue your fun food celebration throughout the day. Make DIY lunchables, using a heart shaped cookie cutter on the meats and cheeses, or do a heart shaped PB & J. Finish it off with a love note or Valentine’s joke to make it extra special. For dinner, try Cupid’s “Shot through the Heart” shaped Pizza, with a “love potion” to drink. (This can be any beverage of your choice, but cherry 7up has that splash of pink).
My kids love this tradition. Every year, starting February 1st, I tape a heart to their door and add an additional heart every day after, leading up to Valentine’s Day. The first heart has their name on it, and all the others have love notes. These can say anything that is on your heart for your child, like “You are such a great helper!”, “You are so special to me!”, or “I am thankful for you!”
Scavenger Hunt for your Sweeties
This one takes a bit of planning to pull off, but it is so worth it! Make or print clues leading to different locations around the house. Will there be a prize at each clue location, or a grand prize at the end? You choose! I’ve done it both ways, but this year I’m going to have the kids collect supplies along the way and have the “grand prize” be an activity we do together, like making slime or baking goodies.
There is something about being comfy, cozied up with my babies and reading a story together that just feels like love to me. Some of our favorite Valentine’s Day and love-themed stories are I Love You, Stinky Face, Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Love, Click, Clack, Moo I Love You , and Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar. Order them online, or check to see if your local library offers any of these titles.
Minute-to-Win-It Valentine’s Games
Have your own Valentine’s Olympics, playing different games using a bag of candy hearts. Put sixty seconds on the clock and see who is in it to win it! Here are a few games you can try:
Candy Heart Relay
Place an empty bowl at one side of the room and a bowl of candy hearts at the other. Transfer the hearts to the empty bowl by carrying them across the room on a spoon.
Suck It Up
Transfer candy hearts from one plate to another using only the vacuum created by your mouth and a straw.
Stack candy hearts as high as you can, without your tower toppling. Add difficulty by only allowing the use of one hand or tweezers to stack the hearts.
Valentine Connect Four
Create your own giant connect 4 game using paper plates and wall-safe tape. Make it Valentine’s themed by using red and pink plates to separate players, or draw X’s on one set and O’s (or hearts) on the other. Each player takes their turn, starting at the bottom and building on the last row, to try to get four-in-a-row. (You can use either option for a giant game of tic-tac-toe afterwards, too!)
Valentine’s Day Sensory Bins
Sensory bins are so much fun for littles, and help keep the mess… slightly contained, right? Add some red or pink food coloring to a bag of rice for one option, or tint ¼ cup of water the desired color and mix with 2 tablespoons of dish soap using a hand mixer on its highest speed for a soap foam bin. Almost anything goes for play in here. Grab some heart shaped cookie cutters or little cups and get to the fun!
Friendship rocks can be a little messy—this requires you dip your finger in red acrylic paint to create a heart body. Other than that, all you need is the rock itself and a black marker. The heart is made by coating your finger in paint and making the print twice, with the bottom points of both connecting. Wait for the paint to dry (or speed up the process with a hair dryer on low heat and speed.)
Once your heart is completely dry, draw arms, legs, and a face. All finished? Now go for a walk and hide them around your neighborhood. (You may want to mod podge directions on the back with a hashtag to post once a rock has been found and re-hidden for some added tracking fun for the kids.)
Bring on the Giggles
My top three favorite “mom things” are hugs, the smell of their heads, and hearing their giggles. Little kid’s laughter makes my heart positively swell. I cannot wait to get into these activities with the kids. I’ve printed these fill-in-the-blank Mad Libs and joke cards, but I’m most excited about this Fill-in-the blank Valentine’s Day Wacky Card Game. All of the answers are made to be silly, so I know they are going to love it!
From the moment they saw the first Frozen movie, to this day, my kids will say “Mmmm, chocolate” whenever they get a whiff—just like the girls did at coronation day. What better day than Valentine’s Day to whip up a batch of chocolate playdough? This naturally scented playdough is practically fail-proof, and I’d bet you have most of the ingredients already. You need flour, salt, boiling water, cocoa, vegetable oil, and vanilla for this project. Mix the ingredients together, allow to cool, and voila! Ready to play.
I’m going to challenge my big kid to create and see if they can improve on the design for Cupid’s Bow and Arrow, for a Valentine’s Day-themed STEM challenge. The supplies are pretty simple and likely to be on-hand—using a cotton swab, floss, nail clippers, wooden popsicle stick, and warm water to create the bow and arrow. Fingers crossed!
