Valentine’s Day for kids: 10 fun ideas and activities to celebrate | Celebree School

Make this a special Valentine’s Day for kids with some fun facts, holiday history and these creative and easy ways to celebrate.

By Wendy Wisner,

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for grown-ups and starry-eyed lovers. It’s actually a really fun and exciting holiday for kids. After all, the holiday is all about love and kindness. The hearts, sparkles and endless sweets are appealing to little ones, too. And, what better way to brighten up a winter day than to have a little Valentine’s Day celebration with your kids?

Valentine’s Day for kids doesn’t have to be dull, and it doesn’t have to revolve around routine staples like cut-out hearts and candy. There are many exciting, interesting and out-of-the box ways you can engage kids in during Valentine’s Day. Here, we’ve rounded up some fun facts about Valentine’s Day, a little bit of the holiday’s history and some original ideas to help you celebrate. Ready to dive in?

What is Valentine’s Day?

First, you might want to give kids an introduction to the holiday, especially if they are young. They might be aware that Valentine’s Day, also nicknamed V-day, is the holiday associated with hearts, and they may have a general sense that Valentine’s Day is about love. But it can be helpful to start your Valentine’s Day activities by discussing what the holiday is, and what it means.

Of course, Valentine’s Day means different things to different folks, but in a nutshell, it’s a holiday honoring love, affection and kindness. For adults, the holiday often includes romance, but it’s not necessary to focus on that in order to get something out of the holiday.

When is Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on the same date – February 14. The holiday is popular in the United States, but it’s also celebrated in the U.K., Australia, Canada, France, Mexico and Argentina.

The history of Valentine’s Day

There are differing theories of how Valentine’s Day started. By some accounts, the holiday has origins in a Roman festival called Lupercalia, which was celebrated in the middle of February as a way to usher in springtime. There was also a romantic aspect to Lupercalia, where symbols of fertility were celebrated and men and women were matched to one another.

Other scholars attribute Valentine’s Day celebrations to a priest named Valentine who lived around 270 C.E. Legend has it that during Valentine’s lifetime, Emperor Claudius II of Rome had banned marriage, but Valentine defied him and performed marriage ceremonies anyway.

Valentine was subsequently thrown in jail, where he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and wrote a “valentine” to his lover. This may have been the first official valentine! In the fifth century, Pope Gelasius I declared the date of Valentine’s death as St. Valentine’s Day, though the day wasn’t associated with romance for several more centuries.

Interesting facts about Valentine’s Day

In addition to learning about the history of Valentine’s Day, it can be fun for kids to amass some fun facts about the holiday. They can even use these facts to wow their friends! Some fun Valentine’s Day facts you can share with your kids include:

  • About $4 billion worth of candy is sold during Valentine’s season each year in the U.S.
  • Valentine’s Day is a super popular holiday, with 92% of people planning to celebrate.
  • 93% of people would prefer to receive candy or chocolate as gifts during Valentine’s Day.
  • Americans buy a whopping 58 million pounds of chocolate each year for Valentine’s Day.
  • Americans spend an estimated $25 billion on Valentine’s Day in a given year.

Valentine’s Day activities for kids

If you’re looking for more ways to celebrate, here are some fun and entertaining Valentine’s Day activities for kids to make the day extra sweet.

1. Let the kids watch a Valentine’s Day movie

You’re probably familiar with the idea of Christmas movies, but what you might not know is that there are actually a bunch of super cute Valentine’s Day movies, too. Gems like “Be My Valentine,” “Charlie Brown” and “Gnomeo and Juliet” are the perfect way to spend a cold winter night.

2. Make fairy bread

Image via Simply Well Balanced

Looking for fun, super easy treats to whip up with your kids on Valentine’s Day? Enter: Fairy Bread. Lauren Tingley, a mom of two, elementary school teacher and creator of the blog Simply Well Balanced, says fairy bread is her go-to because it’s easier than cookies but still fun and festive.

“All you need is bread, butter, sprinkles and cookie cutters,” she says. “You simply spread the butter on the bread, throw on a few sprinkles, cut the bread into fun shapes and you’ve got Fairy Bread!”

