Skip to main content

Show your young child you love them with these Valentine’s Day toddler activities

Valentine's Day with kids can be fun - and these preschooler-approved activities prove it

Valentine’s Day is the holiday to celebrate love, but it doesn’t just have to be romantic love (like how kids join in with giving Valentine’s cards at school). If you’re spending Valentine’s Day with kids, you may want to include them in the celebration. Engaging your little one in Valentine’s Day toddler activities is a way to show them love and even build skills and self-esteem. Seriously — art, cooking, and physical activity are all on the table when you’re spending Valentine’s Day with kids.

Like with any holiday, you can make it your own. Here are toddler and preschool Valentine’s Day activities your young children will embrace — and so will you.

Child cutting a paper heart
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Valentine’s Day crafts for toddlers and preschoolers

Heart crafts

Make a garland, mobile, wreath, or card out of paper hearts, or adapt just about any craft to include the color red or pink. There are endless Valentine’s Day crafts out there for any age that will let you have quality family time around the table.

Decorate their doors with love

Another crafty idea: Every day from February 1 to 14, cut out a heart, write something you love about your child on it, and put it on their door. Every morning, read it to them — it’ll help them learn about themselves in a positive light.

Make a scrapbook

Take out some photos (or have prints made in time for Valentine’s Day) and reminisce over the memories as you paste them into a scrapbook together. Kids will love adding stickers or other embellishments to contribute.

Two toddlers in the kitchen
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Food-related Valentine’s Day activities for young children

Cook together

Go out for a cooking class as a couple or a family or cook something together in the kitchen at home. Either way, this is a fun activity that you can adapt to any age and makes meal prep a lot more fun than a usual day. Incorporate heart shapes into your meal, like a heart-shaped pizza!

Special meals

Buy a fondue set or even a chocolate fountain in advance to break out for this holiday. It will feel like a special occasion with your new accessory. And you can turn anything red or pink with food coloring (like pancakes) and use cookie cutters to turn anything into hearts (like toast).

Have the kids serve you a meal

Have the kids play waitstaff and do it up with aprons and notepads at Chez Valentine’s. If you can’t go out for dinner as a couple, let your kids play restaurant and they’ll have fun acting fancy, and you and your partner can have that served dinner without a babysitter.

Toddler walking in the snow with a magnifying glass
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Outdoor toddler Valentine’s Day activities

Ice skating

Ice skating is a classic date that also works as a family activity. February is a peak season for this pastime, and if your children are old enough to walk, they may be ready to rent some skates and give it a try. It’s a nice way to get out of the house together.

Take a garden stroll

Do you have a park or botanical garden near you? Bundle up and put on some winter boots. Then, take a family walk together to enjoy each other’s company and the beauty of nature around you. The world may not be in bloom in February, but the bare trees and vines are positively ethereal, and it’s a fun way to beat hibernation-season boredom. Maybe the kids can even run off to play within sight for you and your partner to have some quality time to talk while you walk.

Family on couch watching TV

Relaxing ways to spend Valentine’s Day with kids who are little

Watch family videos

Ditch YouTube for something more personalized. If you have a wedding video, make a tradition of watching it each Valentine’s Day to remember the love that created your family. If you have home video clips on your phone, you could edit them together to screen a mini movie of family memories for everyone to watch together.


Let the kids give you both foot massages to pamper you, and you can paint their nails, too. You don’t have to go to the spa for some relaxation!

Valentine's Day craft with Love painted on it
Image used with permission by copyright holder

With these Valentine’s Day ideas for parents, you can bring the whole family together. While date nights and couple time are important, you can always go out another time when reservations aren’t so hard to get. The love between all members of your family is special, and your kids will love being included in the holiday they see being celebrated all around them with Cupid decorations and heart balloons. Let them know that love isn’t just about romance and couples, but that all love is special, including yours for them.

Editors' Recommendations

Sarah Prager
Sarah is a writer and mom who lives in Massachusetts. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, National…
Is your kid screaming for no reason? Here are ways to deal with a screaming child’s behavior
There are easy ways to handle this behavior if your kid has hit this stage
Young girl is screaming with fingers in her ears.

When your kid won't stop screaming, it makes you want to scream, too. Tension is high, frustration is bubbling, and parents feel entirely hopeless, like they've lost control. If the behavior happens again and again, it's enough to drive you up the walls. Dealing with a screaming child's behavior is definitely one of the least favorite things for a parent to do.
Don't worry, there are ways to deal with this situation so you'll both feel better! Your child is feeling just as frustrated as you are, and with patience and understanding, you'll get to a place where you both remain calm. With these tips and some expert advice, your house will be a quieter space soon. A screaming child's behavior doesn't have to leave the whole house in tears, and here's how to get that to happen.

How to get your child to stop screaming
When your child won't stop screaming, the first thing to do is stay calm. The situation is enough to make you want to scream yourself and that is not going to get your child to stop. Take a deep breath and tap into remembering your child needs help expressing emotions and needs you as the parent to get them there. They're not doing this to annoy you or provoke you. They're a child who hasn't developed to a point where they know to do anything else.

Read more
Day care birthday party ideas: Celebrate your toddler’s big day in style
Where to start when putting together a birthday party at your kiddo's day care center
Little girls having cupcakes to celebrate a birthday at day care

Birthdays are such a big event for kids. When it's their birthday, they want to celebrate everywhere. School-aged kids love to share birthday treats with their classmates, sports teams, and the places they do after-school activities. Toddlers aren't any different. Birthdays are a major source of excitement for toddlers.

Toddlers want to spread that birthday excitement with everyone, especially their day care friends. It's not out of the question to have a birthday party at a day care center and there are certainly plenty of fun day care birthday party ideas. So, if your toddler wants to have a birthday celebration at day care, here's how.

Read more
Why do toddlers hit themselves? The reason may surprise you
Toddlers hitting themselves is on the list of strange behaviors a parent needs to know about
A little upset boy pulling at his hair.

Children tend to do some of the weirdest, unexplainable things. Toddlers especially know how to bring a bit of pizazz to the day. But it's a jarring experience for any parent the first time their sweet baby reaches up and hits them. It's even more confusing for parents to see their toddler turn their anger inward and hit themself in the head or on their body. Why toddlers hit themselves is one of those parenting things you don't get prepared for.

Children who have never been physically disciplined may still hit themselves, scratch themselves, or pound their head against walls or the floor when they're frustrated. Why do toddlers do this? Do they grow out of it? How do parents do to stop it? And when do you know whether you might need to seek professional guidance for your child? Let's dig into this part of toddlerdom most parents will have to deal with.

Read more