When it comes to Valentines day we never really think about our children, Unless they are in school when you are frantically helping them to make their valentines day cards to hand out to classmates that you seemingly left til the night before. I know when I was younger looking back, my mom did some of the best things when it came to Valentines day. You can read all about that when I talk a little bit of the things she did for us here. There’s are 5 ideas that I will be doing with my son’s as they age and even now! And yes, Most of these are budget friendly and you are able to probably find it in your local discount store!
You cannot go wrong with art supplies. Whether you get some new markers, or coloring books, or even some activity pads, if your little one is an older toddler and is able to understand more. There is so many things you can do in terms of creating with your little one. One of the things that you can do is get some paints and do certain crafts with their hands or feet. You can make pictures for your walls or the fridge too. Most of the time also the discount stores, in my case in Canada the Dollarama, has things that are kid friendly and non-toxic too. Not to mention also, they are pretty inexpensive so that if your miniature artist drops them or mixes all the colors to make that lovely share of brown, chances are you are going to be able to eventually replace the supplies as time goes on.
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Salt Dough crafts and ornaments are a huge way to pay it forward to not only yourself but loved ones too. You can make impressions of their hands and feet if you want to, and you can also pain them or give them as gifts. There is endless possibilities with these and it can be a great way to keep track of their growth as well too. You can even make their hands in the shape of a heart to paint and have a permanent keepsake to use year after year. Typically you have seen them around the holidays for Christmas where children make different ornaments to hang on their tree, however the activity itself is not just for Christmas.
One of my favorites that I may be just tackling myself is sensory bottles. They look amazing and there is so many ways that you can do them up. If you are not familiar with what a sensory bottle is you may know the cousin to these which is the time out bottle. Essentially it is a bottle with various types of liquids and or different pieces of things inside that children use as sort of a timer when they are disciplined. When the sparkles or glitter settle the time is up. Sensory bottles are basically the same things however you can use different items inside. Maybe you have marbles in one, glitter or sparkles in another. Maybe you have oil and water and another thickened liquid to shake up. Whatever you have laying around the house, this is a great thing to make for your little one to explore as they look inside. Just make sure if you do make this that you fully close the bottles or you may have a bit of a bigger mess on your hands with sparkles everywhere too!
Books! In my honest opinion I really don’t think you can go wrong about books. For me I tend to buy a book or two after all the holidays. My theory is that by the time they are older we will have so many various books for different occasions. Another idea tied on to this which may be challenging is finding a book where the title has the name of your child. I have found one for my 1st son which was hard to find and next is my 2nd son whom I need to find a book for. Something like this is a great way to encourage reading and having some quieter moments reading together and bonding over them in some small way. You do not just have to buy Valentines Day related books either. You can use your imagination and find whatever books or series you are reading.
And finally, a snack of some sort! I wanted to put this last due to the fat it seems to be such an obvious choice. For me, both of my son’s are very small, in fact one is only a few months old. However getting a treat or a snack that you may not normally buy is a nice way to also give back to your little one. My son regularly eats grain bars or even bear paws which we normally grab the healthiest option. A great way to give them a little treat is maybe buying a different flavor than normal for them to enjoy for a bit around Valentines Day. Maybe instead of a cereal like bar I will reach for a chocolate chip banana flavor. This does not need to be a chocolate bar or chips when they are so little but something like this can be a nice change of taste for them.
Regardless if you want to spend a lot or not, these are some pretty inexpensive ideas for your toddler that you can share on Valentines Day. I know growing up we never really made it a huge deal however my mom did some small activities and things to make us feel a little bit extra love on that day. As my children grow older I am sure that I will continue to revamp this list and share all of the ideas that I will have too!