During the past year, the Covid pandemic has really put a damper on the way that individuals celebrate holidays. Activities like eating meals in restaurants with loved ones, attending parties with friends and so on have been discouraged in order to slow the rate of transmission of the contagious virus. But, that doesn’t mean that celebrations have to be avoided; they may just look a little different for the time being.
Now that Valentine’s Day is two weeks away, you may be asking yourself, “How can I make Valentine’s Day special this year for my children?” If you’ve wondered this, keep reading. Hopefully, you’ll find below at least one idea that will help make the day fun and memorable for them and for yourself even if you have to come up with some new ways to celebrate the holiday this year. FYI, if you make a purchase using a link, I will earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you that will help me continue to share content like this on my blog.
Make A Valentine’s Day Basket Filled With Treats Or Snacks
If you’re making a basket for school-aged children, include kid-friendly snacks such as organic granola bars, fair trade chocolate, crackers, applesauce pouches, and juice boxes alongside Valentine’s Day stickers, materials for a craft project, or a small puzzle, stuffed animal or toy car. Putting together a gift for a teen? Swap out the small toys and craft materials with a couple of pairs of warm, colorful socks or a gift card to their favorite coffee shop and exchange the juice boxes for small bottles of sparkling apple juice. By the way, you’ll find some of my family’s favorite treats or snacks in the cover photo for this blog post and in the one I included below.
Not sure where to pick up all of the necessary supplies for assembling and presenting a gift basket? When I make them, I visit my local dollar-, discount- or craft stores to buy everything I need, including the basket, colorful filler, basket wrap, and an attractive bow for each basket that will be made. You could also purchase basket supplies from Amazon and have them delivered to your home if that would be easier for you.
Host A Family Valentine’s Day Party For Your Children
If your child or children will miss out on having a Valentine’s Day party at their school or homeschooling co-op this year, surprise them by throwing one at home for your family. For starters, buy an assortment of decorations at a local hobby, craft, or discount store. A few options include a special tablecloth and confetti for your dining room table, balloons, window or mirror clings, table centerpieces, garland for doorways, and a wreath for your front door that could be set out or put up after your children go to bed the night before Valentine’s Day. If you don’t have the time or the desire to shop at a brick-and-mortar store for your decorations, click here to see some of the ones that are sold on Amazon.
You’ll also need to secretly purchase and stash away your children’s favorite snacks and treats. If you’re looking for some new ones, consider picking up a few of the snacks shown in the above photos. Remember to also plan out a few crafts or activities and games that everyone in the family could do together.
Give The Gift Of Dinner To Grandparents
If your children are used to celebrating Valentine’s Day with their grandparents, they might enjoy being able to surprise them with a special lunch or dinner that day. Your children will have the pleasure of knowing they helped their grandparents have a special holiday and their grandparents won’t have to cook as much that day. You could give a traditional gift card from a popular, independently-owned neighborhood restaurant near them or purchase an electronic card that will enable them to either pick up or have food delivered from a restaurant chain in their area.
For example, Darden Restaurants’ cards can be purchased at some grocery stores and can be redeemed at several different restaurant chains in the United States, including Yard House, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille, among others. If you’d rather not limit them to a particular restaurant chain, you could send them preloaded Visa or Master Card gift card that they can use at any establishment or see if their favorite food delivery company offers gift cards.
Serve A Heart-Themed Meal
If your children think they are too old for an actual party, but would still appreciate the idea of seeing little reminders of the holiday throughout the day, consider incorporating heart-shaped foods into one of their meals on Valentine’s Day. In the morning, you could use a heart-shaped waffle maker to make waffles or use Zytin heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut French Toast or regular toast into heart shapes. At lunch time, the same cookie cutters could be used to cut their favorite sandwiches, as well as slices of different types of melon, into heart shapes.
Looking for creative ideas for your Valentine’s Day dinner? Consider adding heart-shaped cultural foods such as ravioli, dumplings or pierogis made with a dumpling maker to your menu. You could also make a pizza with a heart-shaped springform pan or a quiche using a heart-shaped quiche pan. If, however, you’re more inclined to save the heart-shaped fun food for dessert, check out the next suggestion.
Bake A Heart-Shaped Dessert
Many people believe the best Valentine’s Day treats are shaped like hearts or have hearts on them…and they’re probably right. There’s something about that shape that makes desserts that are usually round or square seem extra special. If you like baking desserts more than cooking, perhaps this idea would be more enjoyable for you.
Are homemade cookies a go-to treat for your children? Does your spouse like to eat pie? Are you a fan of different types of cake? In my household, the answer to all of those questions would be “Yes!” That’s why I was intrigued to find so many tools online that allow families to make their own special Valentine’s Day desserts. So, look on Amazon to find heart-shaped cookie cutters, tart and pie pans, as well as pie top cutters with heart-shaped openings if you’re planning to make a special dessert for that day.
Host A Virtual Party With Relatives or Friends
The first step in hosting a virtual party is determining who will be invited to it and how long you want it to be. If you have multiple children, this will require some intentional planning and scheduling. For example, with younger children you might want to restrict the guest list to one other family with kids the same age and have it around lunch time. If you have a few older children, each of whom could navigate a virtual party on their own, you could spread them out in the afternoon and evening in two-hour time slots so that everyone will be able to see their friends for a short while. Once you’ve decided who’ll be included in the virtual event, figure out which platform will be best for everyone involved. Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Video Chat and FaceTime are among the many platforms you could use.
Next, it’s time to determine the activities that will take place during the virtual Valentine’s Day party. Younger children might want to make a craft. You could purchase a kit that contains multiple sets of supplies–such as these colorful ornament or mobile kits–and then drop off or deliver some of them to your party attendees. Older children might prefer to cook with their friends and aim at creating something yummy (e.g., pizza, cookies, etc.) at the same pace as their guests. Either way, just encourage them to have fun. When the event comes to an end, your children will likely remember more about the funny or interesting things they talked about than how they spent every single moment of their time together.
Valentine’s Day may look a little different this year than it has in previous ones. However, with a little planning and creativity, your children–and the people they care about the most–could end up having the best Valentine’s Day they’ve had in a long time.