They probably won't cook an entire dinner, but they're still your favorite.
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:
1. 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!"
2. Have a hot chocolate date
Want to head outdoors but still want to feel safe? Go to your local coffee shop and enjoy a few cups of hot chocolate outside. You'll love the quiet time, and they'll enjoy digging for marshmallows.
3. 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.
4. Create a fun snack tradition
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.
5. Watch a movie
6. Plan a STEM-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.
7. Host a tiny tea party
Enjoy mommy and me time with tea, little sandwiches and sweets. If the weather is nice, enjoy it in your backyard. If not, turn your dining room into a fancy tea party.
8. 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.
9. Read Valentine's Day themed books
10. 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!
11. Tell your kids what you admire about them
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.
12. 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.)
13. 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.
14. Teach flower appreciation
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?
15. 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.
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.
17. 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.
18. 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 that are too adorable to resist.
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.
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!
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. Eat heart-shaped pizza
There's nothing better than sinking your teeth into this tasty Italian classic. Whether you're nine or 79 years old, pizza is a hit! If you're concerned about too much sodium, make your own and add lots of veggies.
24. 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.
25. Take a Valentine’s 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.
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