By Deanna Talwalkar, Party Planner Extraordinaire
February is a sweet time of the year to celebrate your youngest loved ones. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean just roses and boxes of chocolate. Break up the dreary, cold winter months with some fun, love inspired activities for your children. The following ideas will help make your February full of many hugs and kisses.
Love Messages
You can tell your kids how much you love them with a simple daily message. This is a great activity to do, even for your teenagers. Every child loves to hear what makes them special, even if they do not admit it. At the beginning of February, cut out 14 paper hearts and write something you love about your child on each one of the hearts. Starting on February 1st, tape one heart to your child’s door in the morning before they wake up each day until Valentine’s Day. It’s a simple way to start the day with a reminder of your love. 
A Sweet Treat
A White Chocolate Strawberry S’mores Parfait is super simple to whip up for a Valentine’s snack or Valentine’s dessert. Both kids and adults will enjoy the flavor combination of strawberries coupled with white chocolate. If you use skim milk, it’s a pretty light dessert, making it an indulgence you can feel good about! 
To make the dessert, mix 2 cups of cold milk and 1 package of white chocolate instant pudding mix according to package directions. Chill pudding for about one hour. Crush approximately 4-5 graham crackers. Place graham crackers in bottom of four small dishes, dividing equally. Roughly chop 1 cup of strawberries Top graham crackers with strawberries. Cover strawberries with prepared pudding. Top with plain or toasted heart shaped marshmallows. 
Showing Love to Others
Valentine’s Day can be a time to encourage your kids to perform little acts of love for their loved ones or others. To help out loved ones, kids could do a chore for their sibling or grandparents. If you have family or loved ones that live out of town, kids could mail a hug to that person. To mail a hug, have kids trace each of their hands onto construction paper and cut them out. Cut a piece of ribbon about 36 inches long and staple or glue the hands to each end of the ribbon. Write a little message of love to the recipient on the hands. 
Small acts of kindness for are a great way to introduce service for others. A few simple ideas include handing out boxes of conversation hearts to grocery store cashiers, post office employees, and other workers, while out running errands; taping a couple of dollars to a movie rental machine so someone can enjoy a free movie; or write a note of encouragement to a classmate, friend or someone who might need a little lift.  
Making Valentines
Encourage your child’s inner artist in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Instead of purchasing Valentine’s Cards, have children make cards using art materials you have on hand. Materials such as construction paper, paper doilies, fabric scraps, ribbon, paint, buttons and stickers can all be used to make Valentines. Set out supplies and let kids have free reign to design their own masterpiece. Kids will love having the freedom to create a Valentine and you’ll be surprised with their creativity. 

Posted on 2015-02-06 by Deanna Talwalkar