I love to create small and sweet celebrations out of holidays, and Valentine’s Day is no exception! While I was heavily pregnant last year, I wanted to do a fuss-free Valentine’s Day ‘baking’ activity with my daughter, but without the dreaded sugar crash afterwards. So we made watermelon hearts, which are bake free, and only sweet from their natural sugars. And a super simple project for all ages.
Then this year, I decided to raise the bar a bit, and threw together a few items in 15 minutes to surprise Beatrice with a little Valentine’s Lunch Party after she arrived home from Nursery School. And when she walked in the door she squealed with excitement. I had : set the table with a new tablecloth, lit a rose scented candle, hung our heart garland, laid out a lunch consisting of only red and pink food, filled her spotty tea set with fruit tea and set up two projects to make after lunch: watermelon hearts and Valentine’s Cards to mail to our friends. A great thing to do on a dreary afternoon.
The inspiration for our lunch party actually started with this adorable vintage rose patterned tablecloth that I spotted at our local charity shop for 50 pence (!). Of course you don’t need a tablecloth, but it felt extra special to dress the table up in a fabric and colour palette we don’t normally have at home. And the foods in our fridge that were pink and red consisted of beetroot soup with yoghurt, radishes, and red pepper slices. I am sure that sugar and sweets will find their way into future Valentine’s celebrations but it is just as sweet to do something healthy and fun that both my young kids can enjoy.
Simply cut the watermelon about as wide as the heart cutters. No need to measure it, I just guesstimated. Then press the cookie cutter hearts into the melon. We found that the leftover watermelon around the hearts went directly into mouths, there was little waste, and Joseph enthusiastically ate his first watermelon too. However, if you wanted to, you could use the leftover pieces to make a yummy smoothie.
It is such a simple way to enjoy food, and a project that works for all ages. And although watermelon isn’t seasonal in the UK this time of year, I think some exceptions are ok.
We also found that the cookie cutters, once clean, doubled up nicely as Valentine’s Card stamps. (After an outfit change when drenched from juicy watermelon hearts!) Use some white paint (red or pink would be great as well), and made dozens of handmade Valentines. Super easy and you can build on this project for older kids with writing, colouring, or embellishing with glue and glitter.
Think of all the red and pink foods and drinks you could serve for your own Valentine’s Lunch or breakfast with a few special touches to bring a bit of warmth into your February. And the hearts really are good for anytime of year. After all, a little love goes a long way!
Happy Valentine’s Day!