By Kim La Marca
As Valentine’s Day approaches, couples think of ways to show their love, but it’s also time to show special affection for those who make your heart patter as much as anybody else: your kids!
Try some of these thoughtful and fun crafts, food, plus Valentines that are sure to bring smiles to your children’s faces and show them how much they mean to you.
As a local Ann Arbor event designer, crafter, lover of parties, and most importantly, moms, we make creating these moments easier for you by providing themed ideas and at-home activities / instant download printables (many are free!) on our blog and Instagram. We create custom printables, invitations, iron ons, and can customize almost anything you’d like through our Etsy page (mailed or local A2 pickup).
Simple Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Kids
Daily Notes – Starting February 1st and going through Valentine’s Day, I put a heart on each of our daughters’ bedroom doors with things I love about each one of their unique personalities: like the sound of their laugh, or how creative or curious they may be. A new thing that I love about them shows up on their door every morning building their confidence and reminding them of how much they are loved. This is a tradition our girls have come to look forward to each February.
Valentine Mail – Our kids love getting mail in their Valentine’s mailboxes. They’ll be surprised with little treats and notes each day in their mailboxes. My advice is to prepare a few in advance (or all of them) because, like moving the Christmas Elf on a Shelf, it’s really easy to forget the night before! For free printables and easy ideas, visit PartyMomPlanners.com.
School Lunch Notes – To brighten their day, I like to use Valentine’s-themed lunch notes in February, and if February 14th is on a school day like it is this year, it’s fun to decorate their lunches with red, pink and heart-shaped foods.
Craft & Keepsakes – For younger kids, I love the “From the tips of my toes to the bottom of my heart” craft using their footprints. For older kids, the “Five Reasons I love You” craft is a winner since kids love fingerpaint and I have a soft spot for their little handprints and adorable handwriting! The kids enjoyed making these crafts so much that they made extra which allowed for a BONUS grandparent gift- we mailed them to extended family members, who loved getting their personalized Valentine’s Day mail.
Valentine’s Meals with Kids – If you have younger kids, try making a Valentine’s-themed meal filled with heart-shaped foods or food tents with fun puns.
For example, you can pair “It’s o-FISH-ally Valentine’s Day” with Goldfish crackers. Or, for breakfast say, “Don’t go bacon my heart,” “I’m b-egg-ing you to be my Valentine,” “Eat your heart out this Valentine’s Day,” or “I love you from my head to-ma-toes.”
Many restaurants feature Heart-Shaped Pizzas on Valentine’s Day (“You have a pizza my heart!” There’s no end to the pun fun!).
Gifts for Teachers & Coaches – Valentine’s Day is a great time to celebrate those who work so hard; there are fun, easy, and inexpensive ways to show them you care.
Make a homemade treat or pair this “Brownie Points” gift tag with a Baking gift set. Hot Sox makes lots of fun themed and comfortable socks that make for a unique gift. Teachers have been working hard, so a bath bomb can help them relax ($1.25 instant download HERE), Or, pick up a candle for your SCENT-sational teacher!
Classroom Party Idea
Minute-to-Win-it games are always a big winner for classroom parties. The key is to find easy set ups with simple instructions.
Recently, we did a Pin-the-Tail on the donkey type game that the kids loved and was very easy to execute. Seated games like BINGO are also nice and controlled.
For surprises, we put together this easy prize board consisting of foam board, plastic cups with small toys inside covered with tissue paper tied on with rubber bands. The kids couldn’t wait to punch through the tissue paper to find their prize!
Allergy-Friendly Class Valentine Ideas – Play it safe and choose a non-food valentine to pass out at school. Some FREE Valentine’s printable options can be found HERE.
- Pop-It Toys
- Squishy Toys
- Dollar Store toys like the Ninja sticky toys
- Play Dough
- Bouncy Balls
Family-Friendly Valentine Events in Ann Arbor
Virtual Family Valentine Bake-Along – Rec & Ed invites all families with children grades 2nd and up to participate in a fun, valentine-themed, virtual baking event with Chef Natalie Marble, a formally-trained chef and culinary instructor, who has been sharing her love of cooking and baking for over 15 years.
Date: Saturday, February 12th
Cost: $35.00 per family
Location: Virtual (Zoom)
To view class details and to register online, please click on the following link: Family Valentine Bake-Along
Virtual Valentine Concert with Laurie Berkner
WHEN: 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, February 13, 202s (Doors open an hour prior to each performance with a pre-show to enjoy, and to test connections.)
WHERE: Laurie Berkner’s concert website HERE
FAMILY TICKETS: $20 Regular*/$80 Meet & Greet Add-On Package. Group discounts available.
Each Regular Family Ticket includes access to one or both livestreams for one device and an exclusive “welcome” video from Laurie herself.
A limited number of Virtual Meet & Greet Add-On Packages are available. Regular-priced tickets must be purchased before adding Meet & Greet Add-On Packages. Meet & Greet
Add-On Packages include:
– Two-Minute Virtual 1-on-1 Private Meet & Greet with Laurie Berkner after the show. Participants will be called directly when it is their turn.
– Virtual Photo Opportunity with Laurie Berkner.
– Recording of video session emailed to ticket holder 3 days post-event.
– Opportunity for parents to chat with fellow families in the Virtual Waiting Room while awaiting their turn in line.
– Live tech support.
TO PURCHASE TICKETS: Visit Laurie Berkner’s concert website HERE.
Roundup of More Valentine’s Day Events in Ann Arbor can be found HERE.
Valentine Making Workshop at Booksweet
Valentine’s Day Specials at The Chop House
Valentine’s Menu at Real Seafood Co.
That’s Amore! Valentine’s Weekend Specials at Palio Ann Arbor
Valentine’s Dinner Specials at Zingerman’s Roadhouse
Valentine’s Weekend: Kathy Kosins Quartet at Blue Llama Jazz Club
Valentine’s Day Specials at Carson’s American Bistro
Valentine’s Collection from Le Bon Macaron – Pre-Order by February 4th for pick up Feb. 11-14th
Made with Love Valentine’s Menu at Gandy Dancer
Dixboro House Dining Experiences beginning Valentine’s Day Weekend
Chelsea Chocolate Extravaganza in downtown Chelsea
Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Event at Gutman Gallery featuring jewelry from Ella Calas.
Bloom Baking Co. Valentine’s Pop-Up at Bløm Meadworks
Valentine’s Weekend: Ramona Collins Quintet at Blue Llama Jazz Club
My Folky Valentine at The Ark
Virtual Happy Hour: Cheese, Wine & Chocolate with Zingerman’s Delicatessen
Ann Arbor Chocolate Run with Fleet Feet
Pre-Order Special Valentine’s Day Cakes and Chocolates from The Great Commoner for pick up Feb. 13
Valentine’s Mindo Truffle & Mead Workshop at Bløm Meadworks
Valentine’s Weekend: Veronica Swift at Blue Llama Jazz Club
Valentine’s Date NIght at Nightcap Ann Arbor
Valentine’s Dinner at Pacific Rim
Galentine’s Day – Bløm + Cheese Tasting with Girls Pint Out at Bløm Meadworks
The Vintage Market presents: My Vintage Valentine at the Saline Fairgrounds