Paths of Love
If it is dry outside, grab your sidewalk chalk and pop outside to get some fresh air. Draw hearts along your walkway and write kind words. You could even make a hopscotch with hearts, instead of squares.
If there is snow on the ground, tint water with food coloring in a spray or squirt bottle. “Paint” a colorful masterpiece or draw hearts and arrows in the snow for others to enjoy.
Bake with Your Beloveds
Food is a major love language and Valentine’s Day is all about those sweets. Share the love and whip up some treats with your little love! Brownies, cookies, and cupcakes all fit the bill, or try out a new recipe, like this Valentine’s Day Fudge.
If baking isn’t your forte, try this themed smore mix. All you need are valentine M & M’s, mini marshmallows, and graham crackers to make a fun, sweet treat.
It seems like there is a slime recipe for every occasion, and this one is no different. We have Valentine’s 2 ingredient glitter slime for a simple creation. For your slime connoisseurs, here is a recipe for fluffy slime. (This one serves double duty. It comes with a printable label, so you can make this ahead of time and use it for Valentine favors, if you choose.)
Bucket O’ Love
Spread some cheer to a neighbor with a random act of kindness, in the form of a porch-dropped bucket o’ love. Choose a homemade card to make and put in your bucket like this 3-D heart card or this Fingerprint Love Bug Card. Include some of the goodies you made earlier in the day and be sure to leave them a note, so they know where the items came from.
Put the “ART” in HEART
We live for arts and crafts over here. Some of our favorite Valentine’s Day art and crafts projects have included Heart Stampers using cookie cutters or upcycled cardboard tubes or plastic straws, Marble art, shaving cream art, practicing sewing, make shaped crayons, fun tie-dye like effect of these tissue paper dyed hearts, and Animal Valentine’s. These stained glass heart shaped suncatchers are on our must-try list for this year.
Valentine’s Movie Night
Any Disney princess movie is a top contender for this movie night selection, with the Valentine’s specials Free Rein, “Valentine’s Day” and True, “Happy Hearts Day”—both on Netflix—also vying for the top slot. Movie night wouldn’t be complete without cozy blankets for snuggling and Valentine’s Day popcorn. (It’s regular popcorn with chocolate candies, marshmallows, and sprinkles. W like to add some kettle corn seasoning to ours.)
Challenge yourself and the kids to make a free-standing heart shaped tower. All you need to build a heart is the small, bathroom-sized, paper Dixie cups; strips of cardboard; and a flat surface. I recommend building the tower on the floor or a counter—something that is stationary and isn’t going to move too much if someone bumps it. (I learned this lesson so you don’t have to!)
We used the cardboard strips in-between layers of cups. My kids can build forever, and once we were able to get the heart squared away, we also spelled out LOVE, with the heart as the “O”. Lots of fun and lots of patience required for this one! (If you already have the small dixie cups from this activity and the candy hearts for the minute-to-win-it games, then you already have everything you need to make these balancing scales, too! I mean, you might as well, right?)
Share the Love
There are several children’s hospitals around the country that offer the option for families and individuals to send a Valentine’s Day card for free, using the options on their website. Choose one hospital, or do them all! The process is quick and easy, plus it allows the kids to customize the card they want to pass along with design and message options, all while spreading joy to others. (It is recommended to submit by 12/12, so there is time to print and distribute the cards.)
Choose from the following hospitals: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital (Chicago), Boston Children’s Hospital (Boston), Children’s Health (Dallas), Children’s Hospital Colorado (Denver), Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Los Angeles), Cincinnati Children’s (Cincinnati), Phoenix Children’s (Phoenix), or Texas Children’s Hospital (Houston).
I love these real-life Conversation Hearts that help ask questions we may not think to ask in the moment. They open lines of communication and help to strengthen bonds. These can be discussed over dinner or dessert and the answers can surprise you, with questions such as “things that make me feel love.. “I love my memory of..”, and “I love to make other people feel happy by..”
I’m completely biased as a former STEM teacher, but you can never go wrong adding fun science experiments to your day. These Fizzy Exploding Hearts combine art and science, to reveal a chemical reaction using supplies you probably already have around the house. Learn how to grow Heart- Shaped Crystals in your own home. This project does take a minimum of 24 hours for the crystals to grow, but the longer, the better. Just something to keep in mind, if you are planning to grow crystals. Take your leftover candy and make a hypothesis on how candy hearts dissolve in different solutions. Try out these Calming or Sensory Jars—all you need is light corn syrup, glitter, glue, and a jar.