Before children, Valentine’s Day might have been a whole weekend filled with fancy dinner, candlelight, romance, and quiet times together. Once you have little ones in the picture, Valentine’s Day brings on a whole new meaning. Rather than reminiscing about your old Valentine’s traditions as a couple, embrace a new love-filled weekend with your multiple loves (and maybe squeak out some time together after the kids go to bed)!
This year, in addition to each other, we have two sweet, lively, girly Valentines to express our love and appreciation for. With two munchkins, I sometimes find that they don’t always get special one-on-one time. A lot of special things we used to do with only our first daughter on a daily basis are now combined (bath times, bedtimes, meals, playing, etc.) While this is a good thing most of the time and they truly love each other so much, we want them to each feel loved and special as an individual as well. So, this year, Daddy is going to take each daughter on a special Valentine’s date to highlight each one’s individual interests and ages. Ruthie is our oldest; she loves music and dancing and getting dressed up- they are going to go to a Daddy Daughter Dance together here. He plans to bring her flowers and “pick” her up for their date and enjoy special time together just the two of them. Our littlest daughter, Sophie, loves climbing and exploring so they are going to spend a couple hours at a local play gym!
For ideas for a date with your little, think about what makes them feel loved and special and their interests and go from there! Before my husband and I got married, we read the 5 Love Languages book which really helps you understand how to make the other feel loved. There is a version for children which would be a great way to find out the ways that your child likes to be shown love! It doesn’t have to be elaborate- a trip to the donut shop on Saturday morning or a long walk through a new park could be just as special. As long as you enjoy some quality time together, talk and discuss important topics to your child such as favorite colors, animals, and things to do, it will be a date to remember!
More “date” ideas for a Valentine’s Day with little ones:
- Go inside your child’s fast food place and bond over their favorite (and cheap!) meal!
- See a matinee movie that your child’s been pining to see, but get there early to chat and giggle with snacks before the lights go down! The new Lego Batman movie is sure to be a hit with a lot of kids this Valentine’s weekend.
- Go to the local ice cream shop for a few scoops together!
- Do your little girl’s nails and have a little “spa” time! Make it extra fun with a special magazine, smelly lotion, and your sweetie’s favorite color nail polish!
- Go fancy! Don’t be afraid to try a new, more upscale restaurant with the children! We went to a more formal restaurant last year for Valentine’s and were pleasantly surprised how well it went! We all enjoyed dressing up, going to a new place, and eating a special meal together.
Once you figure out how you’re going to celebrate, incorporate Valentine’s Day fun in to learning opportunities for multiple subjects:
Social Studies: Research the history of Valentine’s Day with your kids!
Language Arts: Rent Valentine’s fiction and/or non-fiction books at the library or attend a Valentine’s story time at the bookstore. The Barnes and Noble in Copperfield is hosting a Valentine’s book reading that would be perfect. More info here.
Math: Let your little ones measure the ingredients for baking cookies! Practice counting or graphing with Candy Hearts (then eat!)
Science: Check out some creative Valentine’s themed science experiments on YouTube like this Steve Spangler video and/or do one of your own!
Art: Skip the store-bought Valentines this year and create some one-of-a-kind artistic cards! We plan to dribble white and red paint on pink construction paper hearts, then fold in half to create new patterns, open, let dry and reveal our unique and artsy Valentines cards!
Theatre: Incorporate some Valentine’s themes into dress up playtime. Your child can pretend to be cupid or a mailman delivering Valentines!
Music: Learn a new Valentine’s themed song or dance to a Valentine’s CD!
Technology: Encourage your child to use the computer to create a Valentine’s card for a grandparent.
In the comments, let us know how you and your little love bugs will be spending Valentine’s Day this year!
By Mary West
About me: Mama, wife, daughter, sister, teacher/tutor. Feeling blessed to have 3 sweet Valentines to love on this year!