Warm feelings of friendship and love are part of Valentine's Day, but store-bought valentines do little to personalize the holiday. Use your imagination to craft, gift and cook for your kids on Valentine's Day. It will show them that you care enough to spend your spare time on them.
Make flower candy cards out of construction paper and suckers. Cut three hearts for the petals, and write a note on them. At the pointed ends of the hearts, put a small hole so that the sucker's stem slides through them. Wrap a ribbon below the hearts to hold them onto the stem. Or, tie a short cord around a plastic baggie of Teddy Grahams or jelly beans. Attach a card to the bag for a personalized valentine.
Give your older kids a designer USB drive that looks like a pirate, owl or zombie tiki god. If they are not into technology, try gifting them with foil valentines that turn into balloons when smacked. Books personalized with messages or framed pictures also make great gifts.
Have your kids guess how many Hershey's kisses are in a jar; the closest person to the actual number wins and gets the chocolate. Search a room for hidden candy hearts; the winner collects the most candy and is the King or Queen of Hearts for the day.
Make a heart tree that can hold valentines by putting a branch, with several arms, into a jar filled with colorful marbles, rocks or jelly beans. Using construction paper, cut out a various sized hearts, punch a hole at the top of each heart, loop a string through them and hang the hearts on the tree. Or, make Valentine's Day hats out of foam stickers, poster board and fuzzy wire. Cut the poster board into strips, and fit it to your head; this serves as the hat's band. Staple two fuzzy wires to the band, one above each ear. Surround the tip of the wire with two stickers. Let kids personalize their look by bending the wires to look like hearts or keeping them straight.
For a sweet breakfast, make a stack of eggnog-flavored, heart-shaped pancakes topped with whipped cream by adding eggnog instead of milk or water to the dry pancake mixture. Serve a twist of a classic breakfast by stuffing French toast with sausage and eggs. Add a few drops of red food coloring to orange juice for a coral drink. Add fresh fruit to the menu by chopping up red fruit like strawberries and apples and dipping in a mixture of strawberry yogurt and cream cheese.