9 Very Doable (and Fun!) Valentine’s Day Activities for Kids of All Ages
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more!
Cubby. Real solutions for unreal times.
Join us for a weekly dose of fresh, modern ideas for life at home with your kids.
There’s no better way to enjoy Valentine’s Day as a family than spending intentional creative time together. We’ve scoured Instagram and Pinterest boards for the sweetest projects for kids of all ages. Some are tasty, others messy, but all require simple supplies and are sure to deliver smiles and the joyful making of memories in under an hour. And some are even giftable, for the loves in your kids’ lives!
Make a Collaborative Love Wall Mural
Introduce your children to the colorful Love Wall and “bleeding heart” murals of street artist James Goldcrown by collaborating to create this awesome backdrop for Valentine’s selfies. Start by watching a 9-minute entertaining virtual lesson on the artist with Tennessee art teacher Cassie Stephens and use art chalk on black paper to make your own heart-work. For a larger mural like the one Oklahoma art teacher Lauren Lynes worked on with her first-graders, use markers or Kwik Sticks tempera paint sticks to draw oodles of hearts on a large stretch of drawing paper. For younger children not yet drawing shapes, consider cutting hearts from bright construction paper and using glue sticks to attach to paper.
Watch the Chalk Hearts Street Art video at Cassie Stephens.
Painting with Chocolate
Connecticut art teacher Elizabeth Bianco tempted us with this delicious activity of painting with melted chocolate. First, draw simple shapes on plain paper (details may be difficult to trace in chocolate). Then, cover the drawing with a piece of waxed paper and tape to a countertop. Place chocolate chips or candy melts in a microwave-safe dish or jar and heat in 30 second increments, mixing in between. When melted, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil or shortening to make smooth and glossy. Experiment painting with clean brushes or different utensils (spoons and forks) and methods (like dripping, pouring and if you are very brave, splattering). Be generous with the chocolate in order to form solid shapes that will peel off the waxed paper when set.
Tip: Chocolate will harden quickly on paint brushes. For easier clean up, place your used brushes in warm water or rinse quickly.
Play Chocolatier with Cocoa Playdough
Pair homemade playdough with a muffin tin or an empty chocolate box for kids to shape and mold treats. You’ll need pantry basics — flour, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, and salt — plus cream of tartar to make a batch of chocolate-scented playdough. Kids can help add the ingredients to a saucepan, then an adult can cook and mix the dough for 5 minutes on the stovetop. Add sprinkles and swirls of different playdough “flavors.”
Tip: This playdough smells delicious, but it isn’t edible, so it’s best for kids who can distinguish between food and play.
Get the playdough recipe and craft at 123 Homeschool For Me.
Hug Jar Full of Hearts
I adore this sweet hand-stitching project and the intention behind it. Meredith Donnelly, owner and teacher at Homegrown Studio, explains how the jar of hand-sewn hearts in her classroom and at home gives little ones a tool for expressing when they could use a hug or extra attention. You’ll need felt, embroidery needle and thread, a tiny bit of stuffing, and a few minutes’ patience for each heart.
Tip: If you or your child aren’t up for sewing, you can paint clay or wooden hearts to add to your hug jar instead.
Check out the tutorials: Homegrown Friends Felt Love Hearts, Hug Jar and Loving Memories Jar with Homemade White Clay Hearts
Molten Lava Cake Family Baking Date
Take the stress out of preparing a decadent dessert by baking along with this free family cooking class with Megan Dague, Pennsylvania parent and creator of The Kennett Kitchen. The 30-minute video includes the recipe with just six ingredients, safety tips, and clear guidance to get the perfect “ooze.” We’re eager to try this after having a blast sampling mini-batches of ten famous recipes as part of the cooking school’s Great Cookie Quest.
Download the free cooking class at The Kennett Kitchen.
Free Printable Valentine Scavenger Hunt
This free printable hunt from blogger Keri Lynn Snyder takes the work out of setting up a scavenger hunt but includes blank cards to personalize for your space or general silliness. For prizes, Snyder suggests thinking beyond candy to coupons for a surprise family outing or game (we’ve got one for you below) and check out Cubby’s fantastic list of 23 Sweet Valentine’s Gifts Under $20 for more ideas.
Tip: Print an extra set and let kids come up with a hunt (and prize) for you!
Download the cards at Mom Life Simplified.
Heart Shaped Suncatchers
Sarah Faust Smith, a Pennsylvania mother of two, made a “Valentine’s Ice mobile” with her son last winter, arranging citrus slices and pine needles in a heart shaped pan filled with water and a heavy string for hanging. Petals from Valentine’s bouquets and food coloring drops will work beautifully as well. Set outside or in your freezer overnight, then thaw slightly to release from the pan. For more immediate results, arrange botanicals on clear plastic with glue or on sticky contact paper.
See the tutorials for both ice and plastic hearts at Childsplay ABC.
Minute to Win It Family Games
I almost always incorporate Minute to Win It games for a classroom party activity when I’m tapped as a room parent. This printable candy obstacle course from parent blogger Stacy Julian is a favorite and one I’ve adapted for family gatherings with whatever treats we have at home.
Download the obstacle course template at Stacy Julian.
Love Thumbprint Rocks
This Valentine’s edition of kindness rocks can be made with found rocks or shapes molded out of mess-free Model Magic or air dry clay. Both modeling materials will harden overnight though clay will dry to a heftier, stone-like finish. Kids can dip their thumbs in paint and form hearts with their prints. Then use a paint pen to add conversation-heart style messages and leave your sweet thoughts around town or gift to a loved one or teacher.