What are you doing this Valentine’s Day? This year might look a little different, but there are always ways to spread your love. Children and Screens put together 10 sweet Valentine’s Day ideas for you and your family. Remember that we’re all on this journey together. “The difficult periods in our life can also create the best memories with what’s important to us,” says Dr. Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens. This Valentine’s Day, be mindful and intentional about your screen time, start your own traditions to strengthen family relationships, and plan some enjoyable activities for the whole family.
Family activities are great ways to spend time together and create memories. What better way to show off your love for your family than with a family portrait? Tap into your creativity with a cute painting project, a macaroni sculpture, polaroids, photos with crazy props, or whatever you have hanging around! This fun activity is a great way to commemorate your time together and to stretch your imaginations. You can show your love to your extended family by creating a special video for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others or scheduling in a holiday weekend video chat!
FOOD IS LOVE
While you celebrate all different kinds of love this weekend, be sure to include your neighbors and community. Go through your pantry or purchase and donate canned or non-perishable foods to your local food bank or food pantry, leave a box of chocolates on your neighbor’s stoop, or pick up the groceries for someone who is homebound.
Treat yourselves to a special Valentine’s Day dessert – roll up your sleeves and don your aprons, or exchange each other’s favorite chocolates and candy. Whether it be a tried and true family recipe or one of the many you can print out online, baking some sweets makes for a fun activity, and eating them is even better — after dinner of course.
Extend care for others this Valentine’s Day by donating to a local or national charity. The last year has been a difficult time for so many – what better way to share your love than by giving to others? Invite your older children and teens to help research organizations that align with your family’s values and discuss how you will give back as a family.
READ TO ME
Get comfortable and settle in to read a good book aloud or have storytime! Pajamas not required, but encouraged. Having our eyes on the screen might make them tired, but that doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice a good-old-fashioned storytime! Check out a picture book classic or this week’s New York Times #1 best seller! When we share story books together, we welcome our minds to explore the possibilities of imagination outside of the digital world. To learn more about the benefits of reading and how to get your kids hooked on books, register here for our next webinar, “Oh, The Places They’ll Go? Reading in a Digital World.”
YOU’RE MY HERO
Nowadays, text messages have become the norm. Stand out from the crowd and handwrite cards, notes, and letters to thank teachers, family members, friends, and others who have made a positive impact on your lives. It is a wonderful way to express your feelings and gratitude towards your loved ones.
Grab an apron and get into the kitchen to prepare and enjoy a meal together. From baking to cooking, your family can gather to bond, relieve stress, and enjoy a great meal together! There’s nothing more exciting than learning something new with your family and having a delicious dinner to end your weekend of quality time this Valentine’s Day.
HOLD MY HAND
Make a DIY hand mold or hand print as a family. Head over to the craft store or hop online to grab a plaster statue molding kit to make a statue of you and your loved one holding hands. No time to go to a craft store? Find these ingredients in your kitchen: 1 cup flour, 1 cup salt, and 1/2 cup water for each mold. Read more here! This special craft is a great way to spend time with the family away from screens, and have something to keep and remember forever.
Break out the board games and puzzles for a night of family fun and friendly competition. Too much screen time can have adverse effects on young brains, so why not give your child a fun alternative to digital games? Playing games is a great way to bring the family together and share some laughs.
REACH FOR THE STARS
Sometimes the best entertainment is right above us. Head over to your backyard or socially distance at a local park and wait as the stars slowly come out. Put a blanket on the ground or wrap up in sleeping bags in your backyard and just enjoy gazing at the stars. Print out some constellation maps and see if you find any or make up your own.
About Children and Screens
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness. For more information, see www.childrenandscreens.com or write to firstname.lastname@example.org