Valentine’s Day is a day that most kids look forward to with anticipation. They expect to receive dozens of Valentine’s Day cards from their school classmates, as well as treats. It’s a day that can be fun for families, as well.
One of the most exciting activities for most children is shopping for their Valentine’s Day cards.
Theme cards celebrating favorite movies like “Frozen,” “Trolls” and “The Secret World of Pets” compete for attention with cards that feature generic themes such as dinosaurs, kittens, puppies, toy cars, robots, mermaids and unicorns.
Letting your child express his or her individually is important. The action of choosing a package of classroom cards from several different themes approved by parents is an important lesson in decision making for children.
If you have a very creative child you might want to encourage him or her to handmake “custom” cards to celebrate the holiday. You might discover you have a future greeting card designer waiting to make a mark in the industry.
Other activities you can do with your children:
Decorate your home, including your front windows and front door with handmade Valentine crafts. Examples include:
Faux stained-glass valentines
Add black acrylic paint to a half-
empty bottle of white glue, stir until glue is uniformly black.
Using the tip of the glue bottle draw a heart on watercolor paper or blank note cards. Inside the heart make line patterns with the glue, leaving plenty of space to paint the remaining white space with watercolors.
Let the glue dry. Then, paint with a variety of pastel watercolors the spaces between the black lines.
Melted crayon hearts
Use two squares of wax paper. Using a pencil sharpener, “shave” different colors of red and pink crayons onto one sheet of wax paper. After you have enough shavings, cover the sheet with the other square of wax paper.
Using an iron on the lowest setting gently “iron” until the crayons melt. Let cool. Cut the square into a heart shape.
Using a hole punch, punch a hole in the top of the heart and hang from a piece of yarn in the front window so the sunlight makes your heart “glow.”
Tissue paper suncatchers
Cut out two large, identical heart shapes from red construction paper. Cut out the inside of the heart leaving a one to two-inch border. Place clear contact paper over the “empty heart,” leaving the sticky side face up.
Cut small squares, hearts, circles and triangles of red and pink tissue paper. Scatter these randomly over the clear sticky contact paper. Then cover with another piece of clear contact paper.
Trim the edges and then glue the other side of your construction heart to your finished heart, being careful to match up the edges. Using a hole punch, punch a hole at the top of your heart and hand up in a window where it will catch the sun’s rays.
Cut out hearts in different sizes from different types of paper and white or silver dollies. Tape to your front door or front window to make it appear your home is “raining” hearts.
A variety of special Valentine’s Day events are available for families on Valentine’s weekend around Southern California.
Feb. 15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Puppy Love: A Free Valentine’s Celebration
532 S Olive St., Los Angeles
The first annual Puppy Love Valentine’s Day Celebration is hosted by Pershing Square downtown. There will be a variety of activities to celebrate this special day with your pup.
Activities include pictures with your pup, off-leash lawn play, K9 crafts, hot dog snacks and adopt a pet. Music will be provided by DJ Dog Hound.
Feb. 15, 10:30 a.m. to noon
Valentine’s Day Fun Kids Corner: Love Bugs
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia
Families can enjoy a special Valentine’s Day-themed “Kids Corner” at The Arboretum. The day’s theme is “Love Bugs.”
That is, spiders versus butterflies, and ladybugs versus cockroaches. Why do we love some bugs, and fear others?
In this fun and educational program, explore this question while visiting with the resident tarantula, millipede, hissing cockroaches and worms. After getting up close and personal, you may find them far more lovable than scary.
The event ends with the release of ladybugs into the garden, followed by making a “love bug” antennae.
Feb. 15-17, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fill Your Heart with Art
Kidspace Children’s Museum
480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena
From paint to paper craft, experiment, practice and participate in a variety of art. Fill your heart with different art at stations scattered throughout the museum, each station features a different medium or technique to try. Don’t miss the Family Workshop on paper quilling at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.