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12 Ways to Say I Love You

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples. Deliver sweet somethings to every important person in your life.

Create a Sweet Tweets Jar

Decorate a mason jar for your child. On slips of paper, write adjectives or short sentences in 140 characters or less that describe traits you most appreciate, admire and love.

Hunt for Cupid’s Treasure

Challenge your kids to a scavenger hunt. Give them clues on a trail of paper hearts. One clue leads to the next until they find a Valentine’s Day surprise. Check online for scavenger hunt clue ideas.

‘Attack’ Them with Hearts

On each of the 13 days leading up to Valentine’s Day, post a heart-shaped note your kids’ doors each night after they go to bed. By Valentine’s Day, their doors are covered.

Send a Singing Telegram

Video your preschooler singing a ditty like: “I made this little valentine, of red, white and blue; I made this little valentine, especially for you!” (point at the camera). Email the file to grandparents or other relatives your youngster is crazy about.

Customize Cards for Classmates

Bypass the usual cartoon paper postcards and print simple photo cards with a themed border and a personal message. Here are some ideas.

Play the Queen of Hearts

Ace V-Day by sending love notes in a pack of red playing cards for your beloved. Punch holes in the corner of each card. On paper squares, write down 52 reasons why you love or appreciate him. Paste each sentiment in the middle of a playing card. Title the deck “I love you because…” and paste it on the top card. Attach the cards with a c-clip.

Treat Them to a Hearty Breakfast

Surprise your kids with heart-shaped cinnamon rolls. Instead of rolling your cinnamon roll dough from one side to the other, roll it on both sides so that each side meets in the middle forming a heart shape. Slice and bake. Serve juice out of dollar-store champagne flutes. Make a fruit salad using a heart-shaped cutter with apples, strawberries, bananas and watermelon.

Toy with Chemistry

Put candy conversation hearts to the test. Gather vinegar, salt water, tap water and bleach (with adult guidance). Place a candy heart in four bowls. Ask your child to hypothesize about what will happen when each liquid is dropped over the candy. Using an eye dropper, test the theory. Did your young chemist’s predictions prove true?

Get Those Hearts Pumping

Using a poster board, make a grid of nine exercises (sit-ups, somersaults, jumping jacks, pushups, etc). Players take turns tossing a beanbag (or other item) onto the grid. Then they roll the dice to see how many times they have to do the exercise that their beanbag landed on. For more ideas, check out 12345 Fit-Tastic!, a healthy lifestyles initiative for families.

Rev Up Date Night

Plan an outing with your sweetheart that’s playful and gets you out of your dinner-and-a-movie rut. For example, lift off in a hot air balloon ride; go dancing; take a couples cooking class; paint together at a drop-in paint-and-sip studio; attend a concert or live theater production.

Sweet Sayings

This no-calorie box of sweetness will fill your valentine with happiness many times over! Get an old or new box of candy (remove or eat the candy!). If the candy pieces come in individual paper wrappers, all the better. Cut pink and white construction paper into ½-by-5½-inch strips. Write a message to your valentine on each strip of paper.

Other Ways to Say “I Love You”

Stumped on how to tell someone, “I love you”? Say it in a foreign language! Here are 10 to get you started. You can have fun around the dinner table with this.

Dutch: Ik hou van jou. French: Je t’aime. German: Ich liebe dich. Greek: S’ayapo. Italian: Ti amo. Latin: Ego te amo. Serbian: Volim te. Swahili: Mimi nakupenda. Yiddish: Ikh hob dikh lib. Zulu: Ngi ya thandela wena.

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