Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples – families can join in the fun, too! For parents, celebrating Valentine’s Day can be an opportunity to teach kids the meaning and importance of love by involving them in the occasion’s traditions. If you’re looking for ways to share the day with your children that don’t include lots of candy and presents, take a note from how these two moms include their kids in Valentine’s Day activities.
1. Valentine Crafts
Charmaine, a mother of 6-year-old twin girls and a busy real estate developer, says she explained the meaning of Valentine’s Day to her daughters as soon as they were old enough to understand. “They know the day is about love and showing people that you care about them,” she says. To help encourage that message, they craft handmade Valentine's Day cards to give to classmates and loved ones.
First, Charmaine gathers all sorts of art supplies, including ribbons, heart-shaped doilies and pretty papers. Then she and the girls spend hours carefully crafting them for every kid in their classroom. Finally, they put the cards in little bags with pieces of candy. Once they’ve finished their project, they spend a few moments cleaning up: They wipe down the table with a few dampened Bounty paper towels, and clean the floor with a Swiffer Sweeper.
On Valentine’s Day Charmaine accompanies the girls to school and helps place the bags in each kid’s cubby. “The message is in the doing and the giving,” she says. “My gift to them is helping them.”
2. Feel-Good Dinners
“Our family isn’t big on gift-giving for Valentine’s Day,” Charmaine explains. She and her husband, Kurt, would rather put the emphasis on the day’s message and acts of love. This tradition occurs around the dinner table. “We go around and tell each other how much we love each other,” she says. After a day of receiving Valentine’s Day treats and sweets from classmates, this tradition helps prolong the warm feelings.
3. Love Notes
Shirin, a nurse and a mother of two children, has strong feelings about the commercialization of Valentine’s Day: “I don’t like it at all!” she says. Instead of buying presents or giving store-bought greeting cards to her kids, she writes them handwritten notes. “I don’t want a card company telling me what to feel,” she explains.
She takes a few minutes to write them personal messages and places them by their beds to find when they wake up. Or she puts the note in their school lunches. The notes are simple but heartfelt: “I write about how they make me happy and how much I love them,” she says.
How do you share Valentine’s traditions with your kids? Share your tips in the comments below!