From mosaic hearts to candy experiments, love letters, and even Valentine's Day accessories, we've got the best ideas to get your little one in the loving spirit. Plus, check out #1 – classmate Valentine gift ideas – that will be sure to make their friends feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
#6 FOUND-ART HEART
Get creative with your kids! Cut up construction paper, old greeting cards, sheet music, magazines, or the latest round of catalogs into small shapes then piece and glue together to create a Valentine’s Day mosaic heart. Feeling truly inspired? Cut the paper into heart shapes, and make a big heart out of smaller hearts! No limits! Other items to create with include buttons, rhinestones, beads, and fabric.
Have a blast mixing Science and candy—>
#5 THE SCIENCE OF LOVE
Candy Experiments by Loralee Leavitt (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012) has two sweet science projects using Sweethearts—also known as conversation hearts.
1. In the “Hearts Rising” project, add conversation hearts to a small, clear bowl of water. Observe if they sink or float. (They sink.) Then, wait about two hours to see if they start to float. (They will.) As they sit in the water, air forms bubbles on the hearts, which help them float up to the surface.
2. Also try “Hearts Bobbing.” Fill a clear glass with club soda, and drop in some hearts. Do they float or sink? (Both.) The CO2 in the soda forms bubbles on the candies, making them rise—but as the bubbles pop, the candies sink back down. The bubbles form again, and the cycle continues.
Want to offer something homemade to your loved ones?—>
#4 LOVE LETTERS
Your child will treasure notes you leave for her on any day. Write anything from “I’m so proud you can tie your shoes!” to “Your wake-up hug is my favorite part of the day.”
#3 MADE WITH LOVE
Whether you seek to adorn your wee one with adorable accessories or outfit your home with amorous messages, here are three Valentine’s Day dressings to celebrate the warmth of love in February.
(A) My Lucky Hair Bow’s adorable ribbon barrettes ($6.25 each) add sparkle and shine to any Valentine’s Day outfit. Made in Wayne, NJ, they can be made to order or selected from more than 400 hair clip options. Whether your sweetie likes Hello Kitty or Mickey Mouse, you'll find just the right bow at this Etsy page.
(B) Hold hands with your li’l love with the “Smitten Mitten” ($45) from ElleGanT's Etsy shop. This 2-in-1 mitten is hand-knit from cashmere in Fort Lee, NJ. There are lots of whimsical hats and mittens on the site, and they welcome custom requests, too.
(C) Perfect for tweens and teens, these decorative Sweet Sentiments needlepoint pillows ($35) from Pottery Barn Teen add a splash of color and fun to any room.
If the way to their hearts is through their stomachs—>
#2 "HEARTY" FOODS
Personalized Sweet Chex Cereal
1. Combine ½ cup white vanilla baking chips, ¼ cup peanut butter, and 2 tbs. butter or margarine and microwave uncovered on high 1–1.5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
2. Stir peanut butter mixture into 4½ cups Rice Chex cereal in medium bowl until evenly coated.
3. Place ½ of the cereal mixture in 1-gallon food-storage plastic bag. Add ¹⁄3 cup powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper or foil; cool about 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, stir ¼ cup red, white, and pink candy-coated chocolate candies and 2 tbs. red/pink sprinkles into remaining cereal. Spread on foil; cool about 15 minutes.
5. In serving bowl, mix both cereal mixtures.
Adaptation courtesy of Betty Crocker.
Try making this adorable—and simple!—breakfast creation—>
#2 "HEARTY" FOODS (continued)
Egg in a Heart
Step 1: You'll need a slice of bread, an egg, and oil or butter for the pan.
Step 2: Using a cookie-cutter or knife, cut out a heart in the middle of the slice of bread.
Step 3: Heat oil or butter in a skillet, and add the bread and the cut-out heart. Crack an egg into the heart-shaped space in the bread. Fry and flip.
Step 4: Serve with heart cut-out on top or to the side. Enjoy!
Need card inspiration? Here's a few that'll be a hit for kids of any age—>
#1 VALENTINES FOR TOTS AND TWEENS
Scratch-n-Sniff! Packs contain 30 cards and 50 sticker in scents from bananas to burning rubber. (Peaceable Kingdom, $7)
Burst My Bubble! Fill a balloon with candy and attach a card with a toothpick for popping. (Courtesy of Tonia from The Gunny Sack)
A Super Valentine’s Day! These superhero cards are perfect for a less traditional Valentine’s greeting. (Minted, $24 for 35)
You Rock! Older kids will like this retro card and the “cool not cute” message it conveys to their buddies. (Minted, $25 for 35)