Tag: valentines day

Affordable Valentine’s Ideas For The Family

Affordable Valentine’s Ideas For The Family

How many times have we heard complaints, “Valentines Day is too commercialised”, “its just a money-making scheme”, “its only for couples”. Out of all the special occasion holidays, Valentines has to be my favourite, because of what it stands for. I wrote a blog last year on why I choose love (and always will), because in a world filled with so much hate and judgement, let’s be honest, we all need to love a little more!

This Valentines I have focused on a few, inexpensive things you can do to celebrate with the kids. Since having kids I go all out on the day of love, I think it’s so important to create a sense of excitement for our children and educate them on the importance of loving one another and being kind.

It doesn’t have to be an expensive day. Trust me, I despise red roses, and yes I’ll jump on the “money making scheme” band wagon here. I have never expected to receive roses, there are so many other ways. As parents we also don’t have the luxury of being able to go out and enjoy a fancy dinner (well we could but that would involve getting in a babysitter and to be honest when valentines falls mid-week I am often too tired by dinner time to think about going anywhere :))

My perfect Valentines Dinner would involve dinner (ideally not made by me), or a picnic under the stars, followed by an evening of our favourite Netflix shows 🙂 When we lived in Cape Town one year we had the most amazing evening at Galileo open air cinemas, and watched Casablanca under the stars at a wine farm! It was such a great evening.

But I digress from the reason of this post.

Here are a few, inexpensive activities and things you can do to make this Valentines a bit more special for your family.

  • Breakfast – Flapjacks are our thing for valentines breakfasts, if it falls on a weekend they are homemade and a little more adventurous and if it’s on a school day, Woolworth’s comes to the rescue. Take a heart-shaped cookie cutter to shape them into a heart. I also cut strawberries into a heart shape to add to the romance 🙂 Another super quick and easy option is a fruit parfait, layers of red fruit, yoghurt and muesli placed in a pretty jar.

  • Lunches/packed lunches – the boys have been in school for the past few valentines so I like to do cute treats in their lunch bags. A personalised note, a heart shaped sandwich, watermelon or fruit cut into hearts. Anything I have time for really, but always a bit of a treat.

  • Baked goods – For teachers, or friends at school, we always make our treats at home to save a little money. It also gets the boys involved and they adore baking so it’s a win win. We have made sugar cookies and heart-shaped brownies to give out as treats.

  • Homemade presents – Not only are they a money saver, but while the boys are younger, I really do believe you don’t get better than a homemade gift. Last year we made “salt dough” jewellery, pressing out hearts in small heart shapes to thread onto a necklace or a bracelet, that they boys gave out. We dyed the salt dough pink and red and pressed in patterns and words like “loved”. For cards we have experimented with different mediums over the years, from puffy paint, to “blowing paint” and marbling the cards with shaving foam and food colouring.

  • Activities – I always do a bit of a “build up” to valentines day, from sensory trays, chocolate soap foam, “melting hearts” (up on the blog later today) to cardboard crafts, I love theming the activities.

  • Family Picnic – Whether it’s under the stars or in your lounge, the best way to spend the day/night with sharing love filled food with friends and family.

So there are a few ideas for you to do with the kids this valentines. I don’t believe we can ever show our kids “to much love” and I think Valentines is the perfect day to show them, and let them show others how kindness and love can make a difference!

Valentine Themed Sensory Bin

Valentine Themed Sensory Bin

There are so many wonderful ways to fill and to play with sensory trays and I love any excuse to find a theme to create one. If you follow my instagram and facebook pages you will see a lot more of my other ideas for sensory bins, we do slime, animal environments, snow, rainbow rice, anything I can really!

Sensory play has a lot to do with the nervous system and your child will react to how it feels, good or bad! They can be both calming and stimulating for a child as well as engaging and educational. Each item used in this valentine themed sensory bin is reusable and bought from our local china mall for under R100.

Items used include artificial rose petals, pink rainbow rice (homemade), pink polystyrene balls, plastic hearts, cardboard hearts, a variety of heart-shaped tins and containers for them to scoop and play.

I used a variety of different textures and shapes here and I knew I wanted to do a “dry” sensory bin this time. As I was creating it I knew that my boys would probably be too “old” for just a touch and explore one and realised that it was the perfect treasure hunt bin!

The challenge was on.

The boys had to dig in the bin, through all the petals and rice to find all 14 of the little plastic hearts, next came the foil ones and so on. My little Yusuf loved the feeling of the Polystyrene balls and watching how the static made them jump (Tip: have a hoover close by, second tip: the rice seemed to diffuse the static slightly so I would definitely do both).

Once we had finished the treasure hunt we moved onto a game of eye spy before Aadam decided he wanted to do arts and crafts with all of the hearts.

So a simple activity that took less than 15 minutes to set up created an afternoon of play!

What else would you add to your bin?

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Valentine’s sugar cookies

Valentine’s sugar cookies

Incase you couldn’t tell my boys are a teeny bit obsessed with baking, what kid isn’t right ? They love mixing and rolling and cutting, and of course licking the bowl.


For the last few years we have made heart-shaped sugar cookies to give out to friends and teachers for valentine’s day.

There’s a lot of controversy around valentine’s and should we celebrate it, it’s just another excuse to suck in consumers, and yes, while that may be true, personally I adore the fact that there is actually a day to promote “love”. Not just love between a man and women, but love for all of those special people around us. There is so much anger and hate in the world; the fact that there is a day to bring awareness to love is just fantastic in my books. So I unashamedly celebrate valentine’s day, every single year.

Enough of the long story, here is my fail proof recipe for the perfect sugar cookie, thanks to my beautiful friend (and sugar cookie Goddess) Liezl.


3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks), approx. 227 grams unsalted butter

1 cup castor sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp. vanilla

Sift the flour and salt

In a separate bowl cream together butter and sugar, add in the egg and vanilla.

Slowly mix in flour until the dough comes together.

Pull together in a bowl and chill in fridge

Set oven to 180 Degrees Celsius, roll out cookies and bake for 12 minutes


2 cups icing sugar, 3 tbsp. egg white, about 1 tbsp. warm water dependent on consistency. Beat on high.

OR, if you are low on time, head on over to Woolworths to buy their Royal Icing Mix.


Once the cookies have cooled pipe onto your cookies.

If there is one thing I despise in this world its icing sugar cookies, I honestly do not have the patience, or finesse to neatly do them. I would actually love to go on a course one of these days, but until then I let the boys do most of it with me. That way, I can blame the messiness on them ! 🙂

HAPPY VALENTINES WEEK !! Do you have any valentines traditions in your home?