affordable Valentine ideas en-US 10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day With Kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-ways-to-celebrate-valentines-day-with-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Valentine&#039;s Day cupcakes" title="Valentine&#039;s Day cupcakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before you have children, Valentine's Day is usually a holiday that's all about romance. Once babies come into the picture, though, things tend to change. You might not be able to celebrate with an evening out on the town, or want to spend money on flowers, champagne, and fancy chocolates.</p> <p>Even if you do have romantic plans for Valentine's Day, you'll probably want to celebrate with your children too. Kids love holidays and traditions, and there are lots of fun ways to make Valentine's Day special.</p> <h2>Decorate Your House</h2> <p>You decorate your home for Halloween and Christmas, why not Valentine's Day? Head to your local dollar store for some inexpensive decorations like balloons and streamers, and then let your kids hang them up. You can decorate with items like flowers, ribbons, and tablecloths too.</p> <p>It's also fun to make your own decorations. Use pink, red, and white construction paper to make paper chains (like the red and green ones that are so popular at Christmas), and then hang them from the ceiling. Or let your children create some heart-themed artwork and hang it on your walls.</p> <h2>Make Handmade Valentine's</h2> <p>You can always buy Valentine's Day cards, but if you've got the time, most kids enjoy making their own. One easy way is to cut a heart out of construction paper and then glue a white paper doilie on top. Let your children decorate these with markers, glitter, stickers, and candy hearts.</p> <p>You can also find lots of <a href="">ideas for handmade cards</a> online. Mail these cards to friends and family, or deliver some to a local nursing home and teach your kids how to make Valentine's Day special for someone else.</p> <h2>Get Crafty</h2> <p>If you enjoy making crafts, you don't have to stop with handmade cards. For young children, download <a href="">printable coloring pages</a>. For older children, visit websites like <a href="">Kaboose</a> and <a href="">Family Fun </a>to find pictures and descriptions of lots of great craft ideas. If you're looking for harder projects, visit the <a href="">Martha Stewart</a> website, where you can learn how to make embellished candy boxes or your own heart-shaped soap.</p> <h2>Play Games</h2> <p>Many games that are childhood favorites can be modified to include a Valentine's Day theme. For example, it's easy to find free printable templates for games like Valentine's Bingo or Tic-Tac-Toe. Make the games even more fun by using those cute little candy hearts in place of chips.</p> <p>It can also be fun to create your own Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt by writing clues on paper hearts that lead to a special gift or treat. If you're short on time and looking for something super-easy, let your kids play some of the many <a href="">Valentine's computer games</a> that are available online.</p> <h2>Head to the Kitchen</h2> <p>Valentine's Day makes a great excuse to indulge in some delicious treats, and cooking and baking provide all kinds of valuable lessons in many aspects of math and reading. Even little children can pour and dump, and older kids can learn to read recipes and measure ingredients. Make some heart-shaped sugar cookies and decorate them with pink frosting and sprinkles. If you prefer chocolate, try making chocolate-covered strawberries or easy homemade truffles.</p> <p>And if you're looking for a healthier option, now might be the time to see if your kids will eat this <a href="">Red Beet and White Bean Hummus</a>. It's hot pink &mdash; which makes it perfect for the occasion!</p> <h2>Host a Party</h2> <p>Once you've got the house decorated, the games planned, and the treats prepared, why not host a Valentine's Day party? Invite a few friends or just the stuffed animals. Plan to play some of the games and make some of the crafts listed above, and then serve treats with heart-themed plates, cups, and napkins. Use heart-shaped cookie cutters to make heart-shaped tea sandwiches, and don't forget to mix up a <a href="">sparkling pink punch</a>.</p> <h2>Start a Tradition</h2> <p>Family traditions provide children with a sense of security and belonging, and are fun and rewarding for the entire family. A tradition can be as simple as having breakfast together and serving heart-shaped pancakes on Valentine's Day morning, or setting aside a special time during the day each year to share the things you love about each other.</p> <h2>Learn Something</h2> <p>Holidays almost always provide a teachable moment, and Valentine's Day is no exception. Explore the <a href="">legend of St. Valentine</a> and the history of Valentine's Day by reading books from your local library or bookstore. You can also take the opportunity to encourage reading by choosing a few of the many <a href=";plgroup=1&amp;docId=1000649271">great Valentine's Day books</a> available and reading them with your kids.