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How to Surprise your Child on Valentine's Day (Without Food and Candy)

As I walk through the aisles of my local Target, it is quite obvious that Valentine's Day is right around the corner.

Chocolates. Gummy candies. Cupcakes. Cookies. You name it. There is every heart-shaped treat imaginable in aisle F39.

But what about the kids with food allergies? Or diabetes? Or someone that has a feeding tube who cannot consume these snacks?

How can you, as a parent or caregiver make your little one feel special on this holiday without food items?

Check out my list of 10 non-food "treats" to make your kiddo feel extra LOVED this Valentine's Day:

1. Event tickets- this could be to a museum, zoo, or other local attraction. Not only is this time away from TVs and Ipads, but it is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time as a family.

2. Books- this is a gift that keeps on giving! Books are wonderful for ALL ages. Including a special, personalized note on the inside cover is the best part. My Aunt Sally would give books as gifts for almost every holiday. She would always include thoughtful messages on the inner flap of the book. I love having these treasures and being able to go back and read her notes.

3. At-home spa day- manicures, pedicures, oh my! Kids love being pampered too!

4. At-home scavenger hunt- get creative while writing clues to hide around the house. Not feeling creative? There are printable scavenger hunt clues online.

5. Puzzles- these can provide hours of entertainment and are fun to do as a family.

6. Build a fort- free and fun! Get out all of the blankets and pillows to create an EPIC Valentine's Day fort. When else are the kids allowed to use every blanket in the house?!

7. At-home movie night- create movie tickets and invite the entire family for a weekend movie night. Allow your kids to pick the flick and make sure it is appropriate for all ages.

8. Nature walk- head to a new park, trail or nature area and enjoy the fresh air. Better yet- make it a Valentine's Day tradition to go to the same area every year.

9. Arts & crafts activities- enjoy making Valentine's Day shadowboxes, handprint art, shaving cream hearts, or jewelry!

10. Disposable camera- buy a cheap, disposable camera and have your kids take photos of all heart-shaped things they find in the house or outside (think clouds, tree lines, rocks, leaves, seashells etc.). Once you get them printed, create a collage or frame a few of their favorite photographs.

All of the above activities have one thing in common: family time.

At the end of the day, it does not matter what activity you choose to do with your kids, as long you are spending time together, enjoying these precious moments.

Oh-- and don't forget to say I love you! All day and every day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Until next time,


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