Updated: Mar 8
Happy Valentine's Day!
Valentine's Day is a day full of LOVE.
Should children celebrate Valentine's Day too?
Yes! - But, it should not be commercially forced onto them.
Instead, it can subtly be used as an excuse to have a day all about loving and caring.
Snuggling-up. Making DIY cards, playing games and singing songs together. Baking heart-shaped treats and making red coloured drinks with heart-shaped ice cubes in them!
Only choose to buy a little gift if you think it's necessary. We'll give you a few cute ideas!
In this Valentine's day Blog Post, you will find ideas on how to approach the subject of Valentine's Day with young children. You will also find:
3 top children's books to read for Valentine's day. (See all our books for special occasions here: Children's Books for Celebrations )
A Valentine's cookie recipe for iced shortbread hearts.
Exciting activity suggestions.
5 great, inexpensive gift ideas.
Craft ideas - DIY Valentine's Day cards. A winged papier-mache heart.
The best songs for children to sing for Valentine's Day!
How to approach the subject of Valentine's day.
Give your child a brief and simple explanation as to what Valentine's day means:
Every year we celebrate our love for one another. This happens on February 14th. We express our love to those close to us by sending them a loving message, giving them a special card. Or we show our love by sharing the old tradition of giving them a gift such as chocolates or flowers.
Highlight the fact that for sure, we need to love and care for one another every day, but on Saint Valentine's day, we can express it more by doing special things and showing it physically.
Red love hearts are the classic symbol of Valentine's Day - Children can look out for them as you'll start to see them everywhere just before February 14th.
How did Saint Valentine's day start?...
...The origins of Valentine's day
Here's a summary - you can shorten it some more depending on the age of your child...
Well, not much is known about Saint Valentine.
It is thought that this Saint had arranged marriages between soldiers and women when it as not allowed to do so. He was thrown in jail, where he fell in love with the jailer's daughter. Saint Valentine left a letter to her signed 'From Your Valentine'. (He was put to death on Feb 14th)
The Romans started to celebrate the coming of Spring with a festival (Called Lupercalia in the year 496)
Boys and girls would dance together for the festival and say that they were boyfriend and girlfriend for the duration of the festival.
Later on, the Christians decided to use this festival as a day to remember Saint Valentine!
After you've let your child know that Saint Valentine's Day is a day to show love to those that we care about, let them have some fun making small heart gifts or cards.
They can listen to and learn easy, fun songs about loving one another. Plan a few age-appropriate heart-themed activities. Why not cuddle-up and share a special Valentine's Day story.
Pour your heart into storytelling
3 perfect storybook recommendations for Valentine's Day.
Ages 5 - 8 years
By Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers
Ages 4-8 years
By James Dean & Kimberly Dean
Ages 0 - 4 years
By Laura Numeroff
Yummy Valentine's Day Hearts
Shortbread heart cookies - with icing
Makes 12 shortbread cookies
150g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g icing sugar powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
250g of plain flour
1/2 tsp of salt
250g icing sugar powder
2 egg whites
Food colouring in your desired colours
Optional - 5 drops of white wine vinegar (to make the icing shiny)
Optional - sprinkles!
Print the full recipe...
If you don't want to ice your cookies - no problem -
Play around by colouring the shortbread dough!
Games and activities for Valentine's Day...
You don't need to be an expert artist. How about just painting hearts on your little one's cheeks?
Both girls and boys will love having these hearts painted on their faces.
Make a valentines card
All you need is:
Some card, crayons, felt-tip pens, or coloured pencils. Sheets of white paper. Scissors and glue. Glitter (Optional)
Fold the card to make it into a stand-up card.
Draw and colour hearts onto white paper any way you like.
Cut them out and glue them onto the front of the card. (Your child could also use paint to do heart shapes by pressing down their painted fingertips in 2 slanted positions!)
You can use glitter to add some sparkle to your card if you like!
