Over 8 Great Activities to Focus on God’s Love with Your Kids on Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is big at our house for lots of reasons but this is what got me motivated.
He came into the dining room and declared that he didn’t want to do anything for Valentine’s Day at his school because he doesn’t love any girls at school.
Girls are yucky! he exclaimed.
He was only 5 at that time, but I knew then– we NEEDED to teach our boys that Valentine’s day is more than what the media, peers, the world says it is. Mind you, my husband and I do celebrate V-day and our kids know it because we usually plan something special for each other, but it’s so much more than celebrating romantic love interests.
So, this was my opportunity to teach them about all the things I love–serving, kindness and God’s love in us and overflowing from us. We are going on 8 years of celebrating Valentine’s Day by sharing His love and serving each other and those in our community.
Great Valentine’s Day Activities to Focus on God’s Love with Your Kids
- Love Coupons for the Family! Before you begin, start by reading and discussing the verses in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7. Talk about the meaning of “love”. You can discuss how we are not always patient, kind… but He helps us. Sometimes we have to come to Him daily–when a sibling aggravates us or a child is whining and we are anything but patient. It’s in this constant yielding that He gives us the strength and love that we need.
With this activity talk about how Jesus came to serve others and made daily deliberate choices to display God’s love to us. Then tell your children you’re going to make Acts of Love Coupons for each other. The coupons are a fun way we could love each other in practical ways. When my kids were little we would help them write things down on their coupons. We always manage to come up with some creative ideas like–a massage (using their cars), clearing the table, video game challenge, ice cream sundae night… check out the list of ideas here.
- Heart Attack! activity! This is a family favorite! Before you enjoy the “Heart Attack Activity” talk about the verse in Joshua 24:15. Then discuss how when we serve others we also serve God. When we choose to serve God, we start a chain reaction of events in our home, community and the world. By serving God, we also serve others. Then enjoy the “Heart Attack Activity” and print this out HERE or the family version HERE.
Some years ago we “Heart Attacked” a few teachers! We gave some teachers at my son’s school a basket of goodies and shared this heart attack idea with them in hopes that they would pass it on.
- You can also “Heart Attack” each other as a family that has been a lot of fun. Basically, you cut out tons of hearts and write on each heart something you love about that person. Each family member writes 2 things for each person in the family. Make sure to go to the link above for the complete instructions. What has made this extra special is that you’re not the only one writing the love notes but everyone in the family is writing each other encouraging words.
- Rings of Love. Talk about the verse in 1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.” Discuss what LOVE means and how it starts with God. When we love others we are actually loving God. Draw 5 rings on a sheet of paper and write in each one–God, Family, Friends, Community (neighbors, church, community centers) and World. This is our “Rings of Love” circle. Then fill a bucket of water and drop a marble in it and watch the ripples move across the water. Explain how when we do acts of kindness we show others love and that creates a chain reaction that affects others. This one little action affects the whole pool of water. That’s just how it is with love. Everything we do as we serve God has an impact on our world one person at a time.
4. Service Activities: Things we have done to serve others have been: Bought roses and gave them to the ladies on the street that are homeless or selling things.
-One year we painted “Love Rocks”, wrote a message “Jesus Loves You!” on the back and then passed placed them in the park, neighborhood and local hospital.
-We have also passed out heart crayons and called it our “Broken Crayons Still Color Project” because we recycled broken crayons and made hearts out of them (as shown in the picture above). It brought such joy to us to pass out the crayons with coloring books to kids on the street. -Another year we passed out Happy Meals to kids using the money our children had saved up from our Save, Give, Spend system.
5. Movie Night that focuses on Love -Before you start, discuss God’s great love for us. Read 1 John 3:1. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” And that is what we are! Explain how in the movie you’re about to watch you will see threads of how God loves. I really like The Prince of Egypt it’s such a powerful story that depicts His love. The Princess Bride depicts love and the lengths one goes to for the sake of love, which can also be tied back to God’s love for us. Beauty and the Beast is another good family movie for Valentine’s day where we can interweave His love for us even in our weaknesses.
