12 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your young sweethearts [VIDEO]

Valentine's Day doesn't have to be all mush. Express your love to your kids by celebrating with them, too.

My young kids’ take on Valentine’s Day is that it’s “stupid and gross.” Their interpretation of the day of love is that it’s strictly for grown-ups. To them, it’s all about red lacey hearts, passionate kisses and bouquets of roses.

Valentine’s Day provides the ideal opportunity to express your undying love to your better half. If you’re not cynical, a day devoted to romantic love and affection is sweet.

But in a broader sense, Valentine’s Day is also an opportune time to celebrate your love for your kids and all of the important people in your life. If you don’t have someone to take you out to dinner, celebrate with your loved ones, anyway. Acknowledge your love for your kids by spending time with them in these ways.

1. Heart-shaped notes on pillows

Tell your kids that you love and appreciate them more and more each day. Compose a funny poem.

2. Mealtime

Sweeten mealtime by shaping these foods into hearts: pancakes, sandwiches, French toast, pizza, etc. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

3. Play candy heart games

Open a package of conversation hearts and there are many fun activities you can do with your little Valentines. Play Bingo, matching games or the other ideas listed here.

4. Valentine’s crafts

Use pink and red construction paper or cardstock to create heart wreaths, garlands or paper flowers. Decorate your home with your little ones’ creations.

5. Teacher cards

Help your kids create sweet messages for their teachers, coaches, etc. A Valentine’s Day card doesn’t have to be mushy. It can express gratitude or simply say, “I like you.”

6. Celebrate with chocolate

Have a fondue party. Dip strawberries, bananas, pineapple chunks, pretzels, marshmallows, or wafer cookies into melted chocolate.

Or, make creative candy bars. Slice a variety of candy bars. Put them back together in a random order and cover with melted chocolate. Allow them to harden before eating.

7. Grandparents’ Valentines

Help your little one send a loving card and message to Grandma and Grandpa.

8. Go on a date

Dress up and take your children out for a fancy dessert or to a play.

9. Enjoy a movie

Choose a movie with a love story that your kids will enjoy. Many of the animated Disney or Pixar movies fit the bill. Other ideas include: “A Walk to Remember,” “Ever After,” “The Princess Bride,” “You’ve Got Mail” and “High School Musical.”

10. Dance

Play some ballroom dance music and waltz your kids around the house. Or, sign up yourself and your kids for a class to brush up your dancing skills.

11. Special delivery

Bake a plate of heart-shaped cookies to take to an elderly neighbor.

12. Throw a party

Invite your kids’ friends over for an afternoon or evening to celebrate friendship. Use the above-mentioned activities and serve a variety of chocolate treats. Decorate with real or homemade flowers.

Set aside some time to show your little sweethearts how much you love them on your next Valentine’s Day.

Megan Gladwell

Megan Gladwell, a freelance writer and sometimes teacher, lives in beautiful Northern California with her husband and four children.