Photo Credit: Tanya Little/Flickr Open/Getty Images
Sure, your kids are all about the candy and the cute cards from their classmates. But step up your mom-game this Valentine's Day by showing your littlest loves some extra affection. Here are 10 easy ways to take it up a notch and make your kids feel special:
Get your game on. After you've doled out the kisses, hugs and chocolate, play a special Valentine's Day game. Our pick: Valentine Bingo cards. Use candy conversation hearts as markers, and let the winner eat the game pieces.
Nail it! If you have little girls, treat them to a heart-themed mani the night before. Paint her nails pink, then dot on red hearts using a toothpick or draw with a nail pen. Or, make it even easier and buy nail stickers shaped like lips and hearts.
Pack a lovable lunch. Surprise your school-age kids with heartfelt messages attached to their brown bag lunch. Print out stickers with sayings like "Orange you glad you're my Valentine," "We make the perfect pear," or "I'm going bananas over you" to add to your kid's favorite fruit.
Create a love library. One mom we spoke with gives each of her kids a love-themed book each Valentine's Day. A month or two later, she stores the books away until the holiday comes around again the next year. Then, when she pulls out the previous years' gifts on Feb. 14, her kids get to enjoy them all over again.
Plan a treasure hunt. Offer clues -- written on heart-shaped paper, of course -- sending your children from room to room in search of a Valentine's Day reward. We think a box of chocolates will get you lots of hugs and kisses in return.
Share the love. Lots of families make time to volunteer around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but why not show your love for others by planning a family volunteer experience on Valentine's Day? Reach out to food banks, hospitals or nursing homes and teach your kids about giving. Or even just have your kids write valentines to your local firefighters, postal carrier or the elderly neighbor who lives down the block.
Splurge on a store-bought sweet. Your kid always begs for a special cookie from the grocery store bakery -- and you never cave in. Well, today's the day, mama. There's just something special about a beautifully made bakery treat, so pick up a scallop-edged, heart shaped cookie with three shades of pink icing or a fancy red velvet cupcake piled high with frosting from your local bakery.
Heart your house. "We make paper hearts and decorate them," one mom tells us. "Then we tape them all over the house so they can see the love wherever they go." Just don't be surprised if you decide to never take them down.
Think outside of the heart-shaped box. It's easy to think your kids only want sweets on Valentine's Day, but try giving them a small, unexpected gift instead -- a cute pair of socks with hearts on them, a toothbrush with a note that says "I can't smile without you" attached to it, or even a set of heart shaped crayons.