valentine's day 5Looking for fun ways to get your little ones excited about Valentine’s Day?  There are tons of great books, and lots of awesome (and easy!) crafts you can do together.

And be sure to check out the rest of our Celebrating Valentine’s Day in the Queen City series!  For Date Nights at home and out on the town, we’ve got you covered.

valentine booksSome of our favorite Valentine’s Day books (and books about love in general) are:

The Night Before Valentine’s Day by Natasha Wing

Written in the style of “The Night Before Christmas,” this Valentine’s Day book is filled with cute pictures – perfect for a game of I Spy – and a nice, easy rhyme.  My oldest has loved this book for two years now and continues to ask for it frequently.

The Ballad of Valentine by Alison Jackson

Set to the tune of “Oh My Darling, Clementine,” this funny book about a man trying to get his love note to his beloved Valentine is a lot of fun to read (or warble) aloud.

Fisher-Price Little People Valentine’s Day is Here! by Fisher-Price

Kids love lift-a-flap books and this Fisher-Price book doesn’t disappoint, with tons of peek-a-boo surprises on every page.

Everyone Says I Love You by Beegee Tolpa

This pop up book is super short, but sweet, as it covers how to say I love you in different languages, including French, Italian and Japanese.  Definitely not recommended for younger readers because of how delicate the pop ups are, but a lot of fun for older kids who treat their books a little more gently.

My Penguin Osbert in Love by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

Osbert the Penguin is a popular book, and this one – about his journey to the South Pole where he meets the love of his life – is also a big hit.

How Do I Love You?  by Marion Dane Bauer

A staple on most bookshelves, what better time of year to read this book than now?  The sweet and simple rhyme coupled with great illustrations mean it’s a favorite with both parents and kids.

Hugs from Pearl by Paul Schmid

Poor Pearl – she loves to give hugs but her prickly porcupine needles make it uncomfortable for those on the receiving end.  Kids will laugh at what she does to try and soften her bristles, and will enjoy the sweet message in the story.

Apple Cake: A Recipe for Love by Julie Paschkis

A sweet book that’s really, truly just a recipe for an apple cake, filled with great, whimsical illustrations.

Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

A favorite in our house.  A simple story told using one word on each page, filled with great illustrations and a fantastic message.

The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond

A story about a young girl who collected hearts during a rainstorm, making perfectly suited unique valentines cards for each of her friends.  The artwork is bright and engaging, and kids will enjoy guessing who will be on the receiving end of each of her valentines.

The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever by Brenda Ferber

A funny book about a boy determined to tell a girl in his class that he loves her, much to the dismay of the valentine card he made her, and his friends.  The comic-strip style to the story, plus funny rhymes, makes this book a winner with younger kids.

crafts

Toilet paper roll heart stamps.  This craft is super easy and fun, using only an empty toilet paper roll and some paint.  Simply shape the roll into a heart (tape helps it to hold its shape), dip it in paint and watch the kids go crazy.

Valentines Day 3Painting with yogurt.  Simply take some vanilla or plain yogurt, add a little red food color and voila – pink paint!  Perfect for the youngest kiddos who can’t help putting everything in their mouths.

Valentines Day 2Footprint Crafts Another easy craft perfect for the younger kids, take some paint (or stamp pad) and get a copy of your little ones’ footprints on paper.  Then, let your creativity flow!  Make “love bugs” using markers and googly eyes, or print the feet into a heart shape perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Easy-Valentines-Day-Craft-For-Kids-PinterestTissue Paper Heart Sun Catcher. With some tissue paper, poster board and contact paper, you can make beautiful sun catchers with your kids.  I love using contact paper with crafts because it has such a great, wide sticky surface area, and you don’t have to use tape or glue which can get a little messy (No contact paper on hand?  I’ve been known to use Glad Press & Seal paper and that tends to work OK too as long as you tape it down so it doesn’t slide or roll around).  Let your kids rip up or cut the tissue paper themselves and watch them have a ball.

Valentines Day 110 Easy Homemade Valentine’s Ideas. A great resource!  Find some fun and super simple crafts to do with kids of all ages, from footprint cards to bookmarks.  I personally love the “thumb print Valentine’s Day card,” since getting my boys to print their hands (or feet) neatly on paper is truly an acrobatic feat.  Thumb prints sound more manageable, don’t they?