Between the super virus, kids stuck at home, and the financial stress so many are under, this years Valentines Day feels like the least romantic one possible. It could be argued that all these things make it even more important to celebrate, that we need reminders of how much we love and value each other now more than ever. There are ways that your family can have a fun connection building day at home with little to no spending involved, ways to make lasting memories together, and you might just start a new Valentines tradition.
1. Recreate your first date
Most of us were pretty young and broke when we went out on our first date with our significant other so getting food from the same restaurant as our first date isn’t likely to break the bank. If you live near the restaurant or your financial situation doesn’t allow it, you can also recreate the meal yourself at home. See if you can remember what the other person ordered and try cooking each others meal, you can even get the kids involved to make desert. If you date included a movie then you could re-watch it together but if that’s not an option (like you saw something that you don’t want your kids to watch) you could watch your wedding video or something else special to you.
2. Have a living room picnic and visit memory lane
I don’t know why picnics are so romantic but something about spreading a blanket out and eating finger foods together is just intimate. It might be a little less so with your kids there, but you can still make googling eyes and feed each some grapes. Sometimes its important to gross your children out with how much you adore each other. For added fun, pull out some old photos of the two of you and look through them together. They will bring up all kinds of wonderful memories and you can regal your kids with the story of your love. If you happen to be into scrap booking, this would be the perfect time to get the whole family involved in persevering your special memories.
3. Have A Scavenger Hunt
If you plan on giving each other a small gift for the holiday, the a scavenger hunt is what you need to take your gift giving up a level. Each of you can create clues for each other that relate back to your relationship (Example: “Your next clue is hiding in the shoes I wore the first time we went dancing” or “Check underneath this years anniversary gift”) Your clues are only limited by your imagination- make the solve a code using a love poem or put together a jig saw puzzle to find the next clue. You can include your kids so they can learn about Mom and Dads love story and see which team can finish the hunt first.
4. Teach each other something new
This one might take a little bit more planning but basically the idea is that we all have our own unique and special talents, things we love and hold dear. This Valentines day take the time to share it with your loved ones and learn something new about them as well. It increases you connection to each other when you get a peek at whats special to them. If you are a good artist, hold you own painting with a twist class for your family. If your husband loves working on cars then head out to the garage for a lesson on motors. If your kid loves video games then let them share with you their favorite and learn the lingo. You’ll spend time together, which is so many peoples love language, and gather new respect for how special your family is.
If it happens to be a nice day or your especially like the cold, then head outdoors together and do some geocaching. There are some pretty great sites like geocaching.com that teach you all about this cool treasure hunting outdoor game. All you need is to download an app, wear your walking shoes, and bring a pen. You’ll explore nature together while looking for the hidden boxes and then leave a special message ( maybe even a small Valentine card) for the next person to find. Its a wonderful way to spend the day together and requires teamwork, an important skills for any family or lasting relationship.
6. Make A Movie
This one is especially cute if your involve your kids and makes for a lot of laughs. Pick a special event from your relationship, anything from how your met to your wedding day, whatever is important to you. You can play yourself and the kids can direct OR cast your kids in your places and try to direct them. Dress up in similar clothes and set up scenery with whatever you have laying around. You can film it on your phone and when its done you can all watch and laugh together.
7. Make A List Together
This one can take many forms. You can either focus on the past, present, or future. If you want to reminiscence then you could make a list of your greatest hits- the most amazing moments from your relationship in a top 10 list and do your best to come up with the ranking system. If you want the present, then list out what you love about each other – kids can participate too and help ya’ll out. Try to make it to 50 so together you have a 100 Things We Love list keepsake. If you want to think about the future then make a family or relationship bucket list. Where do you want to travel? What experiences or things do you hope to have together? The sky is the limit and dreaming about what your future looks like is always a great way to spend time together.
8. Visit Your Childhood
We all had that one game that we were the king of has a kid. Maybe it was hide and seek, a board game, or a video game. Each person gets to pick their special games and everyone plays. There is nothing like a little healthy competition to remind them why you’re amazing and the joy of schooling your kids and significant other at anything is hard to beat. Your old favorite might just be your family’s new go to game and it gives you the chance to share some of your childhood memories with those closest to you, and by sharing that part with those we love you bring yourself closer to them .
9. Paint Each Other
You don’t have to be Picasso for this and it doesn’t require a lot of prep, but it can get messy so you will need to set limits to faces and arms and make sure you stick to easy to clean surfaces. All you need is some cornstarch, lotion, and food coloring. You can use Q-Tips or paint brushes then take turns painting each others faces. It is nothing if not an exercise in trust. Kids love having their faces painted and will enjoy getting to paint mom and dads faces too. Save some paint and you and the honey can have some more fun with it once they go to bed if you get my drift (*wink wink).
10. Cook Chopped Style Together
This is a fun one that you can honestly do any night but you can make it especially challenging by making it Valentines themed. Get some note cards and write down ingredients that you have one hand. You can divide them up into sweet and savory groups to make it easier then one of you has to cook dinner and the other dessert. Put the cards into a container you cant see and each of you pull 3 out then you have to make a dish that relates back to Valentines day somehow that uses those 3 ingredients. Get the kids involved in helping you brainstorm what to make and how, or have them be the judge at the end to see who made the better dish.
While Valentines Day may not be candle light and roses this year it can still be special event for you and your family. The old song goes, “My love doesn’t cost a thing”, and these activities prove that all it really takes is some time, commitment, and creativity to make a lasting memory you’ll be able to share for all the wonderful years ahead of you. Happy Valentines Day!