Valentine’s Day: Fun Activities to do with your Children
Don’t leave the youngest family members out of holiday fun on Valentine’s Day! February 14th was designed for sharing all types of love, including helping your child develop a sense of belonging to the family and feelings of being wanted. Now you can share the experience with your infant, toddler and preschooler. Here are some “can’t wait to get started” ideas for this year’s fun:
Let Your Infant Feel the Love
Even the youngest babies can enjoy expressions of parents’ love on Valentine’s Day! Celebrate with baby by providing safe and soothing sensory experiences. Try taking a warm bath with your little one (make sure to stay safe and hold your baby at all times in the tub). Try a soothing massage with baby oil, too. And if you want a bit more lively portion to your day, dance with baby! Put on some romantic or classical music and sway as you hold your little one close. Be sure to talk to your baby and explain all about how Valentine’s Day is a great day to show love to the people in your life. Remember that while your baby may not be ready to understand all of your words, he is constantly learning about the sounds of language. The more you talk and sing, the better!
Expand Your Toddler’s World
Toddlers are big on exploring the world around them, so celebrate Valentine’s Day with textures, smells and tastes. Take her to the fabric store and cruise the aisles, touching and feeling the different fabrics. You could also cut heart-shaped pieces from different fabric remnants (like flannel, silk, wool, nylon, and so forth) to feel, compare and contrast. Put a bit of red food coloring in vanilla pudding and use it as finger paint. Cut out a collection of bright red paper hearts in different sizes and hide them around the room. Give her a basket and send her on a Heart Hunt to sharpen her visual skills. Try a meal of red foods, too! You can sample strawberries, apples, cherries, red potatoes, tomatoes, and more.
Celebrate with Your Preschooler
Three- and four-year-olds can have lots of fun with parents on Valentine’s Day. Children in this age group adore making cards and other Valentine crafts. Don’t worry if you are not particularly artistic; your child will be fascinated if you fold a paper, draw half a heart on the fold, then cut it out and open it to reveal the complete heart. Make hearts of different sizes and see which will fit inside other ones. Can your son or daughter figure out how to make a heart outline by cutting a smaller heart out of the center of a big one? This is a great time to cook with your young child, too. Grab your favorite sugar cookie recipe and drip just a smidge of red food coloring into the dough. Don’t forget to let your child help with the mixing! Preschoolers can crack eggs with a bit of help, pour in ingredients, count things, and mix with a spoon. Roll out the dough and use heart cookie cutters to make holiday cookies.
Pull the Family Together
Whatever you choose to do this year to celebrate Valentine’s Day, remember that family togetherness is the glue that holds everyone together. The very best gifts you can give are your time and attention. Plan to share a few special and age-appropriate moments with your kids to create memories that will last a lifetime.