Tuesday, January 31, 2017

How to Make Your Little One Feel Special On Valentine's Day without Spending A Lot of Money

One of the most fun parts of parenting is getting the chance to light up your child's face during holidays. It's one of the best feelings in the world, right?  I've always been pretty into celebrating any chance I get, but now my son is old enough to start anticipating holidays.  And that brings it all to a whole new level.  More fun, more excitement, and more of the cheesy goodness that comes with most celebrations.

A lot of people think you have to spend a ton of money or do something crazy elaborate to make a holiday fun. But to be honest, there are several simple ways to celebrate and make your kids feel special. Below are some ideas for Valentine's Day.



Hearts on Their Door

I've seen this floating around several places on the internet and have decided to start this tradition this year in our home. The idea is to take paper heart cut-outs, write reasons you love your child ("you're funny," "you're great at painting,") on them, and attach them to the front of your child's bedroom door each day starting February 1st. That way, they wake up to a sweet little surprise each morning that helps them to feel great about themselves.

I like this idea, although I like to think of it as giving your child compliments or making them aware of some of the great things about themselves instead of "reasons" why you love your child. I mean, I get where they're going with it. Valentine's Day---Love. But, I always tell my son I love him no matter what. Even when he doesn't behave or makes a mistake, I am still going to love him.  So I feel like calling these cute hearts "reasons" to love your own child is a little contradictory to that message.  Maybe things you love ABOUT your child? I don't know.  Maybe I'm overthinking it. But either way, I'm going to pose these as simple, cute complimentary hearts instead.

Special Breakfast/ Lunch/ Or Dinner

I'll admit something right now.  I don't normally cook breakfast for my family. Both my husband and my son are obsessed with cereal. So that's usually what they have. But on holidays like Christmas, Easter, and, yes, Valentine's Day, I cook a "real" breakfast.  It's usually something not super healthy like French toast, pancakes, or cinnamon rolls, but it is something special my family enjoys. And it signifies a special occasion.  You can do this with any meal you don't normally go all out for on the daily.  And it doesn't have to be super elaborate or expensive.  I mean I literally cook up some bacon and eggs or pop some cinnamon rolls in the oven and that's all it takes. 

Make Cookies WITH Them

You don't have to make them from scratch.  You can even buy the ones that are already cut-out into cute shapes. (Pillsbury knows what's up, guys.) But frosting and decorating cookies with your kids is a great way to not only allow them to participate in the holiday fun, but for them to also see how special it is to have someone make something for them.  For them to see the time and effort you put into making (decorating) a cookie for them. As they get older, they'll see the time and effort you put into gathering and setting up the supplies so they can have fun decorating cookies.

Dress-up Gifts

I told you I liked the cheesy aspects of holidays, right?  Well here is one of the cheesiest.  And I love it.  The Dollar Tree sells a BUNCH of cute/corny Valentine's Day Themed gear.  Heart shaped glasses, boas, hats, headbands - they've got it all.  Purchase some and put them out on the table for your family to choose from Valentine's morning.  Make sure you wear some too!  It's silly...but fun. And festive!

Candy

(I know. I know. Sugar is poison. Candy is so bad for you.  It's not healthy. I KNOW. If you choose not to give your child candy, maybe do this with their favorite snack. )

During Valentine's Day, candy is placed into cute little packaging for all of us to adore.  What we don't adore? How much the price of the candy goes up BECAUSE of that packaging.  If you're looking at a box of 6 Hershey Kisses for $5 like "No way, no how," here is a cute solution.  First, buy the candy of choice in it's regular, boring, (but cheaper), packaging.  So, for Hershey's Kisses, you would buy them in the regular Hershey's bag instead of the adorable heart-shaped box.  Then, look up cute ways to repackage them on Pinterest.  You could tape Hershey's kisses (or hugs) onto a paper heart cut-out with "A kiss [hug] from me to you" written on it. Or simply bunch lollipops together and secure with a rubber band or Valentine's themed hair tie to look like a bouquet.  Or draw simple blue waves on a Ziploc bag (with a permanent marker) and place gummy fish inside. There are so many inexpensive options and you don't have to be a Pinterest expert to be able to pull them off.

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