February is a great time to focus on KINDNESS. When my children were small, my husband and I decided against presents for Valentine’s Day. This has meant that the holiday has always been centered around LOVE and KINDNESS.
We spend the two weeks before Valentine’s Day focusing on kind deeds for one another and the people we care about. Here are some of the things that we do to help keep the focus on kindness and love.
1. Kindness Jar–We made our Kindness Jar about a year ago and it stays out in our dining room as a constant reminder to think of others and to be kind. We plan to pull out a new kind deed from the jar each day for the Kids in Service 5 days of Kindness Challenge. Click HERE for directions on how to make your own Kindness Jar and a FREE printable of kind deeds.
2. Valentine’s Day Count Down--I started this tradition when the kids were little. We have 14 envelopes to mark the days from February 1st-14th. Each envelope contains a slip of paper with a fun activity or project for us to do on that day. The envelopes include: Make your Valentine’s Today, Movie Night, Outdoor Adventure, Make a treat for the Birds, Good Deed Day, Call Someone You Love, Bake Cookies, Family Game Night etc.
3. Valentine Mailboxes--When my son was four and daughter was one, we made family Valentine Mailboxes (you know like the ones you make at school). Our first mailboxes are pictured above. A few years later I found cute little metal mailboxes in the Target dollar bins. These mailboxes come out of the attic on February 1st and we spend the next two weeks writing each other notes. I love the Target Mailboxes because there is a flag to put up to let the person know that they have mail. Once in a while, I will drop a sweet treat in the mailboxes, that is always a fun mail day.
4. Heart Attack–I saw this idea a few years back on the Skip to my Lou site and had to give it a try. It was so easy to do and made the three people in my house smile every morning when they saw the new heart on their door. I always make enough hearts to add a new one every day for 14 days. You could condense it to 5 or 7 days to make life easier.
5. Extra Valentine’s Day Card Service Project–The Valentine’s Day Card packs that you can buy in most stores come with WAY more than your child needs to send every friend in their class (and their teacher) a card. Instead of recycling those cards, why not have your child sign their name and send them to people who could use some cheer? Cards would be welcome at your local nursing home, homeless shelter, veterans home or halfway house. Consider spreading a little love and kindness with those extra cards this year!
6. Make Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards–My kids and I make our own homemade Valentine’s each year. I have them draw out four designs on one sheet of card stock and then color photocopy the design so that we have enough to send out. I love our original designs and I copy enough so that we can send them to all of our favorite people near and far. We also bring a few homemade cards to cheer up the residents of our local nursing home. The residents always love the homemade cards and gush over the kind gesture. It is such a sweet site to witness.
7. Project Dollar Store–Valentine’s Day is a great time to go on a Project Dollar Store Mission. You can read all about that SECRET MISSION HERE.
8. Winter Sun Catchers–This activity is so fun and easy to do and can be a nice Valentine’s Day treat for the birds and animals in your yard. We used paper for our hearts and did need to go outdoors to collect the paper when the ice melted. This year we are going to try for natural hearts and adding more birdseed. They are so pretty. You can learn how to make there on the Twig and Toadstool site.
Click HERE for a list of Books for Valentine’s Day