By Chelsea Madden FEB 2016
Family-focused activities for a great Valentine”s Day
Valentine’s Day is the day for couples. You know what I mean—every year we see proposals with champagne or the big stuffed bear bearing its heart on its sleeve. Of course, it’s a great thing to see couples enjoying each other’s love and affection, but what about familial love and friendship? How can families celebrate Valentine’s Day together, without all that lovey-dovey gooeyness? Truth be told, it can be a bit difficult explaining to kids the true message of Valentine’s Day, but we feel like spreading some extra love this year—below are eight ways your family can all get together and share some hugs, kisses, and kindness this Valentine’s Day and throughout the year!
Craft & Bake Stuff
Writing handmade thank you-notes, Valentines, or baking for others are great ways to get children into the spirit of Valentine’s Day. Susannah Allen, Early Childhood Director and Student Support Specialist at Tattnall Square Academy, says that the school“places its focus on spreading the love of Jesus as we celebrate Valentine”s Day.” In doing so, the traditional Valentine’s Day classroom party is amped up. To ensure every child is included, “teachers send the class list home and asks that students send a card for every child,” said Allen.
However, to ensure that the true message of love is displayed she said, “some classes make special cards and treats for local nursing homes, others make baked goods and cards for firefighters, and a few classes have had service projects which focus on showing love and care for the less fortunate through canned food or diaper drives.” Our students do this because, “Valentine’s is a good time to express love to others in this way,” asserts Allen.
Yet another Valentine’s Day tradition of couples is to exchange handwritten love letters—and it is always a romantic, warm expression of one’s feelings—but love letters aren’t just for romance! Have your family draw names from a hat, and write love letters to one another. Get each person to write a few things they love about the other, and on the 14th of February, swap the letters! This activity is uplifting, kind, and a unique way to bond with your family!
There is nothing quite like gathering up a bunch of blankets and pillows to snuggle with the kids over story time. Throughout the month of February, shake up the story time tradition, and make it a Valentine’s Day theme! Share special stories that include a strong message of love, family, and friendship. This will not only be a cozy time together—it will also be very meaningful and inspirational.
V Day Dinner
Have breakfast for dinner—heart-shaped pancakes and fresh strawberries are a yummy choice! Or invite your family in the kitchen to cook their favorite meal or snack to share with others!
We know you’re tired of seeing young couples skating away with each other, but maybe turn this couple’s activity into a family one instead—having the family out on the ice, while cracking a smile when Dad tries to show off his sick skate moves is worth the trip and it’s only $10 per person ($8 if you have your own skates)!
A date night usually consists of dinner and a movie, so why not pop in a family-friendly movie with dinner? Movies like Lady and the Tramp, Toy Story, Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, and Cinderella teach us to be kind and love others, regardless of our petty differences, through good times and bad—ultimately kindness and compassion should win the day.
Random Acts of Kindness
The Random Acts of Kindness campaigns typically begin in November to kick off the season of giving, but who says you can’t continue giving? From February 1–14, choose a kind act to do with your children each day such as buying take-out for the car behind you in the Drive-Thru, spending time at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, and donating non-perishable food, clothing, toys, or electronics. Donations might be gifted to the Macon Rescue Mission, Macon Food Bank, Salvation Army, Goodwill, local church. Fourteen days, or even one day, of giving goes a long way. It will also teach your children a valuable lesson about being kind. Hopefully they will be inspired to continue acts of charity throughout the year.
Valentine’s Day, as we’ve said, isn’t just for lovers. Instead, show your children that the day is about loving everyone. Have them show appreciation for their teachers, assistants, and other staff in their schools. Or perhaps your child knows of a peer who is typically grumpy—it’s important not to leave anyone out, even if he/she is hard to love. Doing so will show your kids that everyone is deserving of kindness.
This Valentine’s Day, don’t let all of the romantic-comedies and red rose petals obstruct your children’s view of the true love that a kind family offers. #