by Sarah Lyons
Valentine’s Day is traditionally a time for couples to express their love for one another, but it is also a great chance to show your children how much you love them too. While children typically exchange cards and small gifts on Valentine’s Day, this year try starting some fun new traditions for your family.
Just once a year it can’t hurt to have your sweets before your meal. Offer cake or ice cream first and let the kids enjoy their dessert without having to eat their veggies first.
Make it heart-shaped
After your dessert-first dinner, serve up some fun Valentine’s Day themed meals. Heart-shaped pancakes or heart-shaped pizza are both fun and easy. Get the kids involved in the kitchen and you will have more time to make special memories of your Valentine’s Day dinner.
Go on a “date”
Many people go on a date with their significant other to celebrate Valentine’s Day but consider taking your child on a “date” to a place of their choice. If you have more than one child, each parent can pair off or take turns so all kids get to participate. Spending quality time together is a great way to show your kids you care and get the conversation flowing.
If going out isn’t for your family, set aside time to cuddle up on the couch with those you love. Make popcorn, put on some comfortable pajamas, rent some movies, and spend some time together relaxing and cuddling in the comfort of your living room. To make it extra special for Valentine’s Day, add red sprinkles to the popcorn and choose movies that have a love theme.
Bake and share
Bake some Valentine’s Day themed cookies to share with someone you love. While you are at it, double the batch and share them with someone who may be spending Valentine’s Day alone this year. Cookies are a great way to show others you care and bring some cheer.
Hide the hearts
Hide paper hearts around the house and have the kids go on a search for them. Whoever finds the most wins a prize such as a small toy or a book. You might want to have prizes on hand so that everyone gets a turn being the winner. You can enlist the winners to be their siblings’ assistants as a way of demonstrating their love for each other too.
Declare your love
The simplest way to show others you care is to tell them. Have each family member state one reason why they love the others. You can also write these on scraps of paper and read them as a group. Tuck them away in a special envelope and pull them out year after year to reread them.