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One of the many things I have learned as an elementary teacher is that traditions mean something to kids. They love to come in and tell me about what they are doing at home related to different holidays. Kids love when Valentine’s Day is coming up because of the valentines they get to give each other. They love traditions in general. For instance, they look forward to the 100th day of school for the unique things that happen or to St. Patrick’s Day to see what kinds of stunts the leprechauns will pull at school and home. Kids live for traditions! So why not give them more and build memories?
Here are six ideas for traditions you can start doing with your family.
1. Cook a Red Meal and Serve a Red Dessert
It doesn’t have to be something fancy. It can be something as simple as spaghetti and sauce with red velvet cupcakes. The point is to make it a tradition and do it each year. By time they get older they will look forward to the special family dinner consisting of red items. Another way to approach the Valentine’s meal is to do a heart theme instead. Here are some food ideas to inspire you as you design your Valentine’s menu:
- Red Jello
- Pasta and Red Sauce
- Pizza with red toppings or heart shaped pepperoni
- Frozen Yogurt Raspberries
- Strawberry smoothie
- Strawberry Ice Cream
- Here is a List of 50 Adorable Valentines Themed Foods with Recipes
- Red Baby Food Ideas: Why should they miss out on all the fun?
- Red Waffles or Pancakes
- We adore breakfast for dinner in my house. Mmmm!
- Ideas for a Valentine’s Lunch to Send to School
Are you feeling inspired yet? The meal could be as simple or complex as you want to make it. Valentine’s is on a weeknight this year so simplicity will probably be key in my house but the tradition of theming the food on the holiday is fun no matter how complicated the meal is.
2. Pick a Random Person to Bring Flowers 🌸 To
Valentine’s isn’t just about celebrating romantic relationships. Valentine’s Day is about spending time with those that we love. Why not grab an inexpensive bouquet of flowers and pick someone random to give them to. It will brighten their day and show your children the value of giving and bringing joy to others.
3. Make Some Crafts
This doesn’t have to happen on Valentine’s Day but why not create some fun pink and red crafts. I love all the heart themed ideas. Check out these great ideas:
- Cardboard Heart Stamps These are adorable stamps are made out of paper towel rolls. You could use these fun stampers on Valentine’s cards or anywhere you feel like spreading some extra love.
- Pom Pom Painting This activity is perfect for painting with little ones. It is also a great way to work on fine motor skills with your kiddo.
- Thumbprint and Fingerprint Heart Crafts You will find so many different ideas of things to do with those little fingerprints from all different bloggers. I just love capturing how tiny my little ones hands are since, as we all know, they will be big fast.
- Fingerprint LOVE Canvas I love this idea to create a beautiful canvas to hang on your wall made out of your little ones finger prints. It looks so easy to do for different ages while creating a beautiful piece of art that you will want to display.
- Slime I mean what kiddo doesn’t love slime?
- Heart Puppets I just love making puppets. They are fun to craft and great tools for story time. Why not make a heart puppet and then use it to retell a story you read together?
- I Love You Hands These are so simple to make and don’t require many supplies. All you need are some markers (or other coloring tool) and some paper.
- Coffee Filter Hearts This is such a fun way to see what happens when colors mix. It is also friendly for many different ages and works on many areas of development.
4. Pop the Balloon Scavenger Hunt
This is a fun one. Buy some red, pink or white balloons. Then put a paper clue inside each balloon for where a Valentine’s surprise is hidden in the house. Before your child wakes up put the balloons in their room. The surprise could be a box of chocolates, a stuffed animal, a new book or a card. Another idea, if you don’t want to pop the balloons, is to write the clue on the balloon or tie a clue to the balloon string. A different twist to the balloon scavenger hunt is to spread the balloons throughout the house with clues so they have to gather the balloons in order to find their Valentine’s Day Treat. I personally don’t like the sound of popping balloons, so spreading balloons throughout the house is more appealing to me.
5. Read a Book for Valentine’s Day
In my house we like to read books right before bed time. Although there are many books for Valentine’s Day the book you choose doesn’t have to be about Valentines it could also have a theme related to Valentines day such as being kind to others, love, or random acts of kindness. Here are some great book suggestions:
- Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Love
- Happy Valentine’s Day Mouse
- Groggle’s Monster Valentine
- I’ll Always Love You
- The Wonderful Things You Will Be
- One Love
6. Science Time
In my experience, kids love STEM challenges. They are awesome because kids usually don’t even realize they are learning. STEM is appropriate for all different ages. It can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. My favorite ideas for STEM activities are usually open ended. I love to present my students with various supplies and then see what they come up with. Here are some awesome STEM ideas all focused on a Valentine’s Day theme:
This is a great science activity that doesn’t use many materials. You can also add an element of math to it by counting or graphing how many candy hearts the boats hold.
What kid doesn’t love making potions? This is a fun intro into chemistry for little ones.
All you need for this fun activity is Marshmallows and toothpicks. The possibility for building is endless and sure to keep your kids entertained for a while.
Here is a fun one to explore computer programming without actually having your kids on a screen.
Are you feeling inspired yet? Whatever you decide to do for Valentine’s Day, the point is to make memories. I hope you and your family have a wonderful time celebrating the holiday of love.