Thursday, February 10, 2011

Question: Valentine ideas

I don't normally do much to celebrate holidays. It always has a way of creeping up on me unexpectedly. But my children love any small effort I take to make a day special.

I'm looking for simple Valentines ideas. They can be projects, food, crafts, whatever. I don't want to invest a ton of time and like to use things that I have in the house so I don't have to go shopping!

I know some of your are super creative AND frugal. What have you done to make Valentines Day special for your little ones (or big ones)!


  1. We eat a big chocolatey breakfast. It's cheaper than buying candies and they l.o.v.e. it. They start planning what they want weeks in advance. We seem to eat less and less sugar through the years though which is making me nervous as to how their systems will handle it :)

  2. A heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out some heart-shaped brownies for brownies and ice cream: voila, dessert! of our favorite, simple V-day treats :)

  3. Hi Gina,
    You can go onto and search "valentines". They have a lot of fun simple things to do. We always make rice crispie treats, that I dye red (the marshmellow)and we cut out with heart shape cookie cutters.


  4. I can tell you what my mom always did from the time we were pre-schoolers until we went to college: Valentine's Day cookies. She used her basic sugar cookie recipe and cut out hearts. (Before she got a special cookie cutter she bent an old jar ring.) She frosted them with pink powdered sugar frosting. One time she made a batch for our Sunday School class and piped each child's name in white frosting.

    My college friends waited around the mailbox for that cookie box.

  5. I'm not sure what we'll do this year ~ I'm still recovering from Christmas goodies and yesterday's birthday cake =) I think I need a fruit/veggie smoothie!

    But Laura's blog offers lots of family-friendly food ideas for you...

  6. I am a longtime reader, but I don't think I've delurked until now! :)

    I love our valentine celebrations and they are, mainly, just making everyday things special. We eat a lot of heart-shaped foods that day -- pancakes or shaped rolls at breakfast, sandwiches cut in a heart for lunch, a heart shaped homemade pizza for dinner, heart shaped brownies for dessert. I make a potato stamp and let the kids make placemats from 8x14 paper for dinner. We make valentines from a doily and construction paper for grandparents, great grandpa and aunts/ uncles, cousins (all of whom live here). I crochet little hearts to make hair ornaments for my girls/ nieces (tutorial here). I usually try yo write my husband a love note and make a valentine for each child to have by their breakfast plate. I also read classic love poems (Anne Bradstreet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Herbert, Shakespeare etc.) to whomever will listen. :) And I get out our cd's of standards by Irving Berlin and Cole Porter and such to play in the background. Also, we read I Cor. 13 at dinner and I usually re-read the Song of Solomon.

    I really like Valentine's Day. :)

  7. We love decorating our kitchen with projects we make ourselves. We made a heart string and put messages like conversation hearts have on, or my neighbor wrote on the hearts people they love and we hung ours in the kitchen above the table. We also made mustached valentines and mailed them to friends. Lots of fun. If you want to see pics they are on my blog at

  8. Don't have any real bright ideas....Just wanted to let you know I like the new family picture.

  9. I found a heart shaped cake pan at a thrift store years ago and use it to make Boston Creme Pie. I also make heart shape cookies sometimes. You could even make a heart shaped meatloaf or meatballs :)
    You could have the children make simple paper hearts for each family member and draw or write "love notes" on them......."I love Mommy and the bread she bakes" :)

  10. I just found your blog - very nice! For Valentine's ideas, you could make heart cupcakes (or muffins). You bake the cupcakes in liners. Before baking, you put a marble between the liner and the pan. It creates a dent that makes the heart. Then just bake normally. But be careful taking the marbles out because they get hot! This would probably work with muffins too if you wanted to stay away from sweets.

  11. Well, my daughter (16) has requested her favorites...big squares of rice krispie treats. I might look for some pink confetti to throw in the mix. My son, loves to delay school and go to the donut shop and pick the gooiest donut he will be allowed to eat!

  12. Mine are 6, 5, & 3 so just baking rolled out cookies together in the shape of hearts and letting them frost them is enough for them. I like to keep things simple!!

