Get the whole family involved in spreading love this February with this simple and meaningful tradition…a Valentine’s Day Kindness Countdown for kids!
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Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to talk to our kids about kindness…and put those words into practice, too!
If your family is like mine (please tell me it is!), reminders to be kind are always welcome…and needed. Despite our best efforts, family life is not ALWAYS peaceful and harmonious. We absolutely love each other, but we’re also very human.
It’s not realistic to expect our kids (or ourselves) to be perfectly kind and loving all the time, but we can encourage empathy and kindness. As we practice these skills, we create homes that have a large measure of love to pull us through the rough patches.
If you want to nurture a little more love in your home, try a new tradition this Valentine’s Day:
The Valentine’s Kindness Countdown
The idea is simple.
It combines the fun of an advent calendar with the invitation to be kind in a variety of ways in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Because the world can certainly use all the love it can get.
Want to start a chain reaction with me?
Here’s how it works:
For our kindness countdown, I chose 14 simple acts of kindness and typed them up inside some cute little paper hearts I designed (get the free download below). I printed them on white cardstock and cut them out. Then I cut 14 slightly larger paper hearts in various colors, and wrote the numbers 1-14 on them.
To assemble the countdown, I simply clipped each number heart (with a hidden “kindness” heart behind it) to a length of baker’s twine using mini clothespins (you can get these at the dollar store or craft store).
Now I have a meaningful activity and a cute Valentine’s decoration hanging over our fireplace!
Now, we’re ready to do our countdown. Each morning from February 1-14, before school, we’ll flip over one of the hearts and read the challenge for the day.
Many of the activities I chose to include in our countdown are activities the kids can do while they’re at school…or all day long. A few of them are activities we’ll do as a family after school sometime that day.
TIP: When you’re putting together your own countdown, try to be mindful of your family’s schedule and assign an activity for each day that you’ll be able to complete. For example, Tuesdays for us are bananas busy, so I need an activity that doesn’t require any extra time or effort (like giving compliments or speaking only kind words). Sundays are a slower day for us, so that’s a good day for writing letters or making cards.
Valentine’s Day Kindness Countdown for Families
- 14 kindness challenge hearts (free printable below), printed on white cardstock
- Colored paper (we used red, pink, and purple cardstock, but you can use whatever colors you want)
- String (I love using red and white baker’s twine)
- mini clothespins (or tape)
How to make a Valentine’s kindness countdown:
- Print and cut out the 14 kindness challenge hearts. Note: there is also a blank page of hearts in the download, so you can write in your own ideas instead of using mine if you prefer.
- Cut out 14 paper hearts, slightly bigger than the printed ones, in your choice of colors. On one side of each colored (larger) heart, write a number (1-14).
- Clip a “kindness” heart to the back side of each numbered heart, coordinating which day you plan to do each activity, and clip both together to a length of string/baker’s twine to make a garland.
- Hang up your cute decoration somewhere visible to everyone in the family.
- Each day, starting February 1, pick one heart, flip it over, and read the service idea on the back. Do that act of kindness sometime during the day.
That’s it. If you already have the supplies on hand, you can make this project in under 30 minutes. If you don’t have everything you need, you can find it all in one quick trip to the craft store.
OR, if that feels like too much SIMPLIFY it even more…
Want an even simpler way to do this tradition?
If you don’t have the time or supplies to make a cute garland with twine and clothespins, you can still do the kindness countdown! Just tape the hearts to an empty space on the wall instead. Seriously. Don’t overthink it. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be meaningful.
Simple is good.
Valentine’s Kindness Countdown Ideas:
You can choose whatever acts of kindness you want to put on your own countdown, but here are some simple ideas to get your inspiration flowing.
- Deliver a treat to a neighbor.
- Write a love note or draw a picture for a family member.
- Send a postcard or letter to to family or friends who live far away.
- Try to speak only kind words today.
- Give 5 compliments to people.
- Say “thank you” as often as possible to those who do anything for you. Teachers, friends, siblings, store clerks…everyone!
- Do a secret act of service for someone. Shh! Don’t tell!
- Hold the door open for someone or let them go ahead of you in line.
- Help someone with a task or chore without expecting anything in return.
- Donate food or toys to those in need.
- Leave a quarter in a candy machine.
- Pick up trash at a park (wear gloves!)
- Tell someone your favorite joke to make them laugh.
- Deliver valentines to your friends and/or classmates.
If you want to print out the hearts we used, click the link below to get a free printable version! I’ve also included a page of blank hearts so you can write in your own ideas if you prefer.
Also, if you are looking for a fun way to introduce this challenge, take a peek at this curated list of books all about kindness. Read one (or more) together as a family and talk about how the acts of kindness impacted the characters in the story…both the giver AND the receiver.
So, will you join us in spreading a little extra love and kindness this February?! Drop an “I’m in!” in the comments below!
Want more Valentine’s Day fun?
Check out the Valentine’s Day Activity Bundle for kids!
It includes nine different print-and-play activities that will bring more laughter and love to your family this February…without the stress.
Just print them, keep them nearby, and pull out an activity anytime your kids need a boost of fun.