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Celebrating St. Valentine's Day With Toddlers

Spread some love with these gifts and fun ideas

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In your pre-baby days, you might have set St. Valentine's Day aside for romantic date nights, but now the holiday can be so much more. Sure, you can still enjoy dinner and a movie or a floral bouquet from your mate, but you can also shower your little one with heartfelt love. It's also a great opportunity to spread hugs and kisses (real or virtual) to friends and family who want your child to be their own special valentine.

Toddler Crafts for St. Valentine's Day

Young girl wearing colorful tights
Tetra Images - Daniel Grill/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Get ready for your February celebration with these toddler-friendly crafts, which make perfect decorations for your home or can become heartfelt gifts for grandparents, friends, and caregivers.

Gifts for Kids

Corolle 13 Inch My First Rag Doll - Pink
Pricegrabber
Gifts outside major events are pretty rare in my house. We don't pick up toys when we go to the mall for sneakers or stop in the game aisle at Stop and Shop. That's why holidays -- yes, even St. Valentine's Day -- is special to the Ryan kids. It's a good chance to sneak those cherubs that doll or superhero game they've been wishing to unwrap. I don't usually go for the big box gifts for my little valentines, but these picks include some mid-priced favorites toddlers and 2-year-olds will be more than happy with on February 14.

Gifts for Grandma and Caregivers

godiva chocotate
Pricegrabber
Your little one isn't old enough to pick out chocolates for Nanny, but that doesn't mean you should skip showing babysitters, grandparents, and other special people in your child's life how much you both appreciate them. These suggestions for St. Valentine's Day are just the thing to make those you love feel special. Add a kiss and hug from your little one and you are sure to melt anyone's heart.

Crayon Window Art

Crayon Window Art
M. Hegarty
Always one of my favorite decorations for any given holiday, this simple craft lets you make use of all those broken crayons you seem to find around the house. The end result is a lovely, bright window decoration that will remind you that spring is on the way.

Handprint Poem

Foot and hand flower
M. Ryan
Anything that has my child's handprint is a keeper (except the smudges on my dining room window). I love this craft double because it has both hand and feet prints! You can do it with jut the hand, but another option is to use your child's foot prints to create a flower stem and leaves; use his hands to create flower petals. Write in a little poem like this one to accompany the picture:
This is to remind you, Gram,
When I have grown so tall,
That once I was quite little
And my hands and feet,
They were so very small.

Decorate With Garland

paper heart
http://www.sxc.hu
If your toddler regularly paints or colors you probably have a pile of cute pictures on the fridge that you may not want to just throw out...maybe you're running out of tape and magnets, though. This simple garland project lets you give those works of art new life as heart-shaped decorations you can string throughout the house.

Love Songs

kissing bears
http://www.sxc.hu
The Barney song is one way to remind your little one that his holiday is all about loving each other. There are also a variety of finger play songs and delightful St. Valentine's themes songs that will have you counting hearts and playing games for the holiday.

Eat Hearts

heart cookies
http://www.sxc.hu
You can make heart-shaped cookies or put your heart cookie cutter to use on bigger recipes -- from breakfast specials to dinner for the family. These creative ideas will keep your toddler giggling and wishing every day were St. Valentine's Day.
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