Monday, January 5, 2009

Family Valentine Traditions

I'm working on a Valentine Guide for our MOPS group and one section will feature traditions for Families. Most of these traditions are celebrated in our home, but some come from my friends. I'm looking for more great ideas to add to this list.

This is what I have so far:
Family Valentine Traditions

14 Children's Books: Wrap 14 Children’s Books before Feb. 1st. You will be surprised how many books you already own. Use books about Valentine’s Day or books about love. If you need a few more, you can buy them inexpensively at Half Priced Books or even The Dollar Tree. Every day leading up to Valentine’s Day, unwrap and read one book together.

Banner Over Me Is Love: Cut out large construction paper hearts. Decorate the hearts with notes saying, “I Love Jesus…” (fill in the blank), “I Love Daddy…” (fill in the blank), etc., or verses about love. Then, string them up and hang them like a banner.

Children’s Valentine: Mail a Valentine to each of your children from Mommy & Daddy. Write a note to telling them how much you love them. Children LOVE getting mail! You may also give them a token gift (cookies, candy, stuffed animal, book or balloons).

Grandparent’s Valentine Brunch: Invite the Grandparents over for a special Valentine Brunch. Have the children help make muffins, breakfast casseroles, and other food for their grandparents. Kids can make placemats using giant sheets of construction paper or craft foam and stickers, glitter, and glue. Decorate in red, white, and pink. Have the children sing a song or present a special homemade gift to their grandparents. Use it as an opportunity to have the children shower grandma and grandpa with love.

Heart Cookie Cutters: Use heart cookie cutters for more than cookies! Ideas:
Shape pancakes.
Cut out sandwiches.
Make Jell-O Jigglers.
Open a carton of ice cream on the butcher block and slice it. Then cut out the slices in heart shapes.
Cut slices of cheese in heart shapes.
Slice fruit, like cantaloupe, and use a mini-heart cookie cutter. Make fruit kabobs with heart shapes, grapes, and berries.

Heart Hunt: Use hollow plastic hearts (like Easter Eggs, but hearts) or Valentine Envelopes, and create a “Heart Hunt” for your children. This is exactly like an Easter Egg Hunt, but it is a Valentine theme instead. The Oriental Trading Company sells plastic hearts you can use.

Hershey’s Kiss Scavenger Hunt: Create a Family Scavenger Hunt with the kids for Daddy or Grandparents. Write clues and tape a Hershey’s Kiss to each one. Hide the clues appropriately, then leave a gift at the end of the hunt. The gift may be Dad’s favorite Ice Cream, a Homemade Card, a Photo with the Kids, or a Note. As a Grande Finale, enjoy a special dessert or activity (bowling, ice skating, miniature golf).

My Secret Valentine: On February 1st, family members draw names from a hat. For two weeks, leading up to Valentine’s Day, everyone does something nice every day for their “Secret Valentine” without revealing who they are. Ideas: Make Valentine’s bed while they are showering, do their chores while they are away from the house, hide secret notes under their pillows, tuck surprise presents in pockets, lunchboxes, and shoes. Everyone reveals their identity at a special Valentine’s meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner).
Red Letter Day: Decorate your home with hearts, red and white streamers, and Valentine balloons. Wear red.

Tablecloth Tradition: Make a special "Valentine's Table Cloth"... buy a solid table cloth and fabric paint. Stencil hearts on the tablecloth. Then, using fabric markers, let each member of the family write their favorite scriptures about Love or things they love about one another. Write new messages year after year and date your messages as an ongoing keepsake.

Valentine Breakfast: Serve Heart Shaped Pancakes (use a heart cookie cutter as your mold) and add a bit of red food coloring to the syrup or make strawberry syrup and serve with whipped cream. To make strawberry syrup: In a saucepan, bring 1 c. sugar and 1 c. water to a boil. Gradually add 1 1/2 c. chopped strawberries; return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over pancakes.

Valentine Breakfast Tray: Take an 11x14 frame w/o mat and use 11x14 paper to make a collage for your love. Glue ticket stubs, love notes, and photos to the paper, then frame it. Serve breakfast using the framed memories as the tray!

Valentine Puzzle: Buy a blank jigsaw puzzle (typically 9 or 12 pieces) at a local craft store or toy store. Decorate it with a Valentine message or handprints of the children. Mail one piece at a time (one a day) to grandparents along with a homemade card, note or treat each day. At the end of 9 or 12 days (or less if you make your own puzzle), they’ll have the entire puzzle and a great memory! We’ve been doing this for years in the Light household, and the grandparents LOVE it! See homemade Valentine ideas below for inspiration!

Valentine Tree: Decorate a small Christmas tree or other potted tree with red, pink, and white ornaments and hearts. Let the kids make construction paper hearts and decorate them with glitter as ornaments. Write Bible Verses about love on the homemade ornaments. Use this as a centerpiece all month long.

Valentine Scripture Countdown: Write 14 Scriptures about love on construction paper hearts. Put them in a bowl and draw one out of the bowl every night at the dinner table from Feb. 1 – 14. Read it aloud and hang it in a prominent spot. Fourteen Valentine Verses: Psalm 36:5, Psalm 52:8, Proverbs 8:17, Song of Solomon 2:4, Jeremiah 31:3, John 3:16,17, John 15:13, Romans 5:8, Romans 8: 38-39, Galatians 2:20, Eph. 2:4,5, Eph. 5:2, I John 3:1, I John 4:9,10

Window Paint Messages: Write notes or draw on windows, mirrors, glass doors, car windows with “I Love You” messages and hearts. Let the children get in the act (if they are old enough to know to obey and ONLY write on glass with Mom’s permission).


  1. Thanks for sharing all of these fun ideas! I love the grandparents brunch idea! Diane H.

  2. Popped over from Tip Junkie....LOVE all your ideas. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. This is too cute. Great ideas. Found you at Tip Junkie too.

  4. What fun ideas! Thank you! I found you on TipJunkie! Do you have any romantic ideas for spouses??

  5. Very creative - thanks for all the ideas! (found you at TipJunkie too!)

  6. I found you from Tip Junkie. These are fabulous ideas. I plan on using a few of them to start traditions this year. Thanks!

  7. these are great. thank you.

    i also came here via tip junkie.

  8. Some great ideas! I'm looking for some ideas to put in our MOPSNext newsletter and these are great! Found you via a tip junkie after she came up on a google search for valentine's day traditions.