A few years ago, the ups and downs of teenage daughters prompted me to start some new valentines traditions in our home. I wanted my children to have a fun and happy day no matter what happened at school. You can see previous posts here and here for some family-oriented February activities.
We always begin our Valentines Day with a special breakfast. Since I rarely (okay, never) cook breakfast just the fact that we are cooking and eating breakfast together is momentous. Last year my husband and I were out of town on Valentines Day. Since my girls are living on their own now and my boys are getting older, I did not think anyone would care if we skipped the Valentine breakfast. It broke my heart when my youngest son asked me why we didn’t have our breakfast. Traditions are so important to our children! So the breakfast is back on this year!
For our special breakfast, I set the table with themed dishes and decorate the table with flowers and sparkles and all that kind of valentine stuff. I cook pancakes (pink) with all the toppings, bacon (a rare treat at our house), strawberries, and strawberry milk. Along the middle of the table, I spread little goodies and gifts that my kids can choose from (see a list of ideas below). We eat together and then they can choose some prizes as they finish. This year Valentines Day hits on a Sunday, but on school-day years I get up early and have breakfast waiting for them when they get up. It has become a beloved tradition in our family.
Here are some ideas for valentine gifts for your children that don’t involve candy:
i-tunes cards (my teens favorite)
homemade coupons for chore freebies or favors (no cost)
dollar store variety small prizes and games
tickets for a favorite museum or other outing
favorite hygiene items (nail polish for my girls, my boys’ favorite hair gel)
cards or notes with special thoughts about them
books or magazines
Happy Valentines Day! Enjoy your family and loved ones this week!