Like most recent celebrations and holidays, Valentine’s Day is going to look very different this year. Usually, at this time, our kiddos are excitedly preparing cards for their friends and working on crafts during art class. Many children are currently doing school online, and all are feeling the pain of getting fewer hugs from grandparents and friends. So, what can parents do to ensure the kids still have a fun and special day?

Create some crazy new traditions and do some fun activities

My friend Jenn, loves to celebrate everything! One of the traditions she started was to keep her Christmas tree up year around, but she and her family decorate it according to the season. Her Valentine’s tree looks spectacular!

Kids love doing crafts and we love kids being busy, so picking up a Valentine’s Day Craft Kit is top of my list. I also discovered a local mom who created DIY Valentine’s succulents. My kids are obsessed with these adorable plants. The crafts are great for families who are avoiding treats or deal with food allergies.

Shop local bakeries

I love supporting other entrepreneurs, especially during these times. If your kids have a sweet tooth and love a little treat like mine do, check out the goodies at your local bakeries. I was shocked with the creativity and variety available. My local bakery had beautiful chocolate bombs that my children will be thrilled with. I was also able to grab some fun cookie decorating kits – a good activity paired with a tasty result! Some friends of mine who own The Cookie Doh Factory have put together a super cute Valentine’s Treat Box with a variety of items. And for my little guy who has food sensitivities? Our friends at Turtledoves always ensure they have gluten-free treats so he doesn’t have to miss out!

Send love letters to seniors

Because the isolation caused by the pandemic is especially hard on our Seniors, and because parents are looking for meaningful activities for their children, I created a program with my friend Mary from Down-Sizing Solutions. We are collecting cards and crafts from children to distribute to our friends living in long term care facilities. It was very easy to organize and we are excited to bring cheer to our Seniors during this time. I was happy to pick up some lovely cards from Toodilipops.

Don’t forget the teens

This might be a tricky time for the teens who are not able to spend time with their crush or new love because of physical distancing. Remember to be patient with their hormonal outbursts and what might seem like dramatic antics. The teens are having a tough time right now. Be there for them.

Many of our kids have been absolute champs during this time and we really are seeing how resilient they are. But if you’re like me, you’ll want to still make things special and remind them of how proud we are of them. How are you celebrating with the kiddos this Valentine’s Day? 


Julie Cole is a recovered lawyer, mom of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless awards. Julie is no stranger to the media, having appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, HLN’s Raising America, Breakfast Television, The Marilyn Denis Show, CP24, among many others. As a blogger and writer, her articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, The Globe and Mail, Profit Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Chicken Soup For the Soul - Power Moms and numerous websites. When she’s not juggling her busy family and professional life, Julie is an active volunteer and engaged community leader, who is passionate about women’s issues, mentoring young entrepreneurs, poverty alleviation and social justice.

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