Let your child draw inside the card - small children love to attempt to write even if they don't know how to - it looks so cute and makes a memorable keepsake.
Keep it simple and sweet - Let your kids say it with love
Air-dry salt dough hearts
We made these salt dough hearts with a group of pre-schoolers.
After making the no-bake salt dough recipe, red food colouring was added - my dough turned out pink!.
I let the children stamp out the hearts with a cutter. Now is the time to prick a hole into them if you wish to make them into pendants)
I let the dough air-dry for 2 days. Then I coated both sides with white glue and let them dry again. You can choose to do one more coat of glue and sprinkle them with sparkly glitter!
Play 'Pin the Heart on the Love Bug'
Draw a 'love bug' (or another loving insect/animal of your choice) onto a large sheet of card. Paint it and cut it out. Stick it on a wall.
Also cut-out an appropriately shaped heart. Use blue-tack so that a blind-folded child can attempt to pin the heart in the right place on your cut-out animal.
We're Going on a Heart Hunt - 'Heart 'n Seek'!
Children can make their own love hearts by painting on card.
Cut them out and then hide them around the room.
(Alternatively, you can buy small heart-shaped gifts such as delicious cherry flavoured lollipops) See who can find all the DIY hearts. There will be no winners and no losers - children can share out the hearts equally.
More Valentine's Day fun for kids
A game of Valentine's Bingo!
For all ages.
Craft Ideas for Valentine's Day
Why not make your own love-heart with the kids! - Use paper-mache - it's fun and very easy to do!
Cut out a heart shape from cardboard - any size you like.
Fold some newspaper into two puffy oval shapes and tape them together.
Tape them onto the cardboard heart shape.
Make your papier-mache mix. I like to use a tablespoon of wallpaper paste, a good squirt of white glue, and a cup of tap water. Mix and add more paste and glue until you get a thick, creamy soup consistency.
Tear strips of newspaper and gently smother them with the papier-mache paste using your fingers or a thick paintbrush. Cover the heart with about 4 layers of papier-mache strips. Leave in a warm place overnight.
Even if your papier-mache heart is damp after 24 hours, you can proceed to paste 2 layers of red paper over it - or if you use newspaper, you will need to paint it red when it is dry.
Leave your heart to dry completely - this may take up to 2 days.
Meanwhile - you have the choice to make some wings for your heart! Cut out a length of cardboard and roughly shape them into wings.
Cover the wings with 2 layers of papier-mache - use white paper - or if you use newspaper, you will need to paint them white when they are dry.
Once everything is 100% dry, glue a string loop in place so that you can hang your heart on the wall.
Use strong sticking glue (or a glue gun) to stick the wings onto the back of your heart.
Gifts do not have to be expensive or extravagant at all.
Buy your child a small token of love to cherish
Our 5 top 'Gifts for Kids' on Valentine's Day
1. A self-painted picture to hang on the wall
Paint by numbers - it's fun, and you get amazing results!
2. We see love everywhere
Pack of 6 in various hot neon colours, so kids can gift them to friends!
3. A bag full of love
How about a cute little drawstring heart bag!?
4. A cushion full of love and sunbeams
A soft cushion to snuggle up on and always feel loved.
5. Let your child show their love for all to see!
A great sweater for boys and girls to wear your love for them everywhere they go.
Now you're all ready to get singing!
Kids can quickly learn these sweet Valentine's songs...
Songs for Valentine's Day
We love this version by 'Super Simple Songs'...
I have A Little Heart
By the Kiboomers...
A real fun song with lots of moves for children...
'Boom-Chick-A-Boom' by The Learning Station
Children get a chance to sing-a-long and repeat the lyrics.
Happy Valentine's day to families and children everywhere!
This ‘HOW TO CELEBRATE VALENTINE'S DAY WITH KIDS’ Blog Post is brought to you by
What Children Really Want©
What Children Really Want is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
If you make a final purchase we may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.