For me, one of the fun parts of being a mom is establishing traditions with my kids. One of the traditions that I am carrying on from my childhood is celebrating all the small holidays. I even celebrated President's Day as a child, complete with a cherry pie and posters of George Washington displayed in the dining room.
I love Valentine's Day because it's a day where we get to show love for our loved ones. Here are a few Valentine's Day ideas that I have come up with that are simple, involve little prep work and will make kids feel extra special.
1. Make a cupid's beakfast
I have done this the last couple years and everyone has really enjoyed it. I always keep it simple, as waking up at 5 a.m. doesn't sound like a happy Valentine's Day to me. Some of my favorite quick and easy things I have done include:
Egg-in-a-hole (use a cookie cutter to cut a heart shape out of the middle of a piece of toast, and insert the egg) and a side of yogurt with crushed up, lightly sweetened raspberries swirled in.
Berry studded pancakes; extra credit for heart-shaped ones.
A pink or red smoothie. For a quick, pink, kid-friendly fruit and veggie smoothie, combine the following in a blender: 1 cup almond milk, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 2 carrots, 2 small mandarin oranges (like Cuties). Blend until smooth and sweeten with honey, if needed.
Simply grab a heart-shaped cookie cutter and use it to cut a heart out of toast and top it with jam.
My husband has given our daughter an inexpensive, colorful bouquet of flowers the last couple years, and she has absolutely adored it. She keeps them in a vase in her room until they are on their last leg. Another option is a small potted flower that could be kept inside while it's still cold and then planted outside when Spring decides to make its entrance. A small gesture could potentially be turned into a lesson in watering plants and gardening.
3. Write them a Letter
Spend a few minutes writing your kids a letter telling them how much you love them. It will probably mean more to them than you think.
4. Have a low-stress party
For toddlers and preschool-aged kids, I love picking out one simple craft, one simple treat and one simple game, and calling it a party. I did this for Halloween and didn't really even plan it until the day of, and guess what? It was a hit.
5. Spend quality time with them
Play their favorite game with them, color with them, read to them, play dress-up with them — it doesn't really matter the activity as long as you are present.
6. Be their secret admirer
A few days before Valentine's Day, hide little notes (lunch boxes are a good spot for this), put a treat or some dollar store toys under their pillow, make homemade coupons and just have fun with it. My daughter loves surprises, so she would get a kick out of this.
7. Serve with them
The best way to feel loved is to show kindness to others. Identify someone who needs to be cheered up, and with your kids, whip up some homemade valentines or a batch of decorated cookies (this recipe from Cooking Classy is my favorite). Not only will you brighten someone else's day, but you will have spent quality time with your kids and they will be able to feel the joy of serving others.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on simple savvy mom. It has been republished here with permission.