Throughout life, there are monumental moments that break the mold and stand out above the rest–the birth of your children, exchanging vows with your true love, opening the cards stuffed into your homemade valentine mailbox in elementary school…
Oh, what a glorious event that used to be– tearing into that delightful letterbox that your torturous teacher made you wait to open until the end of the day. There certainly was something magical about those little folded cartoon valentines, sealed with a tiny, bent heart sticker and strategically given out amongst classmates and friends.
As it turns out, once you become a parent you realize that’s what Valentine’s Day is really about—simple, down-to-earth expressions of love and kindness. You voluntarily forgo the overpriced food, cheap champagne and unattainably high expectations of romance for stolen kisses over Sponge Bob mac-n-cheese.
Rose petals are replaced with scattered doll clothes and Legos.
Night lights and glow stars have taken the place of candles.
And chocolate….well, there’s still plenty of that. And there’s definitely not a shortage of hugs, kisses or bare butt cheeks either.
No matter who you’ll be spending this Valentine’s Day with, here are 10 ways to celebrate that are sure to melt even the tiniest of hearts.
1. Create a valentine mailbox. Who says they are only for the classroom? Have the kids decorate an old box, set it out on the first of February and add love letters daily for the whole family to open up on the 14th.
2. Have a love inspired photo shoot with your littlest heart-throbs. Since you’ve captured your cutest cupids in a snapshot, why not share the love with a photo card?
3. Bake edible valentines. Let your loved ones know just how sweet they really are.
4. Cuddle up with some love-themed children’s books. No kids? Well, maybe a very animated adult read-aloud of Fabio’s “Scandalous Love” novel would suffice.
5. Send your little cherub on a flower delivery to Grandma’s house.
6. Paint pottery to eat your special Valentine’s dinner on.
7. Dream up some homemade valentines. Grandparents go crazy for tiny painted footprints and kids love the mess! Grab some washable non-toxic paint and set up an art studio in the bathtub. It keeps the mess [somewhat] contained and makes for super easy clean-up.
8. Pick your own bouquet. If the only flowers you’ve managed to keep alive are the dandelions growing from the 6-inch weeds in your backyard, go on a walk. I’m sure you’ll find an agriculturally responsible neighbor along the way who can spare a flower or two.
9. Paint those tiny nails in festive colors. Add a splash of glitter and she’s ready for the big day!
10. Make homemade scratcher cards. This super simple recipe for DIY scratch-off paint makes uncovering valentine messages mysterious and exciting!