Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday to celebrate with your kids! Love is at the forefront and it’s an opportunity to demonstrate your love for your kids, as well as show them ways to make their loved ones-friends and family-feel special. It’s also the perfect reason to have a themed play date! Here, Kristen Bonwell shares her tips for planning a simple, yet special Valentine’s Day play date:
Set the scene with some cute décor: I found this cute banner on Etsy by Inspirational Banners, but you could make something similar easily as well with cardstock, stencils and ribbon. At our house, we have a holiday/seasonal tree that stays up year-round. You could have some fun with this too! We used all our heart-shaped Christmas ornaments for the Valentine’s Day tree and only spent about $3-4 for a set of heart ornaments at Michaels. Either decorate the tree together as a family before the play date or save this fun activity for the play date. (This may depend on how well your kiddos would do with sharing this task though!)
Invite one or a few good friends over for lunch and some fun activities: Last year, my daughter invited one dear friend over for a Valentine’s Day play date. He’s a real cutie and he spoiled her a little on this special day.
Read Valentine’s Day books together: I bought the Dora’s Valentine Adventure book for each of the kids, and they enjoyed reading it together.
Do a Valentine’s Day craft: We made Valentine’s Day wreaths found on About Parenting. The kids glued paper hearts on a cardstock ring; easy peasy but they loved it! If the kids are old enough, they can cut out their own hearts (school-age). For pre-schoolers, it would be helpful to cut out hearts in advance. Stay tuned for the MomCo blog on Valentine’s Day Crafts for more ideas!
Free play!: For this year’s play date, I bought a great Valentine’s Day toy set from Fisher Price. (Little People Sweet Valentine Set found on Amazon) I have a one-year-old and a 5-year-old and they both love to play with it!
Take a lunch break: Moms can keep it simple or go all out. I kept it simple! After all, with two littles, I am much too tired these days to do a lot of things! The kids loved it just the same! I bought paper straws with hearts for the moms’ and kids’ glasses. We used melamine conversation heart plates that I found at Vons and heart plates from Target. The menu was catered to a picky eater because we wanted to keep him happy. So, we didn’t go all out with Valentine’s Day theme foods, but that is a fun option and Pinterest has tons of ideas (see the MomCo Pinterest Valentine’s Day Board for some more inspiration)! One really simple yet festive idea is to make PB&J sandwiches and cut them with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. I find Wilton’s Comfort Grip to be the best. They are easy to use, durable, easy to clean (dishwasher safe on top rack!), and just the right size.
Make a dessert treat: Cookie decorating is always a hit with kids at parties, and is easy to prepare. All you need is some sugar cookie dough (homemade or store-bought), your heart-shaped cookie cutter, frosting, sprinkles and other edible embellishments. Let the kids go to town and decorate! To avoid the big sugar rush, let them eat one and take the rest home as a party favor.
Have a delightful play date and let us know how it went! We’d love to hear what you did with your kids to make it a lovely day.
About the contributor:
Kristen Bonwell lives in San Diego with her husband and two daughters ages 1 and 5. She also has two step-daughters ages 18 and 24. Kristen is a holiday fanatic and her girls are just like Mama! One of Kristen’s favorite pastimes is planning holiday events for her daughters and special play-dates as well. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Child and Family Psychology. Primarily, Kristen is a stay at home mom, but in her spare time she studies for her licensing exams and works as a consultant for Thirty-One.
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