According to the National Retail Federation, consumers each spent an average of $130.97 on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
However, there are great ways to shower your preschooler with love without putting such a dent in your budget.
This year, cook a special meal together and give thoughtful gifts that inexpensively share your love with your young kids.
Cook a Special Meal Together
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Most preschoolers love helping out in the kitchen, and you can use Valentine’s Day to create cooking memories, spend quality time together and save money.
Start the meal with chocolate covered strawberries. Your kids can wash the berries and cover a baking sheet with wax paper while you melt chocolate in a double broiler and roll the berries in the sweet covering.
Then, your children can roll the covered berries in sprinkles before they cool on the wax paper. If your kids don’t like strawberries, use pineapple, pretzels or marshmallows.
After the appetizers are made, assemble a red entree like spaghetti, steak or jam sandwiches and side dishes like red finger gelatin and red fruit punch.
Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut the bread before spreading on the jam, and select heart shaped ice molds as the perfect setting for the gelatin.
Additionally, accent the festive meal with heart or red serving platters and red cups. They will hold the festive drink.
A suggested fun drink combines an even mix of ginger ale and fruit punch, cranberry juice or red raspberry juice.
Don’t forget to set the table for your special meal.
Candles, fine china and personalized place cards create a special setting for the delicious meal you’ve prepared together.
Enlist your children’s assistance in using colored paper, safety scissors and markers to decorate the place settings for your Valentine’s Day meal.
They can also help by arranging the red napkins and silverware around the plates as you work together to create a memorable Valentine’s Day meal.
Don’t Forget Dessert
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Dessert on Valentine’s Day must be something scrumptious.
Red velvet cake pops or strawberry cakes featuring festive white or red icing are a win. Give your kids the spoon, and allow them to mix the cake before you bake it.
They’ll also enjoy molding the cake pops if you don’t have a Babycakes mold, and your kids will want to decorate the finished product with the icing and sprinkles.
Give Thoughtful Gifts
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Every child loves receiving gifts, and your kids will too.
Carefully consider personalized gifts that uniquely express love to your children without blowing your budget. Flowers decorate the table during dinner and later grace your child’s bedroom dresser.
That’s why you want to select a bouquet that includes flowers in your kids’ favorite colors, even if they’re not traditional roses.
Other affordable Valentines day gifts like stuffed animals, a heart necklace or heart shaped bamboo are colorful and thoughtful presents your kids will cherish.
Kids love themed chocolates too. Tool or makeup shaped chocolates might be the ticket to win your kids’ hearts, or fill a red basket with boxes of your kids’ favorite candies.
Embellish the baskets with personalized items, such as nail polish, lip gloss, temporary tattoos or toy cars, all geared to your kids’ interests.
As a final touch, trace and cut out your hand prints. Measure red yarn the length of your arm span, and attach the hand prints to the ends of the yarn.
Present this gift to your kids as a reminder that you always have a hug ready and love them on Valentine’s Day and all year.