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25 sweet ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids

They probably won't cover the tab at dinner, but they're still your favorite.

25 ways to celebrate Valentine’s day

For so long, Valentine's Day has been about celebrating your romantic and friend relationships. But now that you're a mama, there are so many fun new ways to celebrate the cutest Valentine of all—your kiddo! They probably won't cover the tab at dinner, but they may give you a crumpled up dandelion and two pennies as a present (which is still pretty great) .

We rounded up 25 ways to make this your best Valentine's Day yet:

Give fun + inexpensive gifts

Give fun + inexpensive gifts

Mama Katie Ketterick told us, "We try and make Valentines a fun day to show our littles how much they are loved! Nothing big and extravagant but they all have a large felt envelope from the Target dollar aisle! They make each other cards, and a card from Mom and Dad go in each one as well. We get them a little something fun like a new hair accessory, or a new pad of paper and crayons and Dad and brother give the girls tulips!"

Have a hot chocolate date

Want to head outdoors but still want to feel cozy and warm? Go to your local coffee shop and enjoy a few cups of hot chocolate. You'll love the quiet time, and they'll enjoy digging for marshmallows.

String sweet decorations

Stringing decorations is a quick way to acknowledge the holiday without having to decorate your entire home. Choose a small area and let your little one string hearts at their level for easy participation.

Create a fun snack tradition

Create a fun snack tradition

Gimme Some Oven

What's lovelier than white chocolate and sprinkles? Valentine's popcorn is a quick and inexpensive snack to create together. Be sure to add conversation hearts for additional pops of color. Get the full recipe at Gimme Some Oven.

Watch a movie

watch a movie

Every now and then it's okay to grab a snack, blanket, and cuddle next to your little one with a good movie. A Charlie Brown Valentine or Lady and the Tramp are perfect choices!

Plan a STEM-themed activity

Plan a STEAM-themed activity

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) toys are a huge trend right now, but you don't have to spend money to introduce the concept to your toddler. Start at home by working on science projects and keep them engaged.

Host a tiny tea party

Host a tiny tea party

Enjoy mommy and me time with tea, little sandwiches and sweets. If the weather is nice, enjoy it outside. If not, turn your dinning room into a fancy tea party.

Make heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast

Add some fun to your child's favorite breakfast by creating fun shaped pancakes and waffles. You can even sneak some healthy food into them by adding strawberries, blueberries and bananas.

Read Valentine's Day themed books

Read Valentine's Day themed books

Use this holiday to spend time reading to each other. Introduce new ones or stick with your favorites. We love Llama Llama I Love You and Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse!

Take lots of photos

Take lots of photos

Every mama wants to take stunning, print-worthy pictures, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way—the lighting isn't quite right, the lens is out of focus and sometimes, your toddler just isn't in the mood. Whatever your situation is, just take the picture, mama!

Tell your kids what you admire about them

Tell your kids what you admire

Coffee Cups and Crayons

If it's hard for you to verbalize your feelings, try leaving morning love notes for your kids on their doors. Saying things like, "You never give up," and "you are brave!" can have a big impact on a child.

Dress them in hearts

Dress them in hearts

Okay, fine. Dressing them in hearts sounds slightly corny, but you have to admit that it's so cute! If you're extra crafty, check out this pattern for a heart themed hat. We're also obsessed with a hearts leotard from Leotudes that allows you to choose a dress with pockets, or a Tutude (leotard with attached tutu.)

Have a silly dance party

Have a silly dance party

Being a mama is hard. Some days we barely survive and other days it's a celebration. Enjoy the fun moments and have a dance party with your children. Just turn on their favorite tunes and dance until they pass out.

Teach flower appreciation

whole trade guarantee roses

There's a thought that kids destroy flowers and can't appreciate their beauty. This might be true, but why not use Valentine's Day as a teachable moment?

Need ideas on where to get roses? Whole Foods Market and Amazon are bringing back a special discount for Prime members on sustainably sourced roses from Feb. 7-14. Prime members can purchase two dozen roses for $19.99.

Under the Whole Trade Guarantee program, Whole Foods Market ensures growers adhere to criteria that support ethical trade, fair working conditions and the environment. How's that for a lesson on appreciating flowers?

Make homemade Valentines cards

Make homemade Valentines cards

Sure it's nice to buy cards for loved ones, but it's even more unique to make them. Teach kids the value of homemade gifts by assisting them with the process.

Play!

Play!

It's more than likely too cold to play outdoors for an extended time, but that doesn't mean you can't play inside. We love this adorable DIY Valentine's Day ring toss from Little Family Fun.

Anything involving donuts

There's only one way to make this holiday even sweeter, and that's by indulging in donuts. Buy a few or make your own and decorate with red and pink sprinkles.

Wear Mommy + me outfits

Admit it—you're that mama who likes to be matchy matchy with their kid. It's totally fine. We get it mama. Celebrate each other with matching pinks and reds are too adorable to resist.

Volunteer

Volunteer

What better way to teach your child about love and compassion than offering to help someone in need? Try spending quality time at nursing homes, food pantries and homeless shelters.

Snuggle

snuggle

Because at the end of the day, YOU are your child's favorite Valentine. And we have a big hunch that the feeling is mutual. Enjoy every bit of it mama!

Eat red snacks

Eat red snacks

If your little one struggles with eating healthy snacks, offer them red ones during the holiday. Try things like strawberries, apples, cherries, red peppers and watermelon that are both delicious and nutritious.

Take a colored bath

Take a colored bath

Make bath time exciting with pink-colored bubbles. We love the non-toxic Crayola Color Bath Dropz because you can combine colored tablets to create cool, new secondary colors when you're over red and pink.

Eat heart-shaped pizza

Eat heart-shaped pizza

There's nothing better than sinking your teeth into this tasty Italian classic. Whether you're nine or seventy-nine, pizza is a hit! If you're concerned about too much sodium, make your own and add lots of veggies.

Share your appreciation at dinner

Share your appreciation at dinner

Thanksgiving doesn't have to be the only time you share what your thankful for. Use this holiday to tell your family how much you love them. Start by going around the dinner table and allowing each person to share what they love about each family member.

Take a Valentine’s Day walk

Take a Valentine\u2019s Day walk

Walks are a great way to exercise while spending time with your little one. Go for a Valentine's Day walk and locate heart-shaped objects. Who ever finds the most can win a special prize.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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