Valentine's Day Activities With Grandchildren
Historians have long argued the how and why Valentine’s Day is celebrated as a “romantic” holiday. I personally don’t care since it gives me yet another reason (not that I need one!) to spend time with my grandkids.
In this article, I'm sharing my most favorite Valentine's Day activities with grandchildren, so you can enjoy them too.
Cook Breakfast Together
You can start the celebrating at breakfast with heart-shaped French toast. All you need is a heart-shaped cookie cutter to get the fun started!
Take slices of bread and cut them with the cookie cutter. Then, dip them in an egg wash and cook in a frying pan. Put them on a plate and cover with red berries and powdered sugar — yummy and colorful!
These Valentine parfait cupcakes are perfect to make with your grandkids and even send them to school with. I also add little Valentine’s Day conversation candies with sayings on them. These are easy to make and something all the kids will love!
For years I’ve bought letters that spell out “I Love You.” The kids take washable paint and create masterpieces! We hang them in a special place in my home and each year we replace the previous year’s artwork.
It’s amazing to see how their skills change from year to year. They don’t know it, but I have kept every one (I dated each of them) to show them when they get older — who knows, I may use them somehow in their weddings!
I draw tree trunks and branches on a piece of construction paper and the kids finger paint heart-shaped leaves on them. Once it’s dry, I help them write special things they want to tell their mom and dad.
Here’s what you need:
- Construction paper or colorful paper stock
- Heart-shaped pasta
- Uncooked spaghetti (to make the stems)
- White craft glue
- Crayon or colored pencil
Cover a flat surface with newspaper. Have the kids write (or draw) their messages on the colored paper, then brush glue on one side of the pasta hearts with paintbrush. Using the line drawings as a guide, attach pieces to the paper. Set aside to dry.
DIY Valentine’s Day Placemats
This is a great gift kids can give their parents or grandparents. For supplies, you’ll need:
- Glue or glue stick
- Scrapbook paper
- re-cut hearts (cut out of scrapbook paper)
- Construction paper
- Contact paper
Pre-cut two equal pieces of contact paper in desired size for a place mat, and have the kids color and paste hearts on a piece of construction paper. Separate backing from contact paper and place finished construction paper design on sticky part of contact paper.
Cut a border out of scrapbook paper and stick on sticky part of contact paper around construction paper. Separate backing from second piece of contact paper and stick on top of other contact paper. Seal together by pressing hard along the edges and cut excess contact paper around the place mat.
I also have a blast creating a scavenger hunt! I write clues on paper hearts, then hide them inside the house and out. The kids have to follow the clue which leads to a surprise gift or treat.
Dinner Made by Your Budding Chef
Try this pasta with no-cook tomato and bocconcini sauce, with sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and a handful of your favorite chopped herbs.
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/2 c. fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 package penne or corkscrew pasta
- 12 oz. small mozzarella balls (bocconcini)
In large serving bowl, stir cherry tomatoes, parsley, basil, oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Let stand at room temperature at least one hour or up to four hours to blend flavors.
Heat large covered sauce pot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add pasta and cook as label directs and drain well. Add pasta to tomato mixture, toss with bocconcini and serve.
To make it themed, take red peppers, cut in heart shape designs and place on top.
Valentine’s Day Party
Let your grandchild invite some friends over for an after school snack/crafts party. I make a load of tea sandwiches: white bread spread with cream cheese and strawberry jam, cut into heart shapes.
I serve them with apple juice or milk — and of course, lots of cookies! For the crafts portion, I buy a lot of Valentine-themed sugar cookies, have pastry bags filled with pink, red and white icing, and let the kids go. They love their designs and have something to take home to their parents!
Do Something Charitable
While we’re having fun with Valentine’s Day, we also try to remember people who aren’t as fortunate. There are a lot of widows and widowers living near us, so we make extra cookies and cupcakes, the kids make a bunch of little cards with hearts and a nice saying, and we deliver them.
TV or Movie Marathon
After dinner, we all curl up on the sofas and start watching our favorite Valentine’s Day movies and TV shows. One of my all time favorites is Lady and the Tramp, but there are a ton to choose from — everything from Beauty and the Beast, to Wall-E, Shrek and A Charlie Brown Valentine.
Also, PBS is running a variety of kids Valentine’s Day episodes starting February 10th, so you may want to check your local listings.
I always keep a few Valentine’s Day books around to read on this special day. Some of my very favorite are: Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Llama Llama I Love You, Mr. Goat’s Valentine, and Love Is You and Me, all of which are available on Amazon.
Enjoy, and Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!