“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” -David Viscott
Studies show that giving love produces oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, boosting feelings of euphoria and trust. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful occasion to give love and reap its many benefits!
It feels great to do simple acts of kindness that touch people’s hearts. Everyone needs to know that they are loved, so give your loved ones handmade crafts and enjoy fun activities together to let them know. Seniors can commemorate the love between themselves and their spouse, family member, friend, or anyone else who has poured into their life.
Rather than seeing the day as exclusively celebrating romantic love, use our 10 fun and easy Valentine’s Day activities and crafts to brighten someone’s day and let them know just how loved they are.
Here are 5 DIY Valentine’s Day crafts that you and your loved one can craft together or that you can create by yourself to surprise a loved one:
1. Watercolor cards containing a heartfelt letter or poem
Painting watercolors doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming. These beginner-friendly youtube videos take less than 15 minutes and demonstrate how to paint basic watercolor Valentine’s Day cards so they come out beautifully. Check out these watercolor tutorials: four flower designs tutorial, this soft and delicate watercolor tutorial, or this galaxy heart tutorial. Be sure to write a message inside or your very own heartfelt poem. This is a perfect way to show your love through your creative side!
2. Coupon Book
Give your loved one a ‘coupon book’ filled with sweet favors. Examples of what to write could be “Good for one free shopping date, good for one free meal, good for one movie night, good for one back massage, good for one week of doing all the chores, etc.” Here are some printable coupon books. Be creative and as generous as you want! You can be sure these coupons won’t go unredeemed.
3. Customized bouquets or houseplants, bookmark, or picture frame
Create something that your loved one can use and admire around the house. A Valentine’s Day bouquet of tissue lollipop flowers, duct tape rose bouquet, or houseplant can be a sweet reminder of your thoughtfulness. If your loved one loves books, they may appreciate reading your heartfelt message on handmade bookmarks every time they open or close their books. A handmade picture frame containing a picture of you and your loved one together can act as a memento of your special relationship and maintain memories that would have otherwise been lost. These keepsakes are easy for your loved one to treasure and showcase in their home.
4. Stuffed animal with a heart-cut out message
Buy a cute stuffed animal and tape a paper cut-out of a heart to the front. Write a heartfelt message. You can also buy stuffed animals that record your voice so your audible message can always be heard whenever your loved one snuggles with your gift. We also love this 28 pack of mini bear keychains enveloped in a heart case for all your friends, or this adorable ‘I love you’ bear.
5. Yummy DIY food treats
What would Valentine’s Day be without sweet treats? Instead of buying candy, try creating healthy, easy-to-make Valentine-Day snacks. For the health-conscious loved one, create a watermelon heart fruit salad or heart fruit-kabob made out of fruits cut out in the shape of hearts. When snuggling together to watch a romantic comedy, snack on this white chocolate popcorn with heart sprinkles–the perfect combination of savory and sweet. Make it a complete movie night with heart-shaped pizza. Chocolate-covered strawberries are also synonymous with Valentine’s Day, so transform yours into something your loved ones have probably never seen: strawberry roses, chocolate-covered strawberry ladybugs, and a Valentine’s Day platter.
Here are 10 fun activities to do with the people you love on Valentine’s Day:
1. Go to the beach
If you’re at the beach, pick up some rocks to hand-paint together at home. Drop by your local grocery store and make it a picnic. The combination of serene waves lapping at your feet, smell of salt water, sensation of digging your toes in the sand, and cool ocean breeze blowing against your face engrosses all five senses. Loved ones with dementia may remember joyous memories spent at the beach. Taking in nature produces tremendous health benefits such as “better moods, decreased chance of depression, reduced stress levels, and improved cognitive function.” Hold your loved one’s hand and let your worries go.
2. Ask each other the ‘36 Questions to Fall in Love’
A study showed that asking these 36 questions can help accelerate intimacy between two strangers. The 36 questions vary in levels of vulnerability, but the idea behind the 36 questions’ popularity is that reciprocal self-disclosure leads to feeling close quickly. While you and your loved one may already be close, try cementing your bond by asking each other the 36 questions–you probably will learn something new. Learn more about your loved one, and enjoy the gift of becoming closer–in record time!
