19 Family-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day
Some frugalistas might ridicule Valentine's Day and all the pricey gifts marketed along with it, but the holiday is easy to commemorate with little to no out-of-pocket expense. Skip pricey dinners, diamond jewelry, and even the dozen red roses. Instead, opt for a budget approach that involves the entire family. Time and memories are the greatest gifts of all, and here are 20 ideas that can make the holiday memorable.
Kids are easy to please. A handwritten card attached to a small treat like a new book, a few Hot Wheels cars, or a piece of heart-shaped candy tells children their parents are thinking of them. Set out the treasure the night before so they find it in the morning.
Pick up a bag of conversation-heart candy organize several versions of the game "minute to win it," described in detail on Makoodle. In one game, players have one minute to stack as many hearts as possible. In another, players use chopsticks to see how many candy hearts they can move from one plate to another in 60 seconds. A third game is like candy relay: Set the timer for one minute and use a spoon to transfer hearts from one cup to another. Up the ante by placing the cups across the room from each other.
Mix up a good sugar cookie recipe or pick up premade dough from the supermarket. Roll out the dough and use heart-shaped cookie cutters of various sizes. Once the cookies are baked and cooled, invite the children to decorate them with red, pink, and white icing.
Tape various size hearts to the inside of a box and have the kids dump in a few small plastic toys like blocks, balls, and animals. Then let them squirt in washable paint in Valentine colors. Tape the box shut tight and let the kids take turns shaking it vigorously. After a few minutes, open the box to reveal painted hearts. Let the hearts dry and string them together for a heart garland. (Clean the toys with warm soapy water.)
DIY Valentine's Day cards or treats, like heart-shaped cookies, are easy to make and can help brighten someone's day. Take a walk around the neighborhood spreading cheer along the way by leaving the goodies with the neighbors.
Every evening in February, after the kids go to bed, write down one thing you love about each on a cut-out heart and tape it to their bedroom door. Soon the doors will be overflowing showcases of your love.