Valentine’s Day means something different to everyone. For some it is a time to be romantic with their significant other while others see Valentine’s Day as a time to celebrate being single with their friends. However one identifies with Valentine’s Day, it is always nice to think outside of the box when it comes to this holiday. Choosing to celebrate the theme of love with children, for example, is a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a different way than it may have been celebrated before, and the five ideas below can help get the creative juices flowing.
For school-aged children, valentines are often an essential part of the school days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Rather than buying a box of pre-made cards, purchase some fun construction papers, stickers, markers, and the like to create your own Valentine masterpieces to hand out at school. It may take a little extra time, but the time spent creating handmade cards together will be well worth the missed laundry time. If the youngsters haven’t started school yet, create Valentine’s for neighbors and family members. Spreading love through handmade creations is always sweet and special, and whoever receives this extra special Valentine will surely be appreciative of the time and care put into it.
Another way to share the love by creating and gifting is to get in the kitchen. Find an old family recipe or buy a boxed mix at the store and get to it. Kids are the ultimate helpers at making messes, and the kitchen is one of the best places to roll up the sleeves and get dirty. Baked goods are always delicious and appreciated by those who receive the sweet creations. Choose to decorate your sweet of choice with hearts, reds, pinks, and other lovey dovey colors and accessories to match the time of year. And, if feeling extra adventurous, combine the homemade Valentine from the previous suggestion with homemade sweet treats and really knock your sweetheart’s socks off.
Though Valentine’s Day is a day set aside to celebrate love, our loved ones should feel special all year long. Choose Valentine’s Day as a time to create a family love mailbox. Utilize something that may already be around the house. An old cereal box, shoe box, unused basket, etc. as the base for your project. Use fun colored paper, stickers, ribbons or whatever you and your family deem as beautiful and unique to decorate your love box and choose a location for the box. Throughout the year, take opportunities to share little love notes with and to the family by placing them in the love mailbox. Each week dub a different family member to be in charge of checking the love mailbox and reading its contents to the rest of the family. It is true that Valentine’s Day is set aside to celebrate love, but our families will be happier knowing the different things they do that make one another feel loved and appreciated. The messages in the love mailbox can be as simple as a thank you for doing the dishes or as robust as a paragraph declaring all of the attributes the kids possess that make mom and dad proud. Share the love with your family all year long.
Since Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, it is important to communicate love in the language our loved ones receive it. In a popular book by Gary Chapman about love languages, there are five different ways that people speak love. There is a quiz that can be accessed http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ to determine what your love language is. Have the whole family participate in the quiz, then put everyone’s name into a hat and have everyone draw a name. Make it a challenge among the family to see who does the best job of speaking their drawn person’s love language. The winner gets to choose the family Valentine’s night dinner or activity. The best part of the competition is not winning the prize but being able to better show love toward family members by speaking the language that means the most to them.
The final suggestion to help get your Valentine’s Day creativity flowing is to get artsy. Some people choose to go to the movies or a show on Valentine’s Day, but kids are entertainment on a daily basis themselves. Find or write a little script and put on a family play where the kids entertain the parents. Have the kids create tickets to their one-night-only show and create backdrops using bed sheets or fun colored construction papers. The production could consist of songs, dance, lines, or whatever the kids feel most comfortable learning and performing for you. Make it special by buying or making bouquets of flowers to hand out after the performance.
No matter what your family decides to do to celebrate Valentine’s Day, choose to think outside of the box this year and challenge your creativity. Handmade and homemade treats and goodies will mean the world to the lucky people who receive them, and the time spent together creating will create memories that last even longer than this one day of the year.