Kid Friendly Valentine’s Day

In the past I have written about the most romantic restaurants around Chicagoland to take your sweetheart to if you are lucky enough to score a babysitter and some other ways to have the Ultimate Date Night in Chicagoland. Well, I’m here to tell you that all is not lost if you aren’t able to get a baby sitter on Valentine’s Day… after all, and she might have a date of her own! And as I have learned after celebrating many holidays as a Mom….it is so much more exciting and fulfilling to share a fun holiday like Valentine’s Day with your kiddos. They get so excited about just about everything and tend to give a ton of hugs and kisses. And if they don’t, there is always the dog, right?!?Here are some tips for having a kid friendly Valentine’s Day.

Food

Breakfast

Pinterest is filled with so many cute recipes for heart shaped egg toast, “heart pancakes,” the list goes on and on. But here’s the thing…a cute breakfast for your valentine doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply pick up some donuts from your favorite donut shop (as well as a latte, because you have most definitely earned it) and enjoy! We LOVE the red velvet donuts from Spunky Dunkers, and you can never go wrong with fudge filled donuts from your local Dunkin’ Donuts.

And if you are freaking out about the fact that your kiddo isn’t getting any fruit, add a smoothie on the side and you are all set. We like to start with Greek yogurt and then add a handful of spinach, a banana, a few splashes of orange juice, and whatever fruit we have on hand. If you use strawberries or raspberries, you can create a perfectly pink smoothie for your little loves (and your big ones, too).

Lunch

No matter what you serve for lunch, it is relatively easy to add some red or heart shapes to it. We like to make grilled cheese and soup on winter weekends, so we like to cut the bread in the shape of a heart using cookie cutters. You can also cut up an apple and create a cute little heart design—the sky is the limit! And if you need some inspiration, check out my Valentine’s Day Pinterest Page. I absolutely love the heart shaped bacon, love messages written on real fruit, and how you can cut just about anything into heart shapes.

Dinner

Lamp chops? Surf and turf? Fondue? That might be nice for a special date night, but for Valentine’s Day with your kiddos, there is nothing better than heart shaped pizza. Just about every local pizza joint has this special cheesy treat, and our favorites are a tie between Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizzas and Barnaby’s thin and crispy pies.

Dessert

Valentine’s Day and chocolate are synonymous. Thankfully my hubby realizes this and always comes home with chocolate for me, and thankfully I have passed along my chocoholic disease to my little guys. Since they are really interested in helping Mommy and Daddy cook, I found this great recipe for them to make with us: Chocolate Oreo Pops.

Chocolate Covered Oreo Pops Recipe

It is so simple. Carefully place the stick in the frosting of the Oreo, then put the cookies in the freezer to harden. While the frosting is firming up in the freezer, start melting some semisweet chocolate in a shallow pan (I use some small pieces of paraffin wax to help maintain the chocolate’s smooth consistency). Then take the Oreo pops out of the freezer and quickly dip them into the melted chocolate. I figured out that I can lean the Oreo pops over the openings on a muffin tin to contain any dripping and/or sprinkles once the boys start decorating with sprinkles and other toppings (chopped nuts, graham cracker crumbles, etc.).

Activities

Adventures

Just like I mentioned in my ways to fight the winter blues article, a great way to show your kids that you love them is to put them in charge and do something that they like to do. Whether it is a trip to the library, a favorite museum or pet shop, or even a stop at the local bakery or cafe, there are endless fun ways to spend the day. I have compiled a list of our 15 favorite “Mommy & Me” date ideas to inspire you.

Check out some of our favorite winter activities, especially places to burn off some of the sugar you have for sure ingested in honor of Valentine’s Day.

 

Crafts

Looking for something to do at home? There are tons of different crafts to enjoy, and I have many simple ones pinned to my Valentine’s Day Pinterest Page. Our holiday go-to is homemade play dough, so for this holiday we spice it up with red food coloring and glitter, of course! My kids simply love conversation candy hearts but I don’t let them eat that kind of sugar filled junk, so we craft with them instead. Be sure to check out this adorable conversation heart frame from Jen over at Naptime Warrior for some crafting inspiration.

And if you are looking for an easy way to send valentines to your nearest and dearest, try our easy peasy method.  Since we love to paint in our house, we like to take a simple approach of painting using different mediums and “Valentine’s Day” type colors of red, pink, yellow, and purple to create abstract art. Once the paint is dry, we then cut the paper into different heart shapes and use them to decorate our house, or give away as valentines to friends and family. It is such an easy way to spend time together and take one shopping trip off your list.

And if for some reason Daddy forgot that it was Valentine’s Day, point him in the direction of this post that will encourage him to make a brutally honest and heartfelt valentine for you.

Gifts

You don’t have to break the bank buying Valentine’s Day gifts for your kiddos (or your significant other)….I mean, wasn’t it just Christmas? So I recommend getting a small and simple yet heartfelt gift for your kids that encourage family bonding. You can never go wrong picking up an adorable book for your little valentine, and here are my other top gift ideas to treat the ones you love the most.

 

 

 

Hope you have a great day with a full and happy heart!
Amanda
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Comments

  1. Theres Just One Mommy says

    I love the idea of spending Valentine’s Day as a family. We never go out on Valentine’s Day — too many people crowding the restaurants for my tastes… But celebrating at home with the kids — priceless!

    • amandasimkin says

      I think it is so much more fun to spend the day with the kids. We usually plan a date night sometime around then so we can stuff our faces with chocolate at a nice restaurant, though. Clearly, chocolate and I have a VERY strong relationship.

      🙂

  2. Tricia says

    Wonderful ideas! I will have to do this a few days before Valentine’s Day this year because my husband and I are taking a short trip. I love all of the heart-shaped food ideas though.

    • amandasimkin says

      I never knew it was so easy to make things into heart shapes. Easy for this busy (and not going to lie, sometimes lazy) mommy. 🙂

  3. Jacqui says

    These are so great! It’s a bit embarrassing to admit this, but….it never occurred to me that I could make a heart out of apple slices 🙁 Simple, yet genius!! We are definitely going to do the art activities (and they may get lucky and score some of those oreos, if I don’t eat them first).

    xo!

    • amandasimkin says

      Thanks for stopping by! We are currently making the different shades of pink play dough and it is AWESOME!

  4. Aubrey @ 53weeks says

    I haven’t had a heart shaped pizza, but my honey once ordered a heart shaped cookie from Lou Malnati’s with our deep dish pizzas sent with love from Chicago! Great ideas…such a fun post!!

    • amandasimkin says

      I never knew they did heart shaped cookies…clearly dinner AND dessert will come from my boyfriend Lou this year!

  5. april says

    Love your ideas!!! Thanks for joining the blog hop! The Hubby and I always do Valentines at home, especially since our anniversary is a month later!

    • amandasimkin says

      I’m sure I will be writing about our Valentine’s Day adventure on the blog…My little guy told me he wants to “do something special in the big city.” Way to be specific, little buddy!

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