14 Ways 14 Days: Tell your kids “I love you” with the gift of time

14 Ways 14 Days Tell Your Kids I Love You with the Gift of TimePin
Love. There is nothing I love more than love. I love to give hugs and kisses. Love a good joke. Love to spend my days with my kids (in the macro sense, if not the micro all the time).

If you haven’t been under a rock or involved in a big project, for say the last ten years, then you probably have heard about the The 5 Love Languages. We are believers here even if we don’t always put the knowledge into practice as much as we should.

Matt’s love language is acts of service, while mine is gifts of gadgets quality time. Kids have their own love languages too, though it is a bit trickier to figure them out.

But I really don’t think you need a book to tell you that nothing says “I love you” more to a kid than a little bit of dedicated time from a parent. It doesn’t have to be a big event or complicated activity, just some time set apart in play. But it is something I struggle with.

I get caught up in list of to-dos or housework or barreling through with homeschooling tasks and all the little things — the activities that tell a kid “I love you” get pushed aside for things like dinner being on the table, reading lessons, or clean clothes.

And I know that the time is more important, but unless I am consciously thinking about it, then it can get lost in the busyness of the day. You too?

That is why I created 14 Ways 14 Days. It is a plan of action for me for the first 14 days of February. I am going to set aside time each day to spend doing something with my kids. Yes, even on the really busy ones.

I would love to have you join in.

To help us out, I have created 14 different cards (along with an image for the back) for you to print out and cut. There is a place on the back of each card to write an activity that you know your kids will love.

Download 14 Ways 14 Days Files Here.

Some ideas to get you started are:

  • Take a walk
  • Take a trip to the park
  • Family bike ride
  • Make cookies
  • Make muffins
  • Have a tea party
  • Go for a milkshake
  • Family board game night
  • Family puzzle night
  • Family charades night
  • Go to a play
  • Go to a movie
  • Have a family dance party
  • Invite friends to dinner
  • Have a fancy dinner
  • Go sledding
  • Play goofy golf
  • Go bowling
  • Go ice skating
  • Movie night in with popcorn!
  • Picnic on the living room floor
  • Blanket fort

Start by printing your cards. The file will download as a ZIP archive. Once downloaded, expand the ZIP file. Inside are four PDF files. Open and print the first three printable files. File four is the back images.

If you are feeling lucky, you can feed the pages back through your printer to do the back. If not, then you can always print the backs separate and glue the two sides together. I made mine on card stock for extra stability.

Next cut them and then fill in the activities. Use some of the ones above or pick ones that fit your family best. You can fill all of them in at once or you can fill each one in the night before, so you can choose the one that will best fit your schedule each day.

Once your cards are ready, then gift them to your kids. I made them just the right size to fit inside those gift card boxes that you can find in any book or craft store. Place a card in there and put it on a different child’s plate each morning at breakfast.
Or hang all of your cards on a ribbon strung somewhere in the room. You could put the cards in envelopes or even number a set of colorful library pockets and hang them on the wall.

Whatever way you choose to use them, they will undoubtedly make your children feel cherished in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. 14 days. 14 ways. Lots of time and love.

So what ideas do you have for spending quality time with the kids? I would love to hear them in the comments.

More Valentine’s Day Fun

I’ve teamed up with some fabulous friends to bring you even more ideas to make Valentine’s Day 2015 extra special!

  • Valentine’s Day Books for Kids of All Ages – What better way to encourage a love for books and reading than to read books about love and Valentine’s Day! Cindy has rounded up some fabulous picture books and chapter books that kids of all ages will love.
  • 14 Heart-filled Valentine’s Day Activities for Toddlers – Valentine’s Day is a great time to help your toddlers learn all about hearts and love so Clare has put together a collection of fun-filled activities that toddlers (and older kids) will enjoy!
  • Kid Made Valentine’s Process Art Canvas – Oh my this art project is gorgeous, and kids of all ages should have fun making this. Anna thinks it would make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for daddy or grandma – and I agree!
  • Valentines for Boys – If your boy hates Valentine’s because it’s all pink and full of hearts you might just change his mind with these FREE printables that Sheila and her son have put together.
  • Valentine’s Day Science Fun – And let’s finish up with some Valentine’s Day science over at Colleen’s place!



  • thegirlwhopaintedtrees says:

    My kids will love this. Quality time is harder, especially as they get more independent!
    My recent post Another Day in the Life

  • Patty says:

    This is such a “sweet” idea, Pam 🙂
    My recent post Mighty Tug Boats

  • Sarah says:

    I love this! Pinning and printing! It is so easy for me to forget to tell (and show) my kids how much I love them on an ordinary hectic day. This is such a great plan for beating winter February blah. Thanks

  • Candace says:

    LOVE this, Pam!! 🙂 I've got a post coming on some simple valentine cards that look similar to yours – using extra project life cards!! 🙂 I'll be linking to this post too…

  • Mystie says:

    February is a great time for remembering to do these little things to brighten up the day. Those are cute cards. 🙂
    My recent post Simplified Whole30, catch-up post

  • edsnapshots says:

    Thanks everybody! I hope that you can use them to have some fun with your kids. Quality time IS harder as they get more independent and February does have “blahs!” I didn't even think of that.

  • Erin says:

    Beautiful, really beautiful{{}}
    My recent post 7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol 179)

  • SharlaK says:

    I love this! You've shared some wonderful ideas. Lovely lead-up to Valentine's Day!

  • These are such sweet ideas! We just had a family game night and it was a big hit. I'd love it if you'd share your post on the link party on my site, Family Fun Friday.
    My recent post Family Fun Friday {Week 52}

  • Barb says:

    The card garland with clothes pins is just awesome! And you are right, the gift of time, is really the best thing we can give our kids. Visiting via “Family Fun Friday” from over at ” target=”_blank”>http://www.ritewhileucan.com where I get a little crazy over all things paper and the lost art of letter writing – another thing that requires time! You might enjoy.

  • Clare says:

    LOVE these ideas! Sometimes we all need a reminder to just slow down and spend quality time with our families, and this is a great way to do it. And I think you could even do this at any time of year.

  • I love this post (and that isn’t just Valentine talk!) Giving the gift of time is the very best thing we can do for our kids. What a lovely way to show them how much we care.

  • Cindy Howell says:

    Wonderful, wonderful ideas! We tend to forget that the thing our children want most from us is our time.

  • Anna says:

    My kids would love having these inside those little gift boxes! Great post, these simple quality time activities are so valuable I totally agree

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