With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I thought it would be fun to share a post about ways to share the love with others around you on Valentine’s Day.
One thing I’ll promise is that these are EASY things to do! With six children in the mix and mayhem and memories that are made here, I am usually not able to put together anything that requires more than three ingredients … whether it be food or art … or both!
Valentine’s Family Dinner
These first few photos are from our Valentine Dinner last year. For several years now, Valentine’s Day has been a celebration of our family rather than for just the Prez and me to celebrate LOVE. I will admit that sometimes it would be nice to go out on a date, but our reality is that this is just not a reality right now.
So, I decided several years ago we would start a new Valentine’s Day tradition of having a meal complete with foods I know our kids LOVE, and that have a color theme of red and pink!
Valentine’s Dinner for Mom, Dad + 6 Children (ages 14 to 2):
- Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Sandwiches
- Strawberry Apple Sauce
- Red and Purple Grapes
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Heart-Shaped Pretzels (tiny twists)
- Nathan’s Hot Dogs
- Valentine M&Ms
- Cranberry Crush
- Little Debbie Valentine Brownies
And from the looks of on their faces, I’d say it was a sweet success!
And no Valentine Dinner would be complete without the leading man, otherwise known as The Prez here on my blog, handing out flowers to his three lovely ladies! Needless to say, Daddy’s little girls were quite delighted with their flowers!
Valentine’s Game for All Ages
If you would like a quick and easy game for Valentine’s Day, this one is fun for all ages! You just make a bulls-eye with heart shapes. Children (and adults) can use chopsticks to try and put candies on the bulls-eye. Points are optional of course!
We used M&Ms on this night, but I’ve also used the conversation hearts too! These work great for a class party as well as family dinners!
I saw an idea on Pinterest and we adapted it! The little ones loved working on these last week, and now our library door looks so festive!
Step 1: Use a Sharpie to outline your hearts with designs on square pieces of paper.
Step 2: Use watercolor paints to paint your hearts.
Step 3: Allow painted hearts to dry and choose your 2 background colors (one for the whole page and another to frame each heart) *You may also choose 3 and use 2 for framing the hearts.
Step 4: Glue your hearts onto the square frames.
Step 5: Glue your framed hearts onto the background paper!
Step 6: You *may* choose to add text onto your heart paintings or not. We chose to add some meaningful text to ours that included what love means to us. This of course would vary and is dependent on writing ability (one of my little artists didn’t write anything on hers!)
Valentine-Inspired Writing + Art)
Imagine that I found this idea from none other than … Pinterest as well! I don’t spend hours on there, but I spend a few minutes here and there and rarely do I not pin at least a few teaching ideas when I’m on there. This one did NOT disappoint!
Encourage your students to create a Heart Map for inclusion in their creative writing journals or just to inspire free writing at home! Not only do they think about things and people important to their little hearts, but they also sketch those things and label them.
I had students from 3 years old to 11 years old who willingly worked on these for more than half an hour. I was so impressed with their Heart Maps! You encourage your writers to include things on their maps that are “important” in their hearts!
Here are some suggestions for Heart Maps:
- Important People
- Special Memories
- Special Places
- Important Things
- Favorite Hobbies
My 6th grader tucked his “Heart” (yes he chose a rectangle shape but that is OK!) inside his free writing expandable folder, and my 2nd graders glued theirs onto colored paper and put them in the front of their Creative Writing Journals.
As for Li’l Bit, she followed suit and hole-punched hers and put it into her “notebook” (which is just a little way we make her feel included! It is turning into quite the little keepsake too!).
Here are some photos of Heart Maps getting finishing touches! I LOVE these, and so do our learners.
Impromptu Photo Shoot
Last but not least, I have another SWEET suggestion for sharing the LOVE on Valentine’s Day.
How about a little impromptu photo shoot complete with candy, hearts and lots of red!
These photos from last year’s impromptu shoot at our old house just melt my heart! You could use this idea to make special gifts for the Moms and Dads of your students (or grandparents too!).
As I look back at this particular photo below, I am reminded to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the ones who surround us because we just never know what lay ahead.
There is nothing wrong with the coloring in the photograph. The blue tinge of our baby girl’s finger nails are the outward signs of her once-broken heart.
As life has taken our family down some twisty roads these past couple of months, I have also realized that physically broken hearts are sometimes much more easily repaired, and nothing is or was easy for our heart babies who had to endure open-heart surgeries, but emotionally broken hearts can be so much harder to repair.
This Valentine’s, take the time to LOVE deep, LOVE long, and LOVE unconditionally. Show it by the little and the big things you do for those you LOVE and who LOVE you back!