valentines day

There are many historical events and legends that have made February 14 what we know today, but most recently, Valentine’s Day is marked by the tradition of expressing love with gifts of chocolate, candy, flowers and cards.

In our family, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to remember how much love we have for each other, family, friends and community, and to take a moment to demonstrate that love.  Often, in our daily lives, we forget to show people how much we care and to spread the abundance of love we have in our hearts!

How can you make the most of Valentine’s Day with your toddler?  Here are some fun tips for a day they are sure to love!

— Use this as an opportunity to discuss the importance of friends and family.  Explain the difference between a friend and a family member and the unique ways in which you love them both.  Spend plenty of time snuggling with your sweet love and doing things that you enjoy together.

— Valentine’s Day is another holiday where sugar treats are in abundance.  Don’t overindulge.  Use some of those fun treats your child may have gotten from friends to play games (sorting, stacking and crafts).

— Your toddler is naturally sweet, so make special treats at home that aren’t full of sugar.  Consider using heart-shaped cookie cutters to make ordinary meals with extra love — omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and even fruits and vegetables can be transformed into a plate full of hearts!

— Make your valentine’s heart smart!  If you are participating in a party and exchanging Valentines with friends, consider skipping the candy with the cards and instead send something fresh!  Make edible Valentines with graham crackers, cream cheese and strawberry slices.  Other ideas for sweet Valentines without the sugar include bubbles and play dough.

— Use food for fun crafts including heart-shaped potato stamps and celery roses.

— Discuss love by making a list of the reasons (5-10 depending on age) why you love Daddy (Mommy, Sister, Brother, Grandma, etc).  Share them at dinner.

— Teach your child to share the love.  Take some time and open your heart to everyone in your community.  Make special Valentines to take to a nursing home, children’s hospital or homeless shelter or choose a toy and donate it.

Check out these and many more fresh and fun way to enjoy this day of love with your toddler on our Pinterest page here  (http://pinterest.com/freshbaby/).