3. Spa and Massage Day
Treat your loved one to the relaxing, restful day they deserve. Create a spa-like atmosphere and give them a massage or nice bubble bath. Let them relax and meditate with aromatherapy, hot washcloths, and candles. You can create a Valentine’s Day-theme by gifting heart-shaped bath bombs, putting rose petals in the bath water, and giving them soft, moisturizing heart-themed socks, heat pack, and other face masks, body lotions, and facial scrubs. Don’t forget the chocolate!
4. Scrapbook and bring out pictures
Valentine’s Day is a good time to look back at the past and appreciate all the love you’ve received over the years. Create a scrapbook together with a loved one that you can look back on as a visual reminder of all you’ve experienced together. Create a Valentine’s Day-themed scrapbook or customize it to your own unique interests. Make it a tradition of adding to the scrapbook with new pictures each Valentine’s Day.
5. Share the love with the community. Write or knit to service men and women.
Spread the love and perform acts of kindness. Whether it’s volunteering at a soup kitchen, writing notes of encouragement and sticking them in random places, donating canned goods, or paying for someone’s meal, enjoy brightening the days of those who may be in less fortunate circumstances. Another idea is to bless the lives of veterans and service men and women with handwritten cards. Soldiers’ Angels is an organization that accepts cards on behalf of troops and veterans–the deadline is February 14th.
6. Watch romantic movies
Get swept up into a good, old-fashioned romance. Escape into unforgettable, gripping stories of love and adventure that will awaken your sense of possibility and wonder. Pick a movie from your local library or streaming service. Some possibilities: The Notebook, The Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday, Casablanca, Roman Holiday, An Affair to Remember, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Romeo & Juliet, Grease, 16 Candles, Princess Bride, and When Harry Met Sally.
7. Celebrate with an afternoon Tea Party
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a tea party. Make classic cucumber, tuna fish, and egg finger sandwiches cut out in the shape of hearts. Sip tea and sparkling cider in china cups. Savor a bite of fruit cream cake or any other Valentine’s Day-decorated pastries. Play some familiar love songs quietly in the background. Be sure to decorate with heart-shaped garlands, tissue paper hearts, and heart centerpieces on the tables! This is a wonderful occasion for inviting loved ones and exchanging laughter.
8. Host Virtual Calls with Loved Ones
Use Valentine’s Day to catch up with loved ones. Schedule virtual calls and see how they are doing. Your loved ones are sure to appreciate that you took the time to connect with them.
9. Spend time coloring
Coloring is a soothing, enjoyable activity for you and your loved one. For loved ones suffering from dementia, coloring can be an engrossing, easy activity that calms, relieves stress, and exercises their creativity. A 2006 study found that seniors who colored “had better overall health, made fewer visits to the doctor, used less medication, and had fewer health problems.” Play your favorite Valentine’s Day music playlist and relax with these recommended Valentine’s Day-themed coloring pages depicting mini hearts, cute bears, romantic roses, and Cupid.
10. Play Valentine’s Day Puzzles, Bingo, Pictionary, and Scavenger Hunt
Valentine’s Day games are the perfect way to enliven the day and stimulate your mind. Challenging yet fun games improve your memory and problem-solving skills, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline. They loosen people up and help them bond. Find hidden words in these free Valentine’s Day word search printables we recommend. Have fun playing bingo using these lovely valentine bingo card printables. Play pictionary or charades–games in which you guess the correct Valentine’s Day-themed words based on a picture or someone’s acting. Create a scavenger hunt for a loved one so there is suspense behind their special gift–create and print out riddles, hide them throughout the house, and wait to see their look of surprise. Use these scavenger hunt clue printables. Your loved ones will both exercise their intellect and have fun with these Valentine’s Day games!
Here at Oakmont, we have Valentine’s Day themed dinners, “Senior Prom,” Sweethearts Dance, tea socials, and so much more! Please contact us to see how you can join in the fun and be a part of our loving community.