6. The story of St. Valentine. I love throwing in some history and Jesus into our holidays. Enjoy a heart snack and discuss the story behind St. Valentine. Before you begin read and discuss the verse in 1 John 3:16 and John 15:13–“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” Then explain how His love is sacrificial and never-ending (Romans 8:37). Here is a short excerpt of St. Valentine’s story: “But a simple Christian priest named Valentine did come forward and stood up for love. He began to secretly marry soldiers before they went off to war, despite the emperor’s orders. In 269 A.D., Emperor Claudius found out about the secret ceremonies. He had Valentine thrown into prison and deemed that he would be put to death. As Valentine was awaiting execution, he fell in love with a blind girl who happened to be the jailer’s daughter. On the eve of his execution, with no writing instruments available, Valentine is said to have written her a sonnet in ink that he squeezed from violets. Legend has it that his words made the blind woman see again. It was a brief romance because the next day Valentine was clubbed to death by Roman executioners.” You can go here for the full explanation and then paraphrase it to your child’s level of understanding and maturity. In St. Valentine’s story you can also see examples of God’s sacrificial love for us.
You can discuss the history of St. Valentine over your dinner or one year we also did a Valentine’s Day Cafe which was super simple to put together for our family.
7. Share the Love! Here we want to encourage our family to love on others, neighbors, and friends with the ways the Lord has gifted us. Discuss Romans 12:4-6 Discuss how there are so many ways to love one another and one of them is by using the gifts God has given us. Ask your family–Who do they serve in their life? The Bible says he has given us special talents so we can serve others. Read the verse again and then ask, “What gifts do you have that you can use to serve others?” Together come up with tangible ways that your kids can use their gifts to serve someone in their community or world.
For example, a simple and tangible way is to write an encouraging note to a missionary and/or someone serving their country. Or you can write to their family member who stayed behind and let them know how much you appreciate their willingness to let them go serve God on the mission field. You can make cookies and pass them out to homeless people or your neighbors. These 15 n0 bake neighborly ideas might inspire you. As God’s children, we are called to walk in love–Ephesians 5:1.
As a family, we try to make Valentine’s day cards or treats so we can give them out to friends and neighbors to remind them of God’s love. Here are some fun ones: Non-Candy Valentine Idea, Slime for my Valentine,
8. Pop! Activity –Everything we do, do in Love! Look up verses that talk about God’s love and then write them down on a slip of paper. Here are a few verses: 1 John 4:7-12, Romans 5:8, I Corinthians 13: 4-8, Ephesians 5:1. Place each verse inside a balloon and have the kids pop the balloon. Have them one at a time, read out loud what each verse says. If your child doesn’t like things that pop then place the verse outside the balloon. End with reading the verse in 1 Corinthians 16:14 and have them put it into practice–do a chore around the house that would help someone. Here’s a free printable to go with that verse.
9. Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt – Another Family favorite! Hide scripture hearts around the house and enjoy this fun Valentine’s Day treat with the kids. You can also attach the scripture hearts to balloons as we did here.
10. Here are some extra ideas! This is for your spouse–Scripture Love Notes
11. Fun meal! I have heard of families that go all out and do a fun meal with dressing up and fancy food but we usually have an extra special meal without the dressing up. Sometimes it’s a fun dessert and we have fondue.
12. Heart Attack! Nerf Gun style – Set up two forts which are areas with targets (use cans or plastic bottles) one on each side of the room and the goal is to try to knock down as many cans or plastic bottles with the nerf guns. I like to add heart stickies to the ends of the bullets just for fun. Divide into two teams and each team’s goal is to protect and shoot. Protect their bottles from getting knocked down and shoot the others bottles down. Rules are simple you can’t stand in front of your bottles to protect them nor right in front of theirs to shoot it. You have to be constantly moving.
13. Love Rocks! Paint rocks and right a message of God’s love on the rocks. It can be as simple as “God loves you!” and place them around your community to encourage someone. We have placed ours in parks, around water fountains, near restaurant doors, on the ground near a mailbox, in hospital waiting areas, bathroom sink, and napkin areas…
Now It’s Your Turn
Share with me in the comments below what you do to take this commercialized holiday and turn it into a lesson of your values and faith.