Cupid’s Favorite Holiday: Valentine’s Day Activities to Do At Home

I’m gonna level with you right now and straight-up admit that I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Maybe it’s a holdover from my awkward teenage years when I generally spent the holiday dateless and alone, wishing some cute senior would send a rose to my classroom or some other such nonsense. Or perhaps it stems from the year in my 20’s when my boyfriend dumped me on February 12th. Yeah, that was a fun one. And if those holidays didn’t do it, the year my newborn baby had a nasty case of thrush and screamed bloody murder all night while my husband and I ate our special Valentine’s Day dinner in shifts definitely cemented my feelings on the subject.

Fortunately, my children have had much better experiences when it comes to Cupid’s favorite holiday. They always have the best time celebrating at school with their classmates, racing home at the end of the day to show off all the goodies they received. And I have to admit, their sweet excitement as I help them pick out Valentine’s cards to give to their friends has proved infectious over the years. So I’m strapping on a pair of wings, cobbling together a bow and arrow, and doing my best to channel my inner Cupid for the month. Here are a few ideas to get this heart-strewn party started.

Valentines Mailboxes

Cupid's Favorite Holiday:: Valentine's Day Activities to Do At Home

One of my kids’ favorite activities they do every year is decorating mailboxes for all their friends to fill with cards and treats. I found these cute cardboard boxes, but you could just as easily use an empty tissue or cereal box. My boys had the best time painting their mailboxes and decking them out with little heart stickers and glitter. We even used a few colored foam sheets I had stashed away in our art cabinet to create some garbage trucks {their favorite things ever} for personalized flair. Over the next few weeks, I’ll fill their mailboxes with notes, candies, and other small surprises for them to find in the mornings, making for a festive start to the day.

Cupid Baskets

Cupid's Favorite Holiday:: Valentine's Day Activities to Do At Home

Last year for Halloween I got the idea to give my kids baskets at the beginning of October filled with all the holiday goodies I wanted them to enjoy before Halloween night rolled around. They loved their ‘Boo Baskets’ so much that I decided to do a version of it for Valentine’s Day as well. I reused the same baskets and stuffed them with some inexpensive jammies I found at Old Navy, heart tumblers with silly straws, a new book for each kid, bath paints and a few sweet treats. You could easily hit up the dollar store or Target’s Dollar Spot section and do the same thing for $15 or less. Giving your kids a Valentine’s Day basket early helps lengthen the holiday celebrations and is a great way to get extra use out of the holiday items you’ve purchased.

Chocolate Heart Bombs

Like pretty much everyone I know, my family got drawn into the whole Hot Chocolate Bomb craze over the Christmas holiday. My kids would shriek in delight as I poured the milk over the cocoa bomb and the marshmallows came exploding out. After the hundredth trip to the bakery for more of those little suckers, I got the idea to try making them ourselves. I purchased some white chocolate melting wafers and mini-marshmallows at the grocery store and silicone chocolate molds off Amazon, and with a little trial and error, we managed to make a few of our very own heart-shaped chocolate bombs. A few tips for anyone trying this one their own:

– use a clean paintbrush to “paint” the chocolate onto the mold. It works a lot better than pouring it straight in and helps get the chocolate into all the little crevices.

– Do TWO coats of chocolate. One was not thick enough and the hearts kept shattering when I tried to take them out of the molds and stick them together. Paint on the first coat, stick it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes, then take them out and do a second round.

– The easiest method to get the two halves to fuse together is by heating a frying pan on low and then gently rubbing the edge of one of the mold against it before sticking them together.

Rice Krispie Treat Hearts

If the chocolate bombs seem a bit too challenging, I highly recommend making Rice Krispie Treat hearts as an alternative. Added bonus, they’re a lot easier for the kids to help with {mine personally love taste testing the marshmallows as they dump them into the pot}. Simply follow the directions on the back of the box to make the Rice Krispie Treats, making sure the final product is about an inch to an inch and a half thick. Then use a cookie cutter to cut them into heart shapes, drizzle with white chocolate or icing, and adorn with festive Valentine’s Day sprinkles. Quick, easy, and foolproof – my kinda treat. For a little added fun I stuck them on colorful straws and used construction paper to turn them into Cupid’s arrows.

Mail a Hug

Missing some of your family and loved ones this Valentine’s season? Why not mail them a hug! I purchased a large roll of butcher paper on Amazon {we use this all the time for coloring and painting when I’ve run out of other ideas to keep my children occupied}, and cut out a few large sheets. I had my kids lay down on top of it and traced around their head, shoulders and arms, effectively creating the outline of a hug. The kids then used markers and crayons to decorate their “hugs”, even penning little notes for those of them old enough to practice their writing skills. Sure, my oldest’s “hug” looks a little like an alien {he insisted on coloring his head his favorite color, which is, unfortunately, green}, but hey, that just gives it a little added personality. Um…right? Then we rolled them up, stuck them in an envelope, and mailed them to the people we love across the country.

Toilet Paper Roll Stamping

My kids love to play with paint but get bored with generic paintbrushes after a while. We’ve tried finger painting, sponges and Q-tips, but still needed some new activities every now and then to keep things interesting. Fortunately for me, my son’s former preschool teacher was nothing if not inventive. She collected toilet paper rolls and used them to make different shapes for stamping. Circles are, obviously, the easiest, but you can also come up with others if you get a little creative. I grabbed a few spare rolls I found still hanging on toilet paper holders around the house {my family never bothers to replace the old ones when they’re all used up, ugh}, manipulated them into heart shapes, and boom! Instant Valentine’s Day paint stampers. They’re great for little hands that aren’t able to draw hearts yet, and can be used for decorating cards, mailboxes or, my personal favorite, creating cute table runners for a festive holiday tablescape.

Heart Crayons

Last year for Valentine’s Day I bought my kids the Love from the Crayons book, and it’s been a favorite ever since. And as we always have an endless supply of half-used, broken crayons around the house, a friend gave me the idea to turn the book into a fun, holiday-themed activity to do together. Simply gather up the used crayons and peel off the paper, then place them in a heart-shaped silicone mold and melt them on low heat in the oven. They tuned out so cute and we made enough to gift to their classmates for their Valentine’s gift exchange at school.

I hope these activities give you some fun ideas to do with your kids, especially those of you out there worrying your little homeschoolers and e-learners are missing out on all the Valentine’s Day festivities they normally get to experience. Just make sure Cupid remembers to bring some delicious chocolates for Mommy too. After all, we deserve it!

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Lauren M
Lauren M. is a native Houstonian who now lives one street over from the house where she grew up in Sugar Land. After a brief fling with Austin where she received her Bachelors Degree in English Lit from Southwestern University, she returned home to attempt to write the great American novel {or, you know, the next Harry Potter series}. A short while later a friend recruited her for a kickball league where she met a tall, handsome engineer who quite literally swept her off her feet. After tying the knot in 2014, they soon welcomed their first son Raleigh {October 2015}, and little brothers Renner {January 2018} and Rafe {September 2021}. When not chasing around her three crazy Texas tornados and reveling in the boy mom life, Lauren has discovered a newfound passion for photography and Photoshop, creating whimsical family portraits at @andwhetherpigshavewings on Instagram. You can also find her at @polyjuiceandpixiedust .


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