</p> <h2>Talk About Hearts</h2> <p>Did you know that February is National Heart Month? Take the opportunity and use Valentine's Day to teach your children about the real human heart. The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation has many fun and educational links on the <a href="">Kid's Corner</a> of their website where kids can learn what their heart looks like and how to take care of it.</p> <p>Depending upon the ages of your children, you could also talk to them about heart disease, and consider setting a good example by donating some of your own time or money to an organization like the American Heart Association.</p> <h2>Tell Your Children You Love Them</h2> <p>This one seems like a no-brainer, right? But sometimes it's easy to assume that our children know that we love them and forget to say the actual words. Even if you tell them every day, tell them again. They're three simple words, but children can never hear them enough. And cards and hearts and candy aside, isn't love what Valentine's Day is really all about?</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> When you have children, Valentine&#039;s Day isn&#039;t always about flowers and romance, but it can still be fun. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is post by Alyssa Chirco from our sister blog, <a href="">Parenting Squad</a>. Visit Parenting Squad for more parenting tips and news:</p> <ul> <li><a href="">8 Simple Ways To Avoid Toxic Baby Care Products</a></li> <li><a href="">How To Buy Your Daughter's First Bra</a></li> <li><a href="">6 Ways for Parents to Encourage Fitness and Improve Their Kid's Grades</a></li> <li><a href="">The 3 Things Pregnant Women Need More Than A Birth Plan</a></li> <li><a href="">How To Help Your Young Teen Get a Job</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Parenting Squad</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">14 Ways to Spend Less Money on Valentine&#039;s Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">11 Holiday Pet Dangers to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">10 Ways to Keep Your Kid&#039;s Prom From Ruining Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family Home affordable Valentine ideas cheap Valentine ideas frugal holiday decorating games for kids Holidays Valentine's Day Thu, 10 Feb 2011 13:36:12 +0000 Parenting Squad 489588 at Valentine's Day on a Budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/valentines-day-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking for ways to honor your partner and your financial goals at the same time? Don't want to be a dud this Valentine's Day, but don't have fifty to a hundred bucks to drop on cheap candy or overpriced flowers? Here are ten stylish ideas that won't break the bank.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>Tea in the tub</strong>.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">It's hard to find time to relax when our lives get busy. If your tub's big enough for two, enjoy a <a href=" ">bubbly one</a> together. If not, use it as an opportunity to demonstrate your adoration by giving your special someone a bath and pedicure while they relax with a hot soothing beverage. If you'd like to try something special, I recently had the opportunity to try a sample of Kusmi's &ldquo;sweet love&rdquo; variety. My opinion? This is a <a href=" ">seriously sexy tea</a>. It's loose, so you'll have to strain or press it. But really, that just adds to the ceremony and romance. The color and texture variation in this blend is gorgeous and the flavor is truly unique. Enjoy a cup with bubbles and candlelight while you unwind with your significant other.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>A sexy voice mail.</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Leave it in the morning when your bedroom voice is the strongest. Rock his socks off with some seriously steamy love talk. He'll hear it when he gets to work and be crazy all day with anticipation to get home to you.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>A scrapbook. </strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">I did this our first Valentine's Day together after we were married. I gathered all the cards, photos and letters to put into a giant scrapbook with notations, captions and stickers to &ldquo;amp it up&rdquo;. My husband loved it. Now that we are going more digital, I may have to try my hand at a slide show / video&nbsp; compilation with music. I've seen some done over the years that were quite powerfully put together.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>The power of a single rose</strong>.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"> Less can be more in many ways. Pick out a single perfect rose to tickle your lover awake with, and then bring them breakfast and more in bed.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>Alternative flowers.