While other couples are getting prepped for Valentine’s Day, parents with young kids can find it harder to get in the mood for love.
To help you ramp up the romance, we’ve put together a list of simple ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day as parents.
1. Think GIFT
As the old saying goes, it’s the thought that counts. Never is that more true than on Valentine’s Day – the day specifically created for showing someone that you care. Okay, so your ideal gift might just so happen to come with a big price tag, but it’s important to think about what message the present is sending.
When picking a gift, remember to run it past the GIFT test: the perfect Valentine’s present should inspire a sense of Gratitude, Intimacy, Fondness and Trust. Sometimes the best gifts are the ones we don’t buy on Amazon. A foot rub at the end of a long day or romantic indoor picnic can say a lot more about how you feel about your partner.
2. Take a romantic snowdrop stroll
February is a time for woodland wanders as the first flowers of the year carpet the ground. As thousands of snowdrops start to pop up, there are plenty of places in Hertfordshire which make an ideal setting for romantic family walks.
Benington Lordship Gardens, in Stevenage, hosts a spectacular snowdrops event around the remains of a Norman Castle and moat. Around 200 subtly different varieties of snowdrop are shooting up in and around the walled Kitchen Garden. So stick on your wellies, and if you’re taking along a baby, use a sling or baby carrier as parts of the trail are likely to be too muddy for a buggy. A visit the gardens costs £5 for adults and kids under 12 years go free.
3. Snuggle on the sofa
Kids are no barrier to this classic show of love. Piling up the sofa with a duvet and pillows before sticking your favourite lovey-dovey movie is an easy way to create a feeling of closeness.
Our top family film picks for Valentine’s Day are:
– Lady and the Tramp
– Beauty and the Beast
– Gnomeo & Juliet
– The Princess Bride
– The Little Mermaid
4. Make love notes
Keep that loving feeling burning all day by writing little love notes and tucking them into places that will be discovered one at a time. This works equally well for partners and older kids. Slightly younger children can have fun hunting for heart shaped notes that have happy drawings rather than words.
5. Dec the halls with heart and flowers
A few props can help everyone get into the spirit of V-Day. Plus it’s a handy way to help keep young kids occupied and tantrum free (for five minutes, at least).
Make red, pink and white paper chains, paint pictures together, cut out paper hearts, make tissue paper roses or bake a batch of cookies; there’s a wealth of minimum-fuss ideas out there on web, so have fun getting arty.
6. Show your love with pottery
Get ready to re-enact the famous Ghost pottery scene! Erm, maybe not, but pottery studios are a great Valentine’s Day activity for a few good reasons: they promote quality time together, they don’t cost the earth, and you’ll all get a precious memento take home.
Glazed Creations, in Royston, offers family-friends pottery painting sessions that are geared up for babies and toddlers. Kids and adults can enjoy painting pottery and making all sorts of arty things in a relaxed environment – so you don’t need to panic when your toddler decides to paint their face. There’s even a play area if they get bored while you and your partner are finishing off your masterpiece. We feel that Ghost moment coming on!
7. Shake up your routine… just a little bit
The quickest way to make a day feel special is to change up your usual habits. If you’ve got a baby or toddler, you won’t want to alter their whole schedule, but there are some small changes you can make that won’t cause sleepless nights.
You and your partner could agree to get up 20 minutes earlier so you can enjoy your favourite breakfast together. Or let everyone jump in the big bed for morning cuddles and that lovely lazy Sunday feeling.