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Sweet ways to show your family extra love

Go beyond the little chocolates and candy conversation hearts this Valentine’s Day to really show some extra love to your family. Here are some festive ideas to celebrate the sweetest holiday of the year with more fun and love this year.

Heart attack

Starting on Feb. 1, put a heart on your child’s bedroom door every day with a reason why you love them. Cut hearts in all different sizes and colors and include one positive, unique thing about your kid on each heart. Then each day leading up to Valentine’s Day, tape up another heart so that by Feb. 14, your child feels overwhelmed with compliments and love about the great little people they are. Challenge your spouse and kids to do the same in return for you! It can be a love-fest all around.

Scavenger hunt

Send the kids or your spouse on a customized Valentine’s scavenger hunt filled with clues and surprises. Start by making four clues and then four rewards or treats to be found. The rewards can be four pieces of a homemade puzzle that, when put together, have a special message. Be creative with your clues and incorporate some rhymes. “Roses are red, violets are blue, for your next clue look in a ____,” or “February 14th, full of red and pink, to find the next clue, look under the _____.” Give them an envelope with a hint for the first location, then send them on their way to find each clue and reward.

Love coupons

Create a lovingly homemade coupon book or packet for each of your children that they can cash in as desired. Make each coupon good for things like no chores for the day, family trip for ice cream, stay up 30 minutes past bedtime, movie outing and movie of your choice, a special outing with mom or dad, game night or extra 30 minutes of screen time. You can find cute free printables on Pinterest or custom create your own!

Cupid’s photobooth

Get out the love props and make a photobooth in the corner of your house. Use a festive plastic tablecloth or sheet as a backdrop. You can find lots of adorable free graphics online to print, cut out and attach to wooden sticks or dowels. Print mustaches, glasses, lips, hearts, hats and arrows to give your photobooth participants lots of options. Add in some giant heart pillows, necklaces and anything pink, white or red! Then snap away with a camera or even more fun, a Polaroid camera! 

Love birds

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for people, so share some lovin’ with the birds outside by making hanging heart bird feeders. Mix together ¾ cup flour, ½ cup water, 1 envelope unflavored gelatin, 3 Tbsp. corn syrup and 4 cups birdseed. Spray a spoon with cooking spray and use it to spread the mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spray the heart-shaped cookie cutter with cooking spray, then press to make hearts from the smoothed mixture. Press in a hole near the top of the heart. Let them firm up overnight.

S’mores popcorn and flick

Skip the plain popcorn and sweeten up movie night at home with this sweet and savory s’mores popcorn drizzled with chocolate and Valentine’s colored M&Ms: 

Pop two bags of microwave popcorn, then spread popped popcorn on a baking sheet. Melt ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and drizzle melted chocolate over the popcorn. Immediately toss ½ cup Valentine M&Ms, ½ cup Golden Grahams cereal, and ½ cup miniature marshmallows on top of popcorn. Let the chocolate set for 30 minutes or put in refrigerator for 10 minutes. 

Enjoy the sweet treat with a family-friendly love flick like “Lady and the Tramp,” “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown,” “Enchanted,” or “You’ve Got Mail.”

Heart chain link

An activity that’s easy for all ages is creating a heart chain link filled with love. Take 1.5-inch by 5-inch strips of red, white and pink construction paper, and instead of stapling them into a circle, pinch the two open ends together and staple to create a heart shape at top and pinch the bottom to make a point. Repeat and add hearts to the chain link. Once it’s as long as desired, write in black Sharpie different qualities about the person you love on each heart link. Hang the compliment filled chain link around the table chair of each person in the family and feel the love all around.

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