</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Skip the traditional roses and go for a dramatic bouquet of alternative mixed blooms. Incorporate some pearl strands or glittery wired ribbon. Andrea has some <a href=" ">excellent suggestions</a> on the subject. Guys? If you think this is a woman you're going to keep around permanently, I'd like to make a couple of additional suggestions. Incorporate them only if you're planning on popping the question.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">If&nbsp;you have a special family vase that's been around for a few generations, use that. We have one that was my mom's great grandmother's. Even if you've been married for a few years, this might be a nice gesture. Another great idea is a <a href=" ">tussy mussy</a>. These come in all shapes and sizes. I still have the one that came with my bouquet from Denmark (our first of three wedding ceremonies &ndash; long story). It's the simple cone shaped variety, and I love it because it was the one he picked out for me. I recently discovered that you can order these things with stands or choose a stand alone variety completely. I recommend that if you can do it. It'll get use time and again. They're surprisingly affordable, as decent ones can be purchased for under twenty bucks. If you give her a bouquet of wildflowers in one of these and say that you'd like her to carry her bouquet down the aisle in it as you slip a vintage family ring on her finger, you'll get major fiancé brownie points on a budget, believe me. Bonus? She'll have something gorgeous to set flowers in for the rest of your lives together.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>Well thought out love coupons. </strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Choose coupon benefits you will follow through on, or your lover will feel let down. Keep your partner's likes and wishes in mind. A night off from trash detail, cleaning the car for them, one secret fantasy fulfilled, their favorite dish made whenever they want or a foot rub on demand are all great ideas to honor the efforts and needs of the one you're with. They also won't run your monthly budget into the ditch. Here's a link to several different coupons you can send <a href=";cat=coupons ">electronically</a>. (I like the one for a simple dinner on the grill.) If you like the idea of a coupon book slid into a homemade card, this link has some you can <a href=" ">print off </a>a page at a time using colored paper.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>Celebrate your artistic side. </strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">If you are great at sketching, do a tasteful black and white nude of your lover to frame for your bedroom. Or capture&nbsp;your special someone&nbsp;in laughter, prayer or contemplation. It's an intimate gift that can't be replicated or purchased.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>A really hot photo of yourself.</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Put it in a nice frame and pair it with the steamiest letter you've ever written. Of course, if you want to go for something more conservative, present one he can put on his desk at work. Still include the steamy letter, though.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>Compile a CD.</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Out of all the wedding presents we received, this was our favorite. If you're going to incorporate it into your Valentine's program however, I recommend having it playing in the background and giving it to your loved one later.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>A little atmosphere goes a long way.</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Whether you are in extreme northern climes and going for a romantic candlelight breakfast, or implementing a simple <a href="">seafood</a>&nbsp;dinner of seared scallops and shucked oysters ( London Lennies restaurant has instructional videos on both <a href="">here</a> ),&nbsp; you can make the most of the experience using things you already have around the house. A pressed tablecloth, intricately folded napkins, candles galore, wine and water goblets, a specially printed menu and some specially created background music will make whatever you serve seem exceptional.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><em>So go for it! Don't let a small budget get in the way of celebrating the day in grand fashion, if that's what you want to do. Make your own </em><a href=""><em>card</em></a><em>,&nbsp;bake a heart shaped </em><a href=""><em>cake</em></a><em>,&nbsp;make a simple multi-course </em><a href=" "><em>dinner</em></a><em>, do </em><a href=""><em>something simple </em></a><em>together&nbsp;or try some of the romantic free ideas our Will Chen has to </em><a href=""><em>offer</em></a><em>.&nbsp;In the end though, don't be a cheapskate with your affections. Honor the day in some way with your special someone, even if you just turn off the phone and hold on tight. Happy Valentine's Day everyone.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Staff</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. 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Valentine's Day Wed, 04 Feb 2009 18:25:19 +0000 Staff 2813 at