One thing I’m grateful for is that my Mom never subscribed to the idea that Valentine’s Day was just for sweethearts. She always made sure my brother and I felt special either by buying us a heart-shaped box of chocolates or stuffed animals or making us homemade cards. Out of all the cards and gifts she’s given me over the course of my life, there is one item I’ve held onto for nearly 30 years; a home-made Valentine’s Day card written from her heart.

Homemade Valentine's Day Card

With the help of fellow moms from my Facebook moms group I’ve compiled a list of 8 fun and super sweet ways to show your kids love this Valentine’s Day.

1. Figure Out Their Love Language – If you’ve never read “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, I highly recommend it to figure out the way your partner prefers you show them love. There’s a fun quiz you can have your child take to find out their love language whether it’s words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time or physical touch. It’s recommended for children ages 9-12. Why not show them love this Valentine’s Day the way that they prefer, whether it’s with a gift, a hug or serving them their favorite dinner?

2. Create A Love Bank – With a recycled coffee can, some paper and dollar store craft supplies you can create a bank for love notes for your child. You can deposit notes for them leading up to Valentine’s Day or all year long and have them “withdraw” a note whenever they need a reminder of Mommy and Daddy’s love for them. My kids loved the bank I created for them.

Love Bank 16Love Bank 2

3. Homemade Cards – Cards from the store are just fine, but there is something wonderfully intimate about a card made by your own two hands. Kids are always working hard on homemade gifts and cards for us, so it’s extra special when we show them that we’re willing to take the time to make something for them.

5. Edible Hearts– You can put a greased cookie cutter on the griddle and fill it with pancake batter to make them special heart-cakes for breakfast on Valentine’s Day. You can cut out heart-shaped cookies and have each child decorate and give it to a family member, like Melissa from Kingston does with her children. You could also cut their sandwiches into hearts using cookie cutters like Dorothy from Stone Ridge does.

6. Hide-A-Heart – For days leading up to Valentine’s Day, Jodie from Poughkeepsie cuts out paper hearts with messages of love for each of her girls and hides them under their pillows to find in the morning. What a sweet way to start the day!

7. Hugs & Kisses Trail – You could leave them a trail of Hershey’s Kisses and/or Hugs leading up to a larger surprise like a gift or you could simply give them a basket to collect kisses Easter-egg hunt style. You might want to leave them out in the open as nobody wants to find melted chocolate days, weeks or months later.

8. Make A Date – Whether you take a trip to a museum, the movies or simply go out for lunch, letting your child decide what you should do together makes this date super special. It’s really hard to spend alone time with each child if you have more than one, so a special date alone with Mom or Dad is an amazing gift.

What are your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions with your kids?

Erin Johnson a.k.a. The No Drama Mama can be found blogging at Hudson Valley Parent Magazine and when she’s not wiping poop or snot off her otherwise three adorable kiddos. This frugal, “tell it like it is” mama has NO time for drama, so forget your perfect parenting techniques and follow me on Facebook or Twitter for my delightfully imperfect parenting wins and fails.