3. Practice estimation with candy hearts

Donna Paul, a Montessori elementary teacher and co-creator of That’s So Montessori, recommends an activity she calls “candy heart estimation.” This is traditionally a classroom activity, but it can easily be adopted to use at home.

Basically, you fill a large jar with candy hearts each morning and give kids a crack at guessing how many hearts are inside. Paul suggests starting the activity a week before Valentine’s Day and switching up the number of hearts in the jar each day, ensuring it’s an exciting and fresh challenge.

“At the beginning, their guesses are random, but as the days go by, they start using what they’ve learned from previous days to make more thoughtful guesses,” Paul shares. “It’s a hands-on way to practice estimating, and as they reflect on their guesses, they get better and better.”

4. Create a “be my valentine” jar

Image via Dr. Jenny Woo

Dr. Jenny Woo, a mom of three and the founder and CEO of Mind Brain Emotion, practices a fun Valentine’s Day family tradition. Her family found a unique spin on the idea of a gratitude jar, transforming it into a “be my valentine” jar. “For each day during the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, we each write a short note or draw something for another family member expressing our appreciation for something they did or said,” Woo shares.

On V-day, her family gathers and takes turns reading the notes out loud. “It’s a heartwarming experience to hear words of love and gratitude from one another,” she says.

5. Make homemade Valentine’s Day cards

Making Valentine’s Day cards is an awesome tradition. For a fun twist, consider challenging kids to make the cards only with items they already have at home. Take out some paper and glue, then have kids scavenge the house for decorations. This might include things like cut outs from magazines, old cards, wrapping paper — and don’t forget colorful cereal, candy and macaroni.

6. Heart symmetry painting

Doing art projects with kids is a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, especially with an educational twist. Kristen Miller, the director of education at Celebree School, suggests a project that combines the tradition of making paper hearts with learning about symmetry. All you need is a pencil and paper, some scissors, paint and a sponge-tip paint brush. Here’s how to do it:

  • Fold paper in half and draw half of a heart shape with a pencil.
  • Keep the folded paper folded and cut along the line you just drew.
  • Spread the paper flat, and use the brush to dab paint only on one side of the heart.
  • Refold the heart and press lightly on the outside to smooth the paint.
  • Carefully open the heart to reveal beautiful symmetrical artwork.

7. Dancing candy hearts

Do you have a kid who enjoys doing science experiments? Here’s a simple and fun one that you can do with items you have around the house. All you need is a large glass or pitcher, some candy hearts, water, baking soda and vinegar. Let Miss Brittany at the Campbell County Public Library in Kentucky walk you through it.

8. Make a healthy Valentine’s Day treat board

Charcuterie boards are all over social media, and your tweens and teens probably think they are pretty cool. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by making a bright, yummy, healthy V-day treat board? 

You can add fruits (bonus points for red fruit), cheese and deli meats. If you have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, you can make Valentine’s Day pancakes, cookies and other yummy treats. For a cute and healthy snack, consider slicing an apple and using a cookie cutter to cut a heart shape into the center of each slice.

9. Make a flying butterfly heart and other Valentine’s Day crafts

Valentine’s Day crafts for kids are the perfect way to celebrate. This flying butterfly heart from Newport Beach Public Library is so cute, and can be constructed with materials you probably already have at home. Just gather up a black pipe cleaners, a pencil, markers and two pink paper hearts, and follow these simple instructions.

10. Have a Valentine’s Day reading marathon

It turns out that there are tons of books about Valentine’s Day for kids of all ages, so get yourself to the library, and get a bundle of books to bring home! Then, you can create a special Valentine’s Day read-a-thon, replete with some hot cocoa and candy hearts. Here are some favorite Valentine’s Day books to consider.

Valentine’s Day books for toddlers and preschoolers

Valentine’s Day books for older kids

The bottom line

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for grown-ups, and it isn’t just about gorging yourself on chocolate or buying tons of cards and gifts. There are many exciting, engaging and even educational ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day for kids. Special Valentine’s Day activities are also a great way to pass the time, get your kids out of a mid-winter slump and put a giant smile on their faces.

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