The month of LOVE is almost here!! It’s hard to believe that it’s almost February, isn’t it? Valentine’s Day, and the two weeks leading up to it, is quickly becoming my children’s “second favorite holiday” (according to them). I think it’s because of this tradition I’ve established with them throughout the last several years which I’ll go into a little detail about below…
By the very end of January, I have my Valentine’s Day decorations up around the house and I’ve set up my kids’ mailboxes in the family room. They simply CANNOT wait until February 1st. That’s when I leave them their first “token of love” in their mailbox.
I usually start the two weeks off with an individual love note written especially for them. This is their first piece of mail. I declare how smitten I am with them, how proud I am, and how I admire how they show love to one another (especially their siblings). I’m sure to mention at least a couple of child-specific personality qualities that I adore about them. This is a great way to kick off our season of love.
The other thirteen days, I leave a little treat in each mailbox and put the flag up so they know they have something waiting for them. Sometimes the flag is up first thing in the morning; sometimes it doesn’t pop up until the evening. I like to change it up with each kid sometimes too so they’re not all scrambling into the mailboxes at the same time, and I can give each kiddo a little quality minute or two when they open it. Plus, it keeps them on their toes.
I try to balance out the candy/sweets with the toys. (And by “toys”, sometimes I mean “dollar store junk” that’ll get used or break within the week). You can see some of my ideas in the picture at the top. (I took the photo on the top to show you most of my treats, as I’m just about done collecting them – keep in mind, there’s just one treat per day, so the mailbox situation looks more like the photo on the bottom.) Sometimes, all the kids get the same things (like jelly beans), other times, the treats are more tailored to their age and interest. Each year, I throw in a few coupons for Movie Night, Game Night, and Family Outing to Fro-Yo Night. It’s all topped off with our annual Valentine’s Day Dinner & Dessert: homemade heart-shaped pizzas with personalized toppings and a huge heart-shaped sugar cookie with all the pink frosting and sprinkles a sweet-toothed mom, I mean kid, could ask for.
It may look from the picture and description of all this that I’m spoiling my kids with unnecessary sweets and gifts. I believe that spreading out the sweet stuff like chocolate and candy throughout the month is better than OD’ing on it in one day (especially if they already had a class party). I also like to tie in the value of gift-giving. My kids know that I shop with them in mind and have picked some things just for them. It makes them feel unique. They also know that if their behavior that day is less than satisfactory, their mailbox flag might not go up that day – a little extra encouragement to practice kindness towards all. We like to read our love-themed books during this time before bed each night and even try to learn a little more about St. Valentine.
Here are some other great treat ideas for the younger kids…
personal hand-written love note
single serving Reese’s PB Hearts
single serving Conversation Hearts
single serving red and pink Jelly Bellys
lollipops or Ring Pops
fruit roll-ups or fruit wraps
crayons or markers
Play-Doh and accessories
$5 gift card to Jamba Juice (or somewhere similar)
activity pages (links below)
coupons (link below)
** I got my larger mailboxes at JoAnn Fabrics last year (currently $5.99), but Target usually has the smaller versions in their Dollar Spot section.
Click here for the printable PDF version of the Valentine Crossword from Teacher’s Friend Publications, Inc.
Click here for the printable PDF version of the February Crossword from Teacher’s Friend Publications, Inc.
Click here for the printable PDF version of the February Word Search from Teacher’s Friend Publications, Inc.
Click here for the adorable free printable coupons from Catch My Party.
I hope I’ve inspired you to find some creative ways of showing love to your loved ones.
Happy Month of Love, beLOVEd!
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV