I can’t remember the last time I actually celebrated Valentine’s Day. Sure, my husband and I have exchanged gifts over the years, but it has never been that much of a special holiday for us.
This year, however, I thought I’d change things up a bit. I was reading Homespun Memories for the Heart (click here for the ebook) and was inspired to create new memories and traditions with our children. We began the year by going over all of the holiday cards for our homeschool calendar and discussed the significance of each one.
For the Valentine’s Day card, we talked about love and different ways to show love, then decided to invite our sweet friends over for a tea party. It took rescheduling a few times before we were finally able to get together because of a bug that hit my little hostess, but our post-Valentine’s tea party was still such a treat. Here are some of the details that made our day extra special.
Although Valentine’s Day is usually focused on chocolates and sweets, I didn’t want to load up all of the kids with too much refined sugar. Instead, we served heart-shaped cantaloupe pieces, grapes, sliced strawberries, heart-shaped carrots, yogurt, and gluten-free Powdery Pecan Snowballs, and Vanilla Cupcakes.
We had six older girls and a few younger ones that were joining us for our tea party, so I set up a few activities for each of them to enjoy. For the younger ones, I set out a John 3:16 coloring sheet I found on my friend’s Valentine’s post along with stickers and crayons for decorating.
For the older girls, I set up three centers for them to work through.
- The first one included the John 3:16 coloring sheet along with a paper bag for their Valentines. I set out glue, markers, stickers, foam sheets, pom poms, sequins, and glitter glue so that they could write their name on their bags and decorate them.
- The second center included paints and a clay heart charm for painting.
- The third center was a sensory bin filled with red and white water beads, tea cups, and measuring cups. The children had a blast playing with the beads and filling each of the cups.
After the girls worked through the centers, I gave each of them a cinnamon apple tea bag and a heart mug and had them place their bags in the mugs. I poured the hot water in each mug then had them sit back for our love devotional as the tea steeped in their mugs.
Our Love Devotional
1. First, I commented on their beautiful dresses then asked them what made a girl beautiful. I couldn’t help but smile at their responses as they said “long beautiful hair” and “Rapunzel is the most beautiful girl in the world!” It was too cute! We then talked about how a girl’s heart is actually the most beautiful part about her. I shared their clay “hearts”, and we “oohed” and “ahhed” at their beautiful hearts.
2. I then asked them what love was and shared a few phrases from 1 Corinthians 13. We talked about how love is kind and thoughtful and discussed how they were kind with one another as they played with the sensory bin and shared the cups and beads.
3. We also talked about using our manners as a way to show kindness to others and sang “Please and Thank You” to the tune of “Are You Sleeping?” and shared how we would use our manners when it was time to have tea and goodies.
Please and thank you, Please and thank you
Be ye kind, Be ye kind
Kind to one another, Kind to one another
Be polite, Be polite
4. Another way we discussed to show love is by giving gifts, so I asked them how many had brought “gifts” for their friends. Of course, all of them had prepared Valentines, so they were excited to fill up each other’s decorated bags with their gifts of love. (I only wish I had taken a picture of all of them before they took them apart and put them in their rooms. They were all so cute!)
5. Finally, we talked about who was the greatest example of love. They sweetly shared each other’s names, and then I referred them to the John 3:16 printable and we talked about how much God loved us and how He sent Jesus to die for our sins so that those who believe may be forgiven and have eternal life. It was the perfect closure to our devotional.
Time for Tea!
The girls then checked their tea, added a spoonful of sugar, and sat back to enjoy their goodies.
They were so sweet, using their manners to ask for more cantaloupe or yogurt or strawberries. The room was filled with laughter and joyful feasting. After tea, they enjoyed sharing their Valentines and spending time playing outside.
It was such a special time with our friends, and I am so happy that we were able to do this. I think we may have just started a new tradition.
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? What are your favorite memories?
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