I don’t know about you, but occasionally (despite my best efforts to keep things simple!) our family’s schedule gets overcrowded with a slew of activities and events. Certainly, I’m thrilled to offer my children a wide range of enriching activities outside the home. But sometimes in pursuing what is good, I lose sight of what is best, what my husband and I alone can give—a safe, nurturing home filled with love and encouragement.
Thankfully, Valentine’s Day offers us the perfect opportunity to build some of that togetherness back into our daily routine. In honor of “the season of love,” I’m sharing 14 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family. Pick one…or all…and enjoy the time you spend serving one another this year!
1. Read a book as a family about Saint Valentine. I like Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda, a lovely picture book that weaves together the most enduring stories about this saint. We also like Saint Valentine by Ann Tompert. Both are available at Amazon, or you can check them out at your local library.
2. In honor of the sacrificial love that Valentine showed in the early days of the church, draw “Special Valentine” names within your family. For the next 14 days, look for ways to serve the family member you chose. (Hint: You might need to do nice things for other people in the family, too, just to keep everyone guessing!)
3. Make time for snuggling. Each day, set your alarm clock 15 minutes early and pile everyone into Mommy and Daddy’s bed for snuggle time. It’s a great way to make your children feel snug and secure before they start their day.
4. Unleash your inner craft genius by creating Valentine boxes from recycled materials. Hint: make them big enough to hold all of your special Valentine messages and treats!
5. Find a service project you can do together as a family. Bake cookies and deliver them to your local police or fire station, along with special thank you notes for their service to your community. Or spread your reach even further, sending a care package to a soldier serving our nation overseas.
6. Make a “Love Cup.” Write each of the attributes of love found in I Corinthians 13 on a separate piece of paper. (For example, “Love is patient.” “Love does not boast.” “Love always trusts.” Better yet, jot me a line, and I’ll email you my printed version.) Glue them onto folded hearts and place them in a jar on your kitchen table. Each day, draw out one heart and look for ways to show that kind of love within your family.
7. Turn your I Corinthians 13 love notes into a “love” garland that you hang in your kitchen, helping you remember each message about love in preparation for Valentine’s Day.
8. Make a clothespin countdown to Valentine’s Day. Mark 14 clothespins with the numbers 1 through 14. Use the numbered clothespins to hang pink and red socks along a makeshift clothesline tied to a curtain rod on your kitchen or dining room window. Fill the socks with sweet treats. Each day, starting with number 14, take down a sock and enjoy the treat together.
9. Design a family scrapbook showcasing family events from the past year. This can be as simple as photos glued onto construction paper or as chic as a digital scrapbook you design online and have shipped to your home.
10. You can also count down to Valentine’s Day by wrapping 14 picture books about love. (Your local library should have several books on display in the children’s department, or you can shop for these titles at Amazon.) Each day, unwrap one book and read it together as a family.
11. Create a family coupon book filled with fun family events you want to pursue in the coming year. Ideas include “Camp out in the backyard,” “Go on a picnic,” “Play at a park,” or “Spend the afternoon at the zoo.” Just be sure to use up your coupons by next Valentine’s Day!
12. Design a family “love hunt” with last year’s Easter eggs (the plastic ones, of course!). Print a photo of your family and glue it onto thin cardboard. Then cut it apart, puzzle style, and put one piece in each egg. On Valentine’s Day, hide the eggs and watch while your children hunt for them throughout the house. Feel free to add candy to some of the eggs to extend the search and give you something to munch on together as you piece together your puzzle!
13. Visit a bisque (unpainted) pottery store and paint dessert bowls as a family. We did this over Christmas last year, painting Christmas ornaments, which we’ll hang proudly on the tree as we remember our fun family outing. It’s a great family activity that accommodates a wide range of painting styles and abilities.
14. On Valentine’s Day, make a special treat to enjoy in your newly painted dishes. (This is a good time to reveal your secret Valentine, too!) This year, I’ll be making Gooey Cake, a yummy new recipe from my good friend, Christina. Look for a full post on this recipe soon!
Of course, these are just a few ideas to get you started. Have a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family? Please share!