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My Mom used to make a big deal about holidays for me and it’s something that I’ve tried to continue with Rigel. I remember her always getting me little Valentine’s gifts and doing crafts with me. I’m pretty sure most of my stuffed animal collection were given to be by her for Valentine’s Day so here are some of my ideas for things you can do with your little one for Valentine’s Day:
♥ Make Valentine’s Day Cards Together – Ah crafting with toddlers, I know what you’re thinking, ‘jeez Grace why are you suggesting this, it always ends up a mess that I’m stuck having to clean up.’ I know all too well the trauma of trying to get glue out of the carpet, so no I am not suggesting you make cards that involve glue, glitter (Satan dust), or anything that will stain. We use tape these days and Color Wonder Markers because it’s not about how elaborate the card is when they’re two, it’s about the thought. So make some cards for your favorites with your little one, trust me it will be worth the memories. And for my non-crafty Moms, I found this kit that comes with everything you might need at Target.
♥ Make Heart Pancakes or Waffles – Make something sweet and savory with your toddler in a fun Valentine’s Day shape like Pancake hearts or waffle hearts. I usually just make them by hand with kitchen scissors or a heart shaped cookie cuter but it’s probably time I step my game up and invest in this Dash Heart Waffle Maker or pick up some Pancake silicone molds. Regardless, your little guy is going to love helping make these and is going to low dunking them in syrup even more.
♥ Go on a Mother-Son, Father-Daughter Date to their Favorite Place – Take them on a little date. Make it fancy and take them to their favorite place and do their favorite things. For Rigel that’s going to a museum and seeing some science exhibits or some fossils. For your little one it might be the aquarium or the zoo, maybe a favorite candy shop, or a park with really cool slides. Just make it a big deal and let them know that you wanted to show them how much you love them by taking them on a special outing.
♥ Get Them a Gift They Can Snuggle – It doesn’t just have to be a stuffed animal, it can be a doll, a soft blanket, a cozy sweatshirt, or a fun pillow. Something they can hug and feel safe with. For Rigel that’s his Mr. Hippo but he also really loves soft cozy blankets. Toddlers love feeling warm and cozy so it’s the perfect gift. Let them know that they can hug this object whenever they miss you.
♥ Watch a Kid-Friendly Rom-Com – Rigel believe it or not is a big fan of rom-coms. I don’t know what it is about them but he likes a good funny love story. Some of our favorite kid-friendly rom-coms are Parent-Trap, Hercules, Lady and the Tramp, Enchanted, and Wall-E. When we watch films with romantic themes I make sure to use it as a opportunity to teach Rigel about boundaries and being a gentleman. I also discuss with him how he feels watching the story develop. I have found having these kind of conversations with him has really helped his emotional intelligence.
♥If they’re in a Play Group or Preschool Do Toys and Craft Valentine’s Goodie Bags – While candy and cookies are a good time for V-Day your kid is probably going to get a lot of little Valentine bags with that so it might not hurt to be one of the parents that doesn’t ONLY send sweets. Consider sending goodie bags with Valentine’s Day theme Play-Doh or Heart Silly Putty.
♥Bake Some Valentine’s Day Cookies Together – You can do this from scratch if you’re already baking inclined but if you need a little help here’s this Mickey Mouse Cookie Kit that comes with everything you need, including already baked cookies and all the decorating supplies. Kids love applying frosting (to literally anything) and doing this together is another opportunity to bond.
♥If Coupled, Be a Good Example of Romance by Not Forgetting to Love on Your Adult Valentine – Lastly, don’t forget to shower your person with affection this Valentine’s Day to show your little one good examples of romantic love. This means sweet acts of kindness, squeezing in a date night, or if date night is not going to work at least a nice dinner at home. Trust me the little ones are always watching and they will mimic what they see you do.
So make sure you don’t pass up the opportunity to show your little one you love them. It’s a fun opportunity to bond. Let me know in the comments if you have any special traditions or activities you do with your toddlers on Valentine’s Day.
May the love flow,