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Valentine's Day is just around the corner! While it used to be a special "Hallmark" day for me and my hubs, the focus has shifted to my kiddos (as it has with basically every other area of our lives, right fellow parents!?). They get so excited for Feb. 14 because they see all of the heart-shaped candy, singing stuffed animals and teddy bears so big they'd take up your entire bed.
Instead of buying crazy big boxes of chocolate that are still around come Halloween time when even more candy is added to the pantry, we try to celebrate with fun crafts and meaningful ways to show our love. Here are 7 fun ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with your family. They are only mildly "Pintrest-y," and are very easy and inexpensive. Oh and remember to visit the Fun4GatorKids website to see a list of all the local Valentine's Day events taking place in the Gainesville area!
1. Toilet Paper Hearts - This craft really does work! We've tried it, and the kids had a ball! All you do is save a few toilet paper rolls, indent the circle to make a heart shape, dab them in paint and stamp away. Your kids will have a blast with this heart craft!
2. Pink Milk/Pink Hot Chocolate - All it takes is a few drops of red food colors or Strawberry syrup in their morning milk to excite little ones! You can take this Valentine's Day drink a step further and make Pink Hot Chocolate. Here is a great recipe to try. You can top it with whipped cream and Valentine sprinkles for an extra special treat!
3. Valentine Dipped Wafers - Kids will LOVE helping you with this super easy treat, plus it's a fun way to get them in the kitchen. Pick up the pink strawberry wafers (sold at the Dollar Store), dip the ends in melted white chocolate, then top with Valentine's Day sprinkles or Conversation Hearts. We make these every year, and they are always a hit.
4. Valentine Note Boxes - This idea is similar to the way kids exchange their cheeky little Valentine notes at school, expect each Valentine is specially written with love. Have each member of the family make a Valentine Mailbox. It could be anything from a milk jug with the top cut off, to a decorated show box to a plastic Tupperware. Then each day, everyone in the family writes something they love about one or even all of family members to secretly put into their mailbox. I can't wait to write little love notes to my girls and to see what they come up with!
5. Coffee Filter Hearts - If you have coffee filters already in your pantry, then this craft is a must! Simply cut the filter into a heart shape, then let your kids decorate them with markers. Lastly, spray the coffee filter with water and watch the colors spread! If you hang the hearts in front of a window, they make sweet little Valentine decorations.
6. Celery Flowers - I haven't tried this activity with my girls, but I'm so excited to give it a go this year! You can take one bunch of celery, cut off the stalks, and then the bottom will make a beautiful flower design you can use to make flowers! Who knew!?
7. Heart-Shaped Lunch - I don't typically turn my kid's lunch into an art display, with butterfly sandwiches and caterpillar fruit kabobs, but I do like to do something a little extra special on occasion. Did you know you can easily turn strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, hot dogs and string cheese into cute little hearts? Check out the pictures below!
Happy Valentine's Day!