Valentine’s Day is Thursday. That’s pretty much right around the corner so it’s time to come up with this year’s Valentine’s. So much is made of Valentine’s Day and, when you have teenagers, it somehow becomes one of the most drama-filled days of the year. As a result, we decided when our kids were little that we would make it more of a light-hearted and fun day than a day of unfulfilled expectations. Instead of fancy gifts or expensive dinners, we always try to see who can come up with the most creative Valentine ideas without breaking the bank.
Here are a few of our favorites.
- Candy Bar Hearts. This is my children’s’ hands-down favorite. We go to the store and pick out all kinds of different candies. Then, we brainstorm all sorts of silly Valentine’s phrases to go with the candies. We glue the candy to construction paper hearts and tape them up all over the house. And I mean ALL over the house. Last time we did this, they ended up in the shower, on the porch, in the refrigerator, in the tool box, inside the closet door. I think we had almost 40 by the time we got done. Dad had a great time when he got home from work, finding sweet Valentines in the most unexpected places.
- Making chocolates. For just a few dollars at the craft store, you can pick up a bag or two of Candy Melts and any number of fun chocolate molds, including Valentine hearts and shapes. Candy Melts come in both light and dark chocolate as well as a rainbow of vanilla-flavored Melts. We like pink and red as accents for our Valentine candies. Follow the melting instructions on the package and the candy molds and you can have beautiful Valentine chocolates in no time. You can even make your own dipped strawberries or other treats. This is a great activity even for younger children because it is so easy.
- Pink Pancakes. Start the day off right with a Valentine breakfast. Heart-shaped pancake molds are widely available—just do an internet search. Combine one with a few drops of red food coloring in your pancake mix and give your family a warm and loving start to their Valentine’s Day. Cherry syrup is especially appropriate for these pancakes. If you’re not a pancake eater, you can use the molds to make heart-shaped scrambled eggs or use a heart pan to make a Valentine’s coffee cake or muffins.
- Valentine Jewelry. Certainly you can dash down to the local jewelers and pick out some lovely (and expensive) Valentine jewelry and make your sweetheart smile, but for those of us on a budget, making our own can be fun, too. You can buy either pre-made beads at the craft store or pick up some Polymer clay at the craft store and make some adorable beads. This clay is easy to work with, holds its color and shape very well and bakes hard in minutes in a toaster oven. Directions for making and baking polymer clay beads can usually be found right next to the clay. You can make stripes and swirls and solid colored hearts. You’re limited only by your imagination and your patience.
- Plants for the Garden. If isn’t Valentine’s Day without flowers, consider potted plants or seeds for the garden. Cut flowers only last a few days, but helping your sweetheart create a lasting garden of beautiful blooms can extend the love for months or even years.
- Music Mix. Instead of going out and buying the latest, go through your music library and create a playlist or even a CD for your sweetheart with your romantic favorites. Cue it up so when they start their car in the morning, the first thing they hear is music to remind them of you.
- Give the gift of time. Instead of an expensive evening out on the town or romantic getaway, just plan something simple and close to home that you and your special Valentine can enjoy together. It’s the time together, not the destination that really matters.
So, what do you do to make Valentine’s Day special at your house? Please share your ideas in the comment section below.