Although it is not a national holiday, Valentine’s Day is recognized as the day of love all across America. For seniors, this is a day to show an extra touch of love and attention to their grandchildren. A special day between the two generations. Grandparents look forward to lots of hugs, kisses, special treats, and just having a fun filled day.
The one obstacle to being together is our concern about the current coronavirus pandemic. While most seniors will be staying indoors and not able to visit with their cherished loved ones, there are still many safe ways that they can still share Valentine’s Day with their grandchildren. There are different types of Valentine Day fun depending on whether you live with your grandchildren or you are celebrating from a distance.
Checkout the following suggestions to keep the fun in Valentine’s Day and let you be close in the hearts of your young ones even if you are miles apart.
Celebrations within the Same Household
1. Baking: You can enjoy an afternoon of fun when you bake cookies or cupcakes with your grandchildren. Everyone can decorate the pastries with Valentine messages before eating them with a cup of hot cocoa or a glass of cold milk. Be sure to make a video of the baking or take pictures of the finished goodies to share with other members of the family via email or cell phone chats.
2. Games: Games are more fun when there are prizes for winning. Buy a bag of Hershey’s Kisses and have the winner give one kiss to each person playing the game while the winner gets to have two. You can get the younger grandchildren involved in old fashioned board games like Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Mr. Potato Head, or Happy Happy Hippo. Card games such as Old Maid and Go Fish are also a lot of fun.
Older grandchildren can play more involved board games like Scrabble, Monopoly, or UNO. Card games like Canasta, Hearts, or Pinochle. If can make playing Bingo more fun when the numbers get covered with the small candy Sweet Tarts that are heart shaped and have Valentine messages on them. The winner gets to collect all the candy pieces used in the game from all of the players.
3. Craft Kits: You can order craft kits on-line or order them from a craft shop and have them delivered. Each grandchild will have a kit to make something fun for their parents as a Valentine gift. The kits can range from special handmade cards, keychains, paper flowers, to beaded bracelets and painted picture frames. There is an endless number of craft kit ideas.
4. Treasure Hunts: Almost like an Easter Egg Hunt, you can hide small items around the house and let the grandchildren hunt for the treasures. You can give them $.50 or $1.00 for each item they find.
5. Walk around the Neighborhood: If you are physically able to go outside, take the grandchildren on an outdoor adventure. Call out a color like green or brown and see how many things they can name with that color. Make sure everyone wears a mask and that they are comfortably clothed for the weather.
Celebrations from a Distance
1. Video Chats: When your grandchildren cannot be with you physically on Valentine’s Day, you can still enjoy the day with video chats that let you see each other. It will make them very happy to know that you are thinking about them, that you love them, and that you all get to see each other’s smiling faces.
2. Baking: You can plan a baking party via Zoom or another viewing system where everyone will be in their kitchens making holiday treats. It will be lots of fun to see the colorful finished items. Then everyone can set around their tables eating one of the desserts and talking with each other.
3. Movie Party: Check the movie guides to find a family friendly movie such as A Charlie Brown Valentine that everyone can watch at the same time. Then use the Facebook Messenger feature that lets everyone be together while watching the movie. After the movie, each grandchild can say what they liked best about the film.
4. Card Coupons: Mail a Valentine card to each grandchild with a coupon inside that is good for a special treat that can be redeemed when you are able to see each other in the future. It can be for a trip to the zoo, a visit to an ice cream parlor, or a walk through a park or on the beach. Not only will the card show how much you love them, but the coupon gives them something to look forward to the next time you see each other.