With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, parents may be wondering how to celebrate with their kids this year.
A day full of love can mean giving your son or daughter a special hug or making a card to send to friends and family.
Laura Lynn Knight, author of the book Breaking Free from Reactive Parenting, says that Valentine’s Day is about telling people close to you and in your community what you appreciate and love. He tells TODAY.com that it is an opportunity to convey
“There’s an interesting history as to why we celebrate Valentine’s Day, but most people have come to perceive the day as an opportunity to express their love and affection for their loved ones,” Knight says.
Traditionally, many people recognize Valentine’s Day with roses, candies, and the famous Valentine’s Day card.
“However, in recent years, showing love should be done out of desire rather than on a designated date, and the financial burden that Valentine’s Day can cause has led some to move away from traditional Valentine’s gifts. It seems to be increasing, says Knight.
Knight says that no matter how much history we know about why Valentine’s Day was born, the underlying message we can get from this day is one of the most important.
“Valentine’s Day is also a great time to practice gratitude in a fun and festive way,” says Knight.
Using his own family as an example, Knight encourages parents to “use the excitement and buzz” surrounding Valentine’s Day to practice kindness and gratitude.
“This may seem like reading the same picture book year after year that emphasizes kindness — Eileen Spinelli’s ‘Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hutch’ is a timeless favorite — and Write thank you notes to our family and neighbors. And school,” she says.
Knight offers two easy Valentine’s Day activities for kids.
thank you box
“One of my favorite ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day is with a thank you box,” Knight says. “This is a fun and affordable Valentine’s Day gift, but it’s also very meaningful.”
To make a thank you box, have your child decorate a shoebox or small cardboard box. Write a thank you letter in the box for the person to whom you are giving the box.
“This is a great way to teach your child gratitude and give someone a gift they can cherish for years to come,” says Knight.
“This is a project I cherish making with my kids every year, and it’s perfect for school-age kids who want to bring Valentines to school,” Knight tells TODAY.com.
To make DIY crayons, collect old or broken crayons around the house, unwrap them and crush them into a large bowl.
When all the crayon pieces are ready, use a heart shape to put the pieces in. Place the mold on a baking sheet and cook at 275 degrees until all the crayons have melted.
“When you take the mold out of the oven and let the crayons cool, you have a hearty handmade Valentine’s gift,” says Knight.
20 Valentine’s Day games and family-friendly activities for kids
Whether it’s a family night of playing tic-tac-toe or a cookie decorating contest, this year we have 20 Valentine’s Day games for kids and activities for families to enjoy together.
- Make a thank you box.
- Make homemade crayons.
- Ring toss using a red plastic cup.
- Valentine’s Day Tic-tac-toe.
- family scavenger hunt.
- A neighborhood Valentine’s Day pinata.
- Cookie decorating contest.
- Valentine’s day word search.
- Play “I Spy” using only pink, red and white.
- Decorate your card.
- Make a heart-shaped pizza.
- Pin the arrow to the heart.
- Make sentences using Conversation Heart Candy.
- Let’s see who can decorate the Valentine’s card the fastest.
- Valentine’s day coloring book.
- Valentine’s day bingo.
- Blindly identify types of chocolate: Hershey Kiss, Dove, etc.
- Play Valentine’s Day themed “Outburst” with DIY topics.
- Make a DIY hopscotch game using cut out hearts.
- Make candy bags and deliver them to your neighbors. Don’t get caught and let’s make it a game!