How to Make Valentine's Day Special for Children
Lovers walking hand in hand down a quiet, moonlit beach. Man and wife eyeing each other across a candle lit table. Flowers, candy, jewelry, romance...Valentines Day. A special day for many couples to share their love with one another. BUT...does Valentines Day have a place for children? Where do they fit in among the hoopla (and Walmart shelves)?
I love celebrating Valentines Day with my children (and my husband of course). I think Valentines Day can be a day to show anyone that you love and appreciate them. My family has always been big on celebrating holidays, and Valentines Day is no different. I had to laugh one year. I usually do the gift shopping, but my son was three and very into Thomas the Tank Engine. We had started collecting the Thomas track and cars for him (not the new metal stuff, but the old wooden stuff). My husband went out and bought him three different sets for VALENTINES DAY. You'd have thought it was Christmas. But it was very sweet, and Aaron had a blast setting them all up. Later my husband said to me, "I think I may have gone overboard". :) What fun to see Aaron's eyes as he opened the Thomas accessories.
Do I think that Valentines Day should be as big as Christmas? No. (Though the Thomas incident still has a special place in my heart). Just a small gesture can say "I love you". Here are just a few suggestions I've come up with for sharing Valentines Day with your children.
1. If you're going to go out for a romantic Valentines Day dinner with your spouse or significant other, get up a little early in the morning and have a special breakfast with your children in lieu of the cold cereal or pop tart. What an awesome way to start their day. Pop in a can of cinnamon rolls or if you're really adventurous, make a breakfast casserole or a gooey monkey bread. At the end of this article, I've included a recipe for an amazing monkey bread that my kids devour.
2. Put a special message in their lunchbox with a treat attached to remind them you are thinking of them during the day.
3. If your kids are in younger school grades, volunteer to help with the Valentines Day party in their class. Just seeing you at school during the day will mean the world.
4. Make a special treat (cookies, brownies, etc) for the return from school. Children are usually famished after a long day in the classroom and a nice, warm treat has "I love you" all over it.
5. If you homeschool your children, change your homeschool venue to a park if possible or a restaurant for a special lunch. Change up the day and have a little fun.
6. For your girls, send a small bunch of flowers to school. How special would they feel to have roses or carnations to carry around for the day. How many girls today can say, "My daddy sent me flowers"?
7. If your older children have a home room and they would be OK with it (you know how older children can be, sometimes it's OK and sometimes not), send in donuts or another breakfast food for the homeroom class. This shows your older children that you love them and care about their friends as well. (And who do you think the popular kid would be that day :)
8. Take a special fast food lunch to your kids at school instead of fixing the typical sandwich or having them buy the mundane school lunch. Better yet, pick up lunch for you both and eat with them if this is allowed.
0. Younger kids love to be read to. There are so many books out there about moms and dads loving their children. Read a book like Guess How Much I Love You, The Runaway Bunny, or Love You Forever, while cuddled up together on the couch.
10. Don't forget lots of hugs and kisses all day, and make sure you TELL your children you love them. Often we get busy and we forget to say what's important.
Then, don't hesitate to find a babysitter and take off for that nice romantic dinner or stroll on the beach. You're kids know they're loved, now it's your turn!
Monkey Bread Recipe
4 cans refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup butter)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup raisens or nuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9-10 inch tube pan.
2. Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a medium sized plastic bag. Cut the biscuits into halves or quarters and place six to eight biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Shake well.
3. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the greased pan. Continue layering until all the biscuit pieces are coated and in the pan. If you are using raisins, place them among the biscuit pieces as you are layering.
4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the layered biscuits.
5. Bake for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Pull apart and enjoy!