Before I met my husband, I rarely celebrated anything other than Christmas and Easter. Birthdays were low-key cake & ice cream. And Valentine’s Day was not even on the radar, except in my coming-of-age knight-in-shining-armor daydreams. Ted is the best husband and Daddy to Ellie that I could ever ask for. He goes all out for both of us with candy and flowers and balloons. Valentine’s Day now is one of the holidays I most look forward to because it gives us one big day to be corny and go overboard in expressing to each other how much we love. It’s important for families to show their love for one another. So, what better time than Valentine’s Day to do it? Big displays of affection are not required. You can keep it simple. Just play some games or engage in other fun activities, all created to show each other love and affection. Here are some ideas you should try.
Biggest Hit High-5
Over the course of the year, Mom and Dad – even the kids – can fill a High-Five Jar with accolades and shoutouts to anyone in the family who might need a kind word or two. Buy a large glass container or recycle any favorite jar you might have around the house. Then, designate a day of the week to celebrate family biggest hits of the week. Be sure to write these down and add them as the special notes to the jar. These notes could say things like “Daddy helped me build my pinewood derby cars and truck” or “Joey read books to his sister every night this week, just because”.
What I Like About You
At dinner time on Valentine’s night, have each member of the family tell others why they love them. It may be awkward at first. Try it anyway. Every person will appreciate hearing a special something about themselves.
What about Daddy made Mommy fall in love with him?
Why does Joey enjoy spending time with Sissy?
What about Sissy is special to Daddy?
Another thing that makes for great fun on family game night is trivia. This is especially good if the kids are a little bit older and you have more than one to entertain. You can create this game in little or no time. All you need are some index cards, a marker and a few little known facts to write down as questions on each card. Get creative with it. Questions can be funny as well as factual. When you’re ready to play, let the youngest person go first. Have them draw a card, read the question aloud and then attempt to answer the question appropriately. Correct answers earn points. The person with the most points at the end of the trivia game wins a prize – like more chocolate syrup on their dessert! Some questions on the index cards may be like this:
* Which one of us suffered a broken leg at the age of 8?
* Which of us, at the age of 3, flushed a whole box of soap down the toilet?
* Which of us snuck into mom and dad’s bed every night up until they was 6 years of ages?
At a particular age, children start to enjoy in preparing dishes for Mom & Dad. For this year, ask the kids to pitch in with meal prep or have them bake a favorite treat.
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Or how about this…consider a scavenger hunt game of “concealed hearts”. In this game, youngsters are given clues to find chocolate hearts concealed around the house. The clues can be easy or much more difficult to identify depending on the ages of the youngsters. If one or more kids are really young, you can help them. When they find the hearts, they can eat them. Bear in mind where you hid the chocolate hearts and make sure to count the number that are found, so there aren’t any unwanted bug surprises later found in the house!
Ultimately, I saved the best for last. What is any holiday and especially Valentine’s day without this: make cards for each other. Have the kids make handprint cards for the grandparents or have the children make cards for their pals. Hand-crafted cards can be so much more meaningful than the store-bought kind. The act of creating your own brand of loving kindness will have your children find out a lot from the experience of putting their hearts (essentially) into making the card for others.