Valentine’s Day looks a little different this year with a pandemic continuing to keep us at home, but that does not mean it has to be any less special. In fact, chances are, if you are a parent, your Valentine’s Days may have looked different for some time now and it might not be related to a pandemic. It may have been lack of childcare, lack of availability, or lack of additional income.
So whether it is the pandemic keeping you home for Valentine’s Day this year or the season of parenthood you are in this year, next year, and maybe even the following year, I’ve got you covered with some fun ideas to create a love fest right at home!
Fill The Love Bucket
Get a bucket and decorate it together or let the kids decorate it! Take turns writing on slips of paper things you love about each other. Read them aloud. See if you can fill the bucket! This is a great way to hear what the kids love about you, what they love about each other, and for your kids to hear what you love about them, and for the kids to hear you and your partner express appreciation for one another.
Valentine’s Day Countdown
In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, right a little thing you love about each child on a heart and tape the heart on their door. Each morning they will wake to a new note and a positive way to start the day! Let them keep them up or take them down.
Valentine’s Day Breakfast
Make heart shaped pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream, hit your local donut shop for heart shaped donuts, or mix it up and start the day with cookies and hot chocolate! Starting the day with a festive treat can be a fun way to mix things up and make it feel like a holiday, especially when the days are all starting to look the same these days. You can even decorate your table with flowers, hearts, a festive tablecloth, or whatever fun things you find!
Create a handprint heart. Paint puzzle pieces and create an “I love you to pieces” craft. Paint, color, glitter, cut, glue, playduh, etc. all the hearts, all day! There are endless Valentine’s Day craft ideas. Keep it simple or go all out!
Movie Camp In
Set up the blanket fort; grab all the blankets and pillows you can find to make it extra comfy! Next, grab your favorite movie viewing treats: popcorn, candy, pretzels, cookies, and whatever else you can think of! Commit to one movie or have a movie marathon lined up! You can play the Disney Princess classics such as Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast or you can go a more family friendly rom-com route such as Shrek and Trolls. Have kids who are a little bit older? Some other ideas could include Enchanted, Princess Bride, or The Little Rascals.
Fancy Dinner at Home
Dress up, set the table, and have a fancy dinner at home. You can go all out and hit up your local fish market or butcher and cook a fancy meal. You can support a local restaurant and order takeout. You can add some fanciness to your mac n cheese and peanut butter and jelly spread by plating on fancy dishes or cutting the sandwiches into beautiful shapes. Pour your beverages into wine glasses or champagne flutes, can be plastic if you are worried about breaking! Make a toast, serve in courses, or make it family style with shared plates! Dim the lights and have a great time!
Since we aren’t going anywhere, I’m a big fan of dessert all day, but if that’s not your jam or if you are worried about the kids getting too sugared up, have a delicious dessert planned for after dinner or maybe a midday treat! You can bake a cake together, make cheesecake, decorate cookies or take a try at homemade candy!
Ok, so that’s a lot of family fun time, but what about the romantic Valentine’s Day that you and your partner are still dreaming about?
There is no denying the challenges and barriers that are at play this year for a romantic Valentine’s Day. And for some of us this isn’t a new challenge. That’s why being creative and being flexible when connecting and romancing your partner is important in this season of your relationship and your parenting journey! If anything, the perspective of this is temporary can go a long way!
So what can we do to make it special while stuck at home with the kids?
Have a special meal or treat planned for just the two of you!
Maybe you scratch the fancy dinner with the whole family, feed the kids a heart shaped pizza, put them to bed and have a fancy dinner with your honey! You two can dress up, light the candles, and feast just the two of you.
Maybe after your family dinner you put the kids to bed, light the candles and slip into a bubble bath with chocolate covered strawberries.
Maybe you save the dessert for just the two of you to enjoy since the kids started out the day with donuts and candy and they met their sugar quota by 10am for the day.
It can be fun to have a secret treat waiting for just the two of you!
Plan a date after the kids go to bed, during naptime, or early in the morning!
Every family is different and you know when the most opportune times are for your family. At my house, we put the kids to bed and have date night. We might be a little tired the next day, but those moments to connect are important!
You can get fixings for a fondue date. You can do a movie date. You can do a game night together. You can bake something new together.
Our favorite gift we gifted ourselves was the DateBox from Happily. It’s a monthly date night in a box. We don’t have to plan it, get a sitter, or really even think about it. It just shows up we decide on a night and get to dating!
Get creative with expressing your love!
Create an “I love you challenge.” Write little love notes to each other and hide them from each other. Stuff them in their jeans pockets, taped to their credit card, in the toothpaste tube, and other silly places. How many did you each hide? How long will it take to find them all? A couple days, a month, or did you keep it going through all their seasonal items? What a fun surprise!
Valentine’s Day is about sharing your love with the one’s you love the most. Even though it might be at home, I hope it’s still magical, romantic, and full of love!
Happy Valentine’s Day!