Fun and Frugal Valentines Ideas for Kids

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Frugal Valentines ideas for kids are all around you! Here are some creative ideas to celebrate valentines day both at home and elsewhere.

With Valentine’s Day a few weeks away, now’s the time for planning your fun and frugal celebrations for the day.  From extravagant plans to simple dinners, frugal Valentines ideas for kids and adults alike are easy to find. Some people don’t celebrate the “holiday” and some do; We celebrate every year at our house, with the whole family, and implement the Valentines ideas for kids I’ve come up with over the years.

Anytime I’ve got a reason to have fun that involves chocolate, I’m in, whether it’s commercial hype or not. 🙂 Either way, you can do Valentine’s Day well on a budget, even with kids involved.  Here’s how:

One of My Favorite Valentines Ideas for Kids – Make a Special Dinner


For years we did a full Italian dinner on Valentine’s Day, complete with lasagna, garlic bread, salad and several varieties of chocolate. This year we’ll change things up by making a new recipe we found on the Internet and serving it with different side dishes than we usually have. We’ll cook together and eat together, saving tons of cash off of restaurant prices.

Grab the kids, hash out a fun and different menu plan, complete with relaxing music, candles and the works. Or have each child be in charge of planning a certain aspect of the meal. One kid decides on the music, one decides on the main dish and one picks the dessert you’ll have.

Where other frugal Valentines ideas for kids might fail, I promise that this one will succeed. The kids will have a blast, I promise, and the education they’ll get in the kitchen will be rewarded with full tummies and sweet dreams. 🙂 If you and your spouse like to have a romantic meal without the kids, you can set aside enough for both to have after the kids go to bed. You can add in a wine bottle candelabra with some tealights and you’ll have the romantic experience without a costly restaurant bill to show for it.

Plan Fun Activities


Make and decorate heart-shaped sugar cookies, with homemade frosting and sugar sprinkles. Grab some construction paper, markers and glue and make all kinds of red, pink and white decorations for your home. Get creative and figure out what else defines love besides hearts, and then get to making it into an art creation of some sort. Then, spread the love.

Deliver cards and cookies to a couple of family members, friends or neighbors. Serve a meal at a homeless shelter or pack food for third world countries in the name of spreading love, or search your cupboards for some non-perishables that you can deliver to a nearby food shelf that week. Make a goal to do one or more random acts of kindness to show love to those inside, and outside, your family.

If your child has to bring Valentines to school, deviate from the standard card if you want to, and do something different, like having them make something on their own. These fun and frugal treats will inspire other kids to come up with their own Valentines ideas for kids next year.

Frugal Valentines ideas for kids are all around you! Here are some creative ideas to celebrate valentines day both at home and elsewhere.

Do Nice Things


Another one of my favorite frugal Valentines ideas for kids is to play “Secret Valentine” at your house, and sneak in some random acts of kindness for those in your household, encouraging other family members to do the same. Have each family member leave a construction paper heart in the area of their completed task, leaving the grateful recipient wondering which one of his/her family members gave the blessing.

All kinds of random acts of kindness can count, from making a sibling’s bed, to doing one of their daily chores for them, such as emptying the dishwasher, to making mom a cup of hot tea, to shoveling the walk for dad. Challenge your kids to get creative and be on the lookout for a chance to bless those around them with a secret act of kindness.

There are all sorts of fun, and cheap, Valentines ideas for kids of all ages to be had if you’re willing to do some research and get creative.


What are your favorite frugal ways to celebrate Valentine’s day, or do you prefer not to celebrate this particular holiday?


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Laurie is a wife, mother to 4, and homesteader who blogs about personal finance, self-sufficiency and life in general over at The Frugal Farmer. Part witty, part introspective and part silly, her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom, and to a simpler, more peaceful life.


  • Kay says:

    Sweet ideas, Laurie! I especially like the random acts of kindness for family members. I’ll probably make a special sweet dessert. My son can help prepare it, he loves helping me bake.

    • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

      Isn’t it fun when they like to help with the baking, Kay? It really gets their creative juices flowing, and it’s a good math lesson too. πŸ™‚

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    My wife and I like to get food and we rarely spend a lot of money on the holiday. The first Valentine’s Day that we were dating I think we did spend more as I got her a nice bouquet of flowers. Now we are happy going to just about any restaurant and staying in!

    • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

      We’d rather stay in too, DC. Especially with Valentine’s Day being on a Friday this year, I’m betting restaurants are going to be extra packed. Yuck.

  • Travis @debtchronicles says:

    Your post reminded me that we used to make heart shaped sugar cookies as kids for valentine’s day….and I haven’t done that ONCE with my kids. Get out the flour and the rolling pin, it’s time to do some baking! πŸ™‚

  • Holly@ClubThrifty says:

    I’m not huge on Valentine’s day, but we do celebrate it. We’ll probably just make cookies or cupcakes with the kids or something!

  • Matt Becker says:

    This Saturday when I’ve got the kids, I plan on cutting out some construction paper hearts and letting them throw some paint on them. Aiden I can put in his high chair and let go to town. Nolan I’ll probably put a little paint on his feet and let him kick the paper a little bit. I think the important women in my life will enjoy it!

    • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

      Love the idea about putting paint on Nolan’s feet – cute!! Homemade stuff from babes and toddlers is definitely a favorite among women. Years ago Rick made me this plaque with the kids’ handprints in paint on it in each of their favorite colors. I still love that thing to this day – it’s one of my all time favorite gifts. πŸ™‚

  • Tushar @ Everything Finance says:

    These are really cute ideas. When I was growing up, my mom always made dinner with us and we would bake cookies. It was a lot of fun.

    • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

      That sounds so fun, Tushar. It’s good to know too that you still have fond memories of it, even as an adult.

  • Grayson Bell says:

    I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I don’t like how it is overly commercialized and I love my wife each and every day, which I show. My son is too little to even know what would be going on, so we won’t be doing much. I might surprise my wife with a special dinner before V-Day just as a nice “I love you!”

    • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

      I couldn’t agree more about the overcommercialization, and about loving your wife every day, however, I’m always up for a reason to eat some rich desserts and fabulous food. If I did that every day, that would NOT be good, so I use Valentine’s Day as a good excuse. πŸ™‚

  • Anthony @ Thrifty Dad says:

    Nice ideas Laurie! I think we’ll have our eldest daughter (she’s 2) help us bake some cookies and maybe make some crafty Valentine’s cards she can give out to her little cousins.

  • Fig @ Figuring Money Out says:

    Sweet ideas! I like the idea of doing a special dinner or doing some fun activities. I know my niece is very exciting about baking cookies for Valentines Day!

  • Mackenzie says:

    Cute ideas, Laurie! I really like the idea of Italian food for dinner πŸ™‚

    • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

      Yeah, we’re excited. Tomorrow I’m posting our Valentine’s Day Menu – it’s absolutely yummy! πŸ™‚

  • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says:

    Great ideas, Laurie! I love the idea of making a big, favorite meal together as a family. It’s really important to do things like that and honestly, it’s more enjoyable than eating in a crowded and loud restaurant on Valentine’s Day. I would rather splurge on a meal out when it’s more relaxed and we can actually enjoy ourselves. And you can never go run with Italian food – sounds delicious!

    • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

      I agree, Shannon. A quiet restaurant is much more enjoyable than when the staff is running around doing their best to keep up with an overflowing crowd. πŸ™‚

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says:

    I always loved baking as a kid. I also loved putting presents together for others. My parents would just leave me with craft supplies and I’d keep myself occupied for hours.

    • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

      That doesn’t surprise me, Stefanie, based on what I know of you now. πŸ™‚ I’m glad my kids are the same way – it’s a great trait to have.

  • anna says:

    I love the Secret Valentine idea! When I hopefully have kids, I’m going to implement that but just put “mom” on all the slips of paper. j/k Happy Valentine’s to you and your family, Laurie!

    • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

      LOL, that’s not such a bad idea, is it? Happy Valentine’s Day to you guys too. This one will be interesting as it’s your last one as bf and gf. Next year you’ll be hubby and wife. πŸ™‚

  • Snarkfinance says:

    Random acts of kindness is a great message for kids. I used to love making homemade Valentines Day cards getting crafty with the construction paper, stickers, glitter and glue πŸ™‚

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says:

    All of these are great ideas. I especially like the one about doing nice things. Valentine’s day is a fun little holiday for kids, because it’s not to be taken very seriously but it’s an easy holiday to involve them in.

    • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

      So true, Daisy. I like to use it as a good excuse to help them see how fun it is to show love to others. πŸ™‚

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