No magazine-worthy crafts here; just practical cheap & easy ways to make Valentine’s Day special for kids.
We’ve all seen those elaborate Pinterest-worthy holiday crafts, right? If I’m telling the truth, I envy those moms who have the time, money, and ability to put those crafts together; I know how special holidays must be for their kids.
Maybe, like me, you’re not one of those moms. Fear not. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to pull off the things included here. I’ve compiled a list of cheap & easy ways to make Valentine’s Day special for kids.
Cheap & Easy Ways to Make Valentine’s Day Special for Kids
Dye Their Breakfast
This is one of my fondest memories from childhood. There wasn’t a lot of money in my house growing up, but that didn’t stop my mom from making holidays special for us. One of the simplest things she did that was so fun was add food coloring to our pancakes and milk for breakfast. She’d use red dye on Valentine’s Day and green dye on St. Patrick’s Day (my little brother’s birthday).
If you don’t usually make a full breakfast in the morning, this would be a great year to do that because Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday. You could easily make a weekday holiday special by coloring milk for breakfast cereal or dying oatmeal.
Obviously, you could adapt this idea to fit any meal or snack of the day, but I love the idea of starting their morning with something so fun.
Buy a Special Book
Our kids, especially our five-year old, love to read. Buying a Valentine’s Day book is the perfect way to celebrate the day as a family while adding to your book collection. G is obsessed with The Berenstain Bear’s right now, so this book is on my wishlist.
A few other options that include characters from classics: Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day is Cool, and Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! (with the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie mouse).
My favorite thing about this idea is that the book can be read for years to come.
Create a Theme for Lunch
If your kids are school-age and take their own lunches, it wouldn’t take too much extra effort to create a Valentine’s Day themed lunch. You could cut everything into a heart shape, or just stick with a red and pink theme: strawberry jelly on the sandwich, Babybel cheese, cherry or grape tomatoes. Take the whole thing over the top with a themed paper napkin.
Make a Playlist
Making a playlist of your- and your children’s- favorite love-related songs is the perfect low-key way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. You don’t have to break out the glue sticks and construction paper for this, and it’ll likely be completely free if you have Amazon Prime. To keep your kids interested, make sure the playlist is a good combination of your favorite “old” songs and your kids’ trendy new picks.
My V-Day playlist would include Love Story by Taylor Swift, I Just Called to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder, Don’t Let Go by En Vogue, I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner, What’s Love Got to Do With It by Tina Turner, Crazy in Love by Beyonce featuring Jay-Z, Love Will Keep Us Together by Captain and Tennille, Best of My Love by The Emotions, Let Me Love You by Mario, I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston, and We Found Love by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris.
Decorate the House Together
If you want to make the day special for your children, why not include them in the decorating process? There are plenty of simple crafts out there for kids of all ages. Not only do you get to spend time together, but you end up with fun decor for everyone to enjoy.
Some of the best suggestions I’ve found for preschoolers include these heart suncatchers or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, something that involves paint. For elementary age kids, this heart paper chain is adorable. If your children are even older, they might enjoy making heart mobiles to hang throughout the house.
Plan and Prepare a Meal Together
This suggestions makes the big assumption that you aren’t planning a date night for the big day. Even if Valentine’s Day is something you enjoy celebrating with your significant other, consider taking the actual day to be with your family and, instead, go out on a night that isn’t the biggest date night of the year.
So, assuming you’ll be spending the night in, how fun would it be to make an over-the-top themed meal with your kids? It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, it just has to scream “Valentine’s Day!”
The obvious route is to cut everything in the shape of a heart. This could include: quesadillas or sandwiches; garlic bread; breakfast food like pancakes and waffles. You could also go with a color theme: any variety of pasta with red sauce; red or pink fruit smoothies; fruit salad with watermelon, berries, and red apples. Of course, for dessert you can go with heart-shaped cookies or brownies.
Check out this post for more Valentine’s Day dinner ideas that range from simple to difficult.
What are your cheap & easy ways to make Valentine’s Day special for your kids?
You might also like: 5 frugal ways to show love on Valentine’s Day
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