Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day for Kids

Many of us have started feeling jaded about Valentine's Day and the endless stream of other "Hallmark Holidays".  I know I start to feel frustrated by the end of January and there are pink, fluffy hearts and red boxes of chocolate everywhere.  After all, shouldn't we love our friends and family every day, not just once a year?  And how do we explain this holiday to our children, when we really don't even know how it originated for sure?  With a little bit of creativity, we can include our children in this mystery of a holiday.  Put aside the commercialism and help your children embrace the concept of expressing love to family and friends.  Here are some ways to get your kids involved:
  • Start by teaching your children how to cut out a basic heart.  Take several pieces of paper in different colors and sizes.  Fold them in half and draw half of a heart shape.  Show them how to cut on the line and voila- you've got the start to hundreds of Valenentine's ideas.  Make a large heart for a placemat, use the negative cut-out for a picture frame.  Glue the heart onto a folded piece of paper for a homemade valentine.  The possibilities are endless.
  • Make your own red playdough.  Put it in a sealed container on a tray, with a small rolling pin and a rubber heart-shaped cookie cutter.  I like to add red glitter and vanilla extract.  Here's a great recipe.
  • Take a trip to the post office.  Show your children how to address an envelope and how letters are mailed.  Introduce your children to the postal workers and maybe they'll even get mini-tour!
  • Remember all of those hearts you cut out?  Ask your children to add a brief sentiment or draw a picture and bring them over to a local nursing home.  Your children could truly brighten someone's day.
  • And don't forget about the classic warm fuzzy...

I know that Valentine's Day is celebrated differently all over the globe.  We've got readers from just about everywhere on the planet and we'd love to hear about how you celebrate this holiday.  Feel free to comment so we can learn more about your culture!

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy being with those you love.  Happy Valentine's Day!

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