1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain Faith, Hope, and Love. But the greatest of these is Love.
Valentine’s day gives us, as adults, images of cards, flowers, fancy romantic dinners, and for some dread. I’ve experienced every one of those. But this is our opportunity as parents to change that vision for our kids.
This is our chance to teach them the art of loving others. Don’t get me wrong, we want them to feel loved by us as well, but how great would it be if the words “Valentine’s Day” gave our children images of serving and loving those around them? Dare I say, even make them excited to serve others and take this “commercialized holiday” and give it so much more meaning.
As your kids participate with you in blessing others, you will also have the blessing of seeing them grow to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
So let’s talk about a few activities that our family enjoys doing together for Valentine’s Day that is “others-focused”.
I See You
- Mason jar (any box/container will work)
- Note pad
- Fun colored pens/pencils
“I See You” is probably my favorite activity to do with my family. This activity gets my girls and me into the habit of looking for the good in our family members and others around us.
We start “I see you” on February 1st and continue all the way to Valentine’s day. I will usually get all the supplies out and we will talk about it over dinner the night before and get excited for the coming days.
So what is “I see you?” I know you have been waiting patiently and are ready to hear.
“I see you” is a wonderful way to teach your children how to give and receive compliments. I set out our mason jar in a spot where all family members can safely reach it. I usually have ours on a little table in our dining room. So, place your container, pens, and paper out, these will stay out for the next 14 days. Each day you and your family can tear off a piece of paper and write down what they saw in someone that they loved and place it in the jar.
Now you may have some little ones that do not write at this time. Let them know that they can ask you for help with writing anytime.
Each person is able to place an “I see you” as many times a day as they want. It would be fun to see if your family can use the entire notepad before the fourteenth. When Valentine’s day rolls around, you and your family will read aloud the “I see you’s.” Any of the “I see you’s” that have been written about someone outside of your family makes them that much more special. Give that person a call or send them a picture text letting them know that you see them and love them.
Who doesn’t love a good old fashion homemade card? They are the best right! And they mean so much more to us than anything store-bought.
- Cardstock/construction paper
- Various craft supplies
- Markers/crayons/colored pencils
We have a radio station in our town that collects Valentine’s cards from people in the community and then delivers them to different organizations. We also have several nursing/retirement communities in our town.
I explain to my girls every year that there are some people who don’t have any family left or may not be receiving a Valentine’s this year so we want to be the light and love for them. Check with your local radio station or nursing/children’s homes and see if you can drop them off at their locations.
This is a great way to spread the love of Jesus. So get out all of your kid’s favorites, glitter and all! Moms this is the time when you just take a deep breath, let the messes happen, and let your kiddos create their best cards.
You can plan to do this in one day or leave it for them to come and go as they feel creative. We like to start out making cards with a few of our friends. We plan a day and have fun music, hot cocoa, fun snacks, and lots of laughs. We spend the day making cards and enjoying our time together because the more the merrier as my grandmother always said.
I also have a small metal kids table that I put in the corner of our dining room with all the paper and supplies on it when the day is over, but they still have access to make them throughout the week. This is a great activity to offer your help to the little ones that may not know how to spell. You can write several different bible verses pointing to the love of God so that they can copy it onto their Valentine cards.
Who doesn’t love a fancy and fun dinner with your favorite people? This year kick it up a notch and go all out. As much as I love going out to eat, I prefer to skip all the crowded restaurants and hour-long waiting list. Stay in and create a new tradition with your family.
Grab your fancy china, candles, and that table cloth without stains on it. You can delegate tasks to get the whole family in on the fun. Your children can decorate the dining room and table, you and your spouse can whip up a delicious meal and you can even get grandma in on the fun by making a special dessert the day before.
It’s Valentine’s day, which means all things red and pink. Try making dinner with mostly red and pink food. We love to make spaghetti and meatballs. I add just a little red dye to the noodles, you now have pink noodles and red sauce. If you aren’t a spaghetti fan, heart-shaped pizzas are always a hit with kids. Garlic bread is a nice side that you can use a cookie cutter to make the bread heart-shaped. Add a little sparkling juice to the fancy glasses and you have yourself a five-star dinner for your family for a fraction of the cost.
A few other things we do at dinner is to make a playlist with everyone’s favorites songs and play it softly while we eat. When dinner is over you can always crank up the music and have a dance party. We also like to take the time during dessert to read aloud our “I see you” collection. Take turns passing around the mason jar and have each person read one at a time.
I hope you enjoy making sweet memories this Valentine’s Day.