Boy with ValentineShow your love this Valentine's Day with the following activities that you can do for your child, or with your child.

Five things to do for your child:

  1. Cut-up Notes: Go through magazines and find letters that spell out a special message for your child. Attach the letters to a mirror, under a breakfast plate, to the inside of a lunch box or some other special place for your child to discover.  
  2. Count-Down: You have likely heard about the 12 days of Christmas, well how about the 12 days of Valentine. Instead of after the holiday, count down the 12 days before. Leave messages or small treats hidden for your child each day. Label the discovery with the number of days left until the holiday. Encourage your child to organize the numbers to keep track of the days until Valentine’s Day.
  3. The Day You Were Born: Make a special book for your child recounting the day (or night) s/he became part of your family. Tell the story, emphasizing the emotions that surrounded that amazing time in your life. Make a tradition of reading the story on Valentine’s Day to show your child how special s/he is to you.
  4. This Is Why: On 20 (or more) separate strips of paper, write a reason why your child is special. Connect the strips so that they make a chain. Hang the chain where your child can reach and encourage her to remove a strip every ½ hour to read all of the reasons she is special to you.
  5. I Love You Names: Write the letters in your child’s first name down the left side of a piece of paper. For each letter, think of a word that starts with the letter that describes your child. Write a word for each letter and post the poem on your child’s door so he can see it.

Five activities to do with your child:

  1. Random Acts of Kindness: Nothing is more fun than making someone else’s day—and being sneaky about it. Involve your child in planning and putting into action some random acts of kindness. These can be anything from leaving cards and a flower on the front porch of a neighbor to walking downtown and adding coins to parking meters.
  2. Love Collages: Collect a variety of magazines, some glue, and construction paper. Pick a person that you and your child both know and care about. Look through the magazine to find pictures of things that you think would make that person happy. Tear the pictures from the magazine and glue them to the paper. Deliver the collage to the person you selected to spread a little cheer.
  3. Decorate Cookies: Bake or buy some simple sugar cookies (or just use graham crackers), mix food coloring into some white frosting, and set these out with some craft sticks for a fun and messy time. Work with your child to decorate the cookies for family, friends, and neighbors.
  4. Scavenger Hunt: Create hearts in a variety of colors and sizes. Hide them throughout your house and challenge your child to find as many as possible.
  5. Dancing Hearts: You will need paper hearts, crayons, and thread for this activity (if your child is older, he can help you make the hearts). Use the crayons to decorate the hearts and string them on the thread. Hang the string of hearts in front of a vent or fan to see them dance in the breeze.

For more activities or to share ideas of your own, visit