Start the day with a fresh attitude
The tone of Valentine's Day really starts with a positive attitude. If you dread it, the kids pick up on it and there goes the fun! But if you start with a light, somewhat silly and affectionate attitude towards your hubby and your kids, you can prepare for a day of smiles and giggles. Although you may have to consciously project that light attitude at first, it's going to be reflected back at you — and soon it will take no effort at all.
Do we have to wear red? Yes!
Most members of your family already have red or pink clothing. Make sure it's clean and ready for wear. Many retail stores sell inexpensive Valentine's themed apparel each year — so there's no excuse for not dressing the part. If your kids don't have something that suits the holiday, pick up a cute new shirt or pair of fun socks and surprise them.
Breakfast food fun
Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to make both heart-shaped and red. Cranberry muffins? Sliced strawberries? Heart-shaped pancakes with raspberry syrup? What better way to say "I love you" than with a delicious, filling meal? Serving a fun Valentine's Day breakfast is a great way to start your family's day.
A few minutes with scissors and some red and pink construction paper and you can have a pile of hearts to hide all over the house — and in pockets, backpacks, briefcases, pillows. You can take the extra time to write on each for your own personal non-calorie version of candy hearts. Kids love a surprise, and hunting around for hidden hearts adds a bit of fun to the holiday. You can even create a scavenger hunt with the hearts, leaving clues on each one.
Lunch box surprises
What lunch box treats can travel with your child to school on Valentine's Day? Think heart-shaped PB&J, berry yogurt, strawberries, chocolate kisses or a heart-shaped note. As mortified as your teenage son might be — or claim to be to save face with his peers — your feelings for your sometimes challenging adolescent will be clear with a Valentine's-themed lunch.
Romantic dinner — everyone or just you two
Whether Mom and Dad are heading out to a special meal — or even if you aren't —plan something a little out of the ordinary and special, a little more than your usual Monday pasta night. Whether it's a favorite dish you don't make very often or something all new, wrap up a fun Valentine's Day with a delicious dinner. Don't forget to include a dessert!
Valentine's Day advertising may focus on high romance, but it really is a fun and loving holiday for the whole family. Start the day with a good attitude, and Valentine's Day can be fun for everyone this year.
More Valentine's Day fun
Valentine's Day with your children... minus the gifts
Kid's craft: Valentine's Day cards
7 Valentine's Day activities for kids