Valentine’s Day is a great time for parents to show their children how much they extra-specially “heart” their precious little ones to the moon and back.
It’s the fourteenth of February, and you’re looking for something wonderful to do to express your love for your son or daughter. For inspiration, here are 9 of the best ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your munchkin:
#1- Give your child a valentine that you’ve made yourself.
Create a letter or a card that says, “Be My Valentine” or “Happy Valentine’s Day!,” and decorate it with hearts. Jazz up your note with glitter.
For your little darling to understand the meaning of Valentine’s Day, tell him or her about the significance of the occasion.
Valentine’s Day marks the feast of Saint Valentine, a Christian martyr. Legend has it that Valentine was a priest who spread the teachings of his faith. Doing so was against the laws of the Roman Empire at the time. For this, he was arrested and tried, then sentenced to die.
While locked away and awaiting execution, Valentine performed a miracle by restoring the eyesight of his jailer’s blind daughter. Before being put to death, Valentine left the jailer’s daughter a message that was signed, “Your Valentine.”
This and more stories would lead the world to celebrating Saint Valentine’s feast day as the day of love, romance, and hearts.
#2- Sing your child a sweet song.
Why not croon to delight your tiny honeybunch on this red-letter day? It doesn’t matter if you think you croak; your son or daughter won’t judge you. They will even love you more for just trying!
A couple of sweet songs that resonate with children are “Happiness” (from the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown) and “You Are My Sunshine.” Their melodies are catchy, their words are simple to understand and remember, and their lines mean a lot.
#3- Take your child out for a Valentine’s Day stroll.
Weather permitting (and it should!), take your munchkin’s hand and go out to soak up the beauty of the surroundings. Have a quiet moment in the park or walk around the neighborhood, then talk about things that mean to the two of you.
If there’s a diner nearby, get your kid a snack to mark the occasion. It’s all right, though, if you can’t do this. It’s the bonding time that matters, after all.
#4- Teach your child to make valentines for others.
Showing your son or daughter how to express their love for others is an act of love in itself. It means you’re bent on raising an incredible, tender-hearted person.
Once you’ve given your valentine card, ask your child to help you make valentines for family and friends. This teaches your young sweetheart to appreciate relationships with people who are dear, such as grandparents and schoolmates.
On this day of hearts, you may also teach your child to perform good deeds or acts of kindness for others, including elderly neighbors and hungry strangers. Be an example and make him or her see that love encompasses affection, graciousness, gratitude, and respect.
#5- Give your child a yummy heart-shaped treat.
Most people gift their loved ones with chocolates on Valentine’s Day, and you may do that, too. But if this cacao-based confection isn’t an option, or you want something more special than the store-bought stuff, make an edible valentine for your honeybunch.
Some great ideas are heart-shaped cookies, cupcakes, pancakes, and jelly desserts garnished with strawberry hearts.
#6- Watch a kid-friendly romance movie with your child.
Although often associated with love stories between adults, Valentine’s Day is for everyone. So, it’s perfectly fine to celebrate the occasion by watching a kid-friendly romance movie that opens your munchkin’s eyes to love—with homemade red popcorn to boot.
A few recommendations: Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998), My Girl (1991), Sound of Music (1965), Lady and the Tramp (1955), and Hallmark movies. These films may or may not fall entirely in the romance genre but are all worth enjoying with your precious one.
#7- Read a sweet love story with your child.
Find a romantic read and tell your kid a story that shows the meaning of true love. It could be one of the world’s best-loved fairy tales, such as Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. Or it could be something different but equally fascinating.
One recommendation is an abridged and simplified version of The Secret Garden, the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Mainly set amid magical blooms and foliage, it’s about heartening and uplifting friendships among children and adults.
Another recommendation is that section in The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, a Jewish teenage girl. In this true account written in the early 1940s, the young lady writes about her crush, Peter van Pels, while their families are in hiding.
Apart from reading a sweet love story, find the time to talk to your son or daughter about taking care of their heart health. Show pictures or videos of how this vital organ works—and, for good measure, how emotions like excitement and nervousness can make the heart pound or, as the idiom goes, “skip a beat.”
#8- Give your child a booklet of “date coupons.”
How about showering your tiny sweetheart with Valentine’s Day treats all year round? To do this, gift your kid with a set of twelve (12) coupons or vouchers that can be redeemed monthly. Each voucher sets a special day for the two of you, indoors or outdoors, doing an activity together or just hanging out.
Activities can be going out for ice cream, making arts and crafts, or doing what your son or daughter recommends. The point is to enjoy quality time together and have loads of fun all year round!
#9- Hug and kiss your child “I love you!”
Before tucking your kid in at night—and calling Valentine’s Day, well, a day—embrace him or her real tight. Say “I love you!” and make your little darling feel the real meaning and power of these words.
As for you, loving parent, may Valentine’s Day be as special for you as it is for your dear child!