Valentine's Day Ideas for Single Parents

5 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day With Your Kids

Girls making Valentine's Day cards
Photo © Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Valentine's Day is the ultimate hyped-up holiday. From heart-shaped candy boxes to jewelry ads, it seems like everyone else has someone to celebrate it with. As a single parent juggling full-time family and work responsibilities, with little time to date — or even carve out a few minutes to yourself — it can be disheartening, to say the least. But just because you're not dating doesn't mean you can't enjoy Valentine's Day. The trick is to redefine V-day in a way that is meaningful for you. Start with these Valentine's Day ideas for single parents:

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Celebrate Your Kids' Unique Gifts & Talents

Woman and daughter decorating Valentine's Day cookies.
Celebrate each child's unique gifts on Valentine's Day. Photo © KidStock/Getty Images

Of course you tell your kids you love them — all the time! But how about telling them that you notice them? Think of some of the unique talents and qualities you observe in each of your children. Then use the occasion of Valentine's Day to celebrate those gifts and share with your kids how proud of them you are and how much they've grown. After all, part of loving someone is really knowing who they are on the inside. That's what Valentine' Day should really be about, so make this holiday an opportunity to share the gifts you see developing in each of your children. Not sure where to begin? Try writing each child a personalized letter listing 5 special qualities you've noticed. It'll be a keeper, for sure!

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Make a Special Valentine's Day Dessert

Jello hearts for Valentine's Day
Make a special treat like Jell-O jigglers for Valentine's Day. Photo © Achim Sass/Getty Images

Have you ever heard the saying, "Baking is a sign of love?" Valentine's Day is the perfect time to make something special for your kids. Or, better yet, make something with them. Short on time? Try making heart-shaped Jell-O Jigglers. They're quick and easy! Or turn any favorite dessert into a Valentine's Day treat by using heart-shaped cookie cutters or a heart-shaped pan. Get creative and have fun with it, whether you consider yourself a novice or a pro in the kitchen.

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Do Something Creative With Your Kids

Girl cutting out Valentine's Day hearts
Make Valentine's Day crafts with your kids. Photo © Rob Mattingley/Getty Images

A list of Valentine's Day ideas wouldn't be complete without mentioning cards. But instead of purchasing Valentine's Day cards for loved ones, take the time to make your own homemade cards as a family. An easy way to make cards with little ones is to have them dip their hands into red paint and place them onto a piece of white paper with their fingers spread wide and their thumbs and index fingers touching. Then, turn the page upside down, and the handprint impression will look like a heart in the center of the page. This is a great gift idea for grandparents, teachers, and baby sitters.

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Get Together With Friends

Girl with a Valentine's Day cake.
Throw a Valentine's Day party with your kids. Photo © Daniel Storm/Getty Images

Most of the holidays throughout the year are times we spend with family members. Make Valentine's Day the holiday you celebrate with the friends who've supported and encouraged you throughout the year! Pick a time close to Valentine's Day and gather your friends together. Honor each guest with a special toast and share why they have become so important to you.

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Remember the Forgotten

Girl celebrating Valentine's Day with grandfather.
Include others in your Valentine's Day celebration. Photo © KidStock/Getty Images

Do something different and unexpected. Go to the dollar store and purchase valentines for a local nursing home, or bake a dessert for a nearby women's shelter. Love, after all, is an act of sacrifice. As alone as you may feel during the Valentine season, there are always people who feel worse. Thinking of them before yourself can help you to not only survive Valentine's Day as a single parent, but make it an occasion of hope and celebration. And that's the best Valentine's Day idea of all.