8 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Kids During COVID-19

What’s nicer for kids (and adults) than a day that’s set aside just for sending love? As we get through the next chapter of the COVID-19 pandemic, Valentine’s Day is perfectly time for an extra boost of togetherness – masked and socially distanced, of course.

Even if your family is in quarantine, or your child’s classroom is skipping their usual Feb. 14 activities, there are lots of creative and safe ways for your child to celebrate Valentine’s Day right at home.

 
 

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1. Get creative with DIY decorations.

If your family was sad to put away the holiday decorations, this tip’s for you. Build up to the big day with DIY Valentine’s Day decorations around the house. Get your child started now as a way to keep them entertained on bad weather days. (Bonus: Construction paper hearts in the windows double as love for healthcare heroes!)

2. Make Valentine’s Day cookies.

Young girl adds sprinkles to heart-shaped sugar cookies

Even better? Set up a video chat baking date with grandparents or other loved ones your child is missing, and have everyone decorate cookies together. Your child will get the connection they need to grow resilient, and build kitchen skills at the same time. Want step-by-step tips? Adapt the instructions from this holiday cookie how-to.

3. Plan heart-healthy activities.

February isn’t just Valentine’s Day – it’s also American Heart Month! So use Valentine’s Day to show some love to your child’s heart health: Check out these 23 Indoor Activities for Heart-Healthy Kids. From living room obstacle courses to a good old-fashioned dance party, let your child choose the activity, and get ready for fun.

4. Have a Valentine’s Day movie night.

You can feature a themed classic like “A Charlie Brown Valentine.” Or let your child pick a movie based on the question: What does love mean to them? (Friends? Family? Batman?) To make sure your selections are age appropriate, check commonsensemedia.org.

5. Have a Valentine-themed reading hour.

Libraries and librarians are incredible resources, so turn to your local branch for book suggestions. During COVID-19, many even offer curbside pick-up. (And if you need help getting your child excited about reading, check out these strategies.)

6. Get outdoors with a “Sweethearts” version of kindness rocks.

Kids get lots of health benefits from outdoor time, and this is a great activity to coax them outside. Have your child paint rocks with Valentine’s Day messages – from “Sweethearts” candy classics like LOVE and XOXO to updated messages like ROCK ON and #SMILE. On Feb. 14, go on a trail walk and place the rocks in special spots to surprise other hikers.

> Related: Want more ideas to get your child through winter? Check out our Winter Kit!

7. Host a virtual Valentine’s party.

Use your favorite video chat app and invite your child’s friends. Decorate your (real or virtual) background, and have a few themed games in mind. For example? Challenge everyone to a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt: Set a timer and list off items for everyone to find in their home, like something heart-shaped, something chocolate, a Valentine card, and a lovable stuffed animal. Want more ideas? Add a Valentine’s Day twist to these 23 video chat activities.

8. Write Valentines!

Young girl assembles handmade Valentine's Day card that reads "I Love You Mum"

We saved the best for last. There’s nothing like a traditional Valentine’s Day card to make the day special – plus, it’s an arts-and-crafts and gratitude exercise rolled into one. Help your child make cards for family members, friends and neighbors, including a special note about one thing they appreciate about them – for example, “You give the best hugs!” (Bonus points if you make a whole care package: For tips, adapt this holiday care package how-to.)

Have fun trying out new Valentine’s Day traditions! Stay safe, and have fun sending love.

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