  13. I'm loving all your ideas! Since we never got around to making cut out cookies at Christmas - I'm sure my children would be delighted if we did it now!

  14. I know you homeschool, but if you've got valentine cards to hand out (maybe to Sunday School friends), the easiest cards I ever made were hearts cut out of felt and sew down the centre onto card stock. You can use a contrasting thread and zigzag stitch. They were cute and simple. I had 60 to make that year!

  15. I used to make heart shaped:
    -meat loaf
    -what about individual mini heart shaped meatloaves
    -pancakes (if you don't mind a little waste)
    Great memories from pre-empty nest days.

  16. I made these for all 15 of my grandchildren! (not my blog)

  17. I am planning to make cinnamon dough heart ornaments with my girls (ages 6 & 10). Also planning to make cupcakes with Valentine's sprinkles. I just found your blog and really enjoy it as I share many of the same interests. Looking forward to reading your past postings, particularly your baking endeavors. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I bake my husband's favorite cake. I make a heart shaped giant cookie (in a heart shaped pan) and decorate it with icing that has a valentine's message for the children to share.

  19. I loved Valentine's Day as a child. We'd always exchange dime store valentines on that day and have a "party" which usually meant cupcakes and koolaid. Since my husband is not able to eat any sugar I plan to make him a platter of heart-shaped tarts. We received some raspberries in our chicken produce the other day and Mr. D went through them all to save as many as he could, sadly most of them were "fuzzy". I think I will boil some of those down to make a thick compote and cut two hearts from pie crust and sandwich some of the compote inside. I think it will be tasty and probably sweet enough without any sugar.

    With my Sunday School class we will be making several valentines for people in the church who are widows or widowers or who are not able to get out because they are sick. Our lesson is about Jacob and Esau being reunited. I Peter 4:8 "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." (God loves us. He hates sin, but loves the sinner). Nice lesson with a bit of a "Valentine's Day" theme.

    Hope you have a fun time with the kiddos. I heard on the radio this morning that in Japan it is customary for women to give men chocolate for Valentine's Day :)

  20. Hi Gina,

    Here are a few ideas I used with my children. We would sing the song "LOVE" to the tune of the "STOP and let me tell you" SS song. I wrote the words on 4-9x13 sheets, in heart shapes. Here are the words- page1-LOVE page2-Is what the Father has shown to you and me. page3-He gave His Son, For us to die.page4-That in His Death we might find life.
    We made heart woven baskets out of paper. It is small for holding candy. I don't have any directions written down. You can google it and see a picture and directions. It is easy, cute and simple for children.
    Another craft: cut out 2, 3"hearts and cut one of them halfway up the center from the bottom and the other one halfway down from the top. Slide them together to make a 3D shape. Attatch a piece of yarn at the top and hang them for decorations.
    Happy Valentine's Day! I love reading your posts! Have a lovely day!

  21. Posted my favorite finds on my blog...

  22. You've gotten a lot of good ideas here, Gina! I confess I was never very creative with valentines day- just a treat and maybe some heart-shaped pretzels.

    But my friend, Tara, at Feels Like Home just did a great handmade Valentine's series with tons of ideas for easy crafts and recipes. You might want to check it out:

    An Oregon Cottage

  23. Wow, there are some great creative ideas here. (Love the big chocolatey breakfast idea!!)

    If anyone wants more ideas, I have some simple Valentine craft ideas and quite a number of cookie recipes (oh, and candy recipes too) on my blog at Across My Kitchen Table.

    Have fun!

  24. I give them a coupon attached to a packet of hot chocolate:) The coupon is for their turn for a "special night" (stay up and play a game with mommy etc) or for the older ones a massage!

  25. Sorry this is last minute...but I just wanted to share an idea from the good ol days when my children were young. They enjoyed having a picnic on a blanket or an old gingham table cloth in the middle of the living room complete with picnic food. (like burgers and beans) It was a fun activity in the middle of winter. On one occasion, they even wore summer attire. To this day, even the smallest celebrations always include a bowl full of punch!
    Enjoy making some memories!


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