Our kids have had to deal with so many disappointments this year. Life has been just a series of let downs, one after another, without even a foreseeable end date with which to comfort them. My seven-year-old daughter has really handled most of them like a champ, showing a flexibility and maturity even I have often had difficulty summoning in the face of all we’ve lost. But when she came downstairs one night last month, after having been tucked into bed, with her brow furrowed and eyes misty, there was an unmistakable quaver in her voice as she asked, “Will we be able to go to the Daddy Daughter Dance this year?” She and her dad have been attending the same area dance, thrown on the Friday before Valentine’s Day, since she was two-years-old. She has told him on numerous occasions that it is her favorite day of the year, edging even Christmas out of the top spot. There was nothing to be done but assure her that we would do our best to recreate the dance at home this year, with the added bonus that her younger siblings and mom would get to join in on the fun!
If you are looking to add a little festivity to your Valentine’s weekend, especially during this otherwise cheerless pandemic winter, here are a few of the things I plan to do to make our DIY dance memorable (for dads, daughters, moms, sons, and everyone in between)!
Decorating for parties isn’t usually my strong suit. I tend to want to focus more on the food than the crepe paper streamers but I didn’t want to completely skip this part. So I got the kids involved in making an easy craft that they will be proud to have on display that night. I found the directions for this easy heart paper chain here and we used leftover scrapbook paper and red, pink and purple construction paper to make several chains to string on the mantel. Beyond that I plan on setting out a few red and pink vases I bought at the Dollar Tree last year filled with some fresh flowers (Trader Joe’s is my favorite go to for affordable and beautiful flowers), buying some Valentine’s themed paper plates, and layering some red and white doilies (usually to be found in the Target Dollar Spot this time of year) under our refreshments.
My kids love to roll out, bake and decorate sugar cookies for any and all occasions, so those will definitely be making an appearance at our party. This recipe from our sister site in Scottsdale is my favorite sugar cookie recipe for its ease and ability to keep its shape when baked. The dance my daughter usually goes to always serves pink lemonade and a s’mores snack mix of golden grahams, cocoa puffs and mini marshmallows. I’ll add a few bowls of valentine colored M&Ms and the refreshments are done!
If you have Spotify, there are actually quite a few Valentine’s Day playlist, including some of kids songs only or popular pop songs. We’ll probably create our own with some classic DJ dance faves as well as a smattering of current songs and Disney jams.
Here are some songs I know will make the list:
- YMCA by Village People
- Cha Cha Slide by DJ Casper
- Macarena by Los Del Rio
- Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex
- Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake
- Shake It Off, or You Need to Calm Down, or ME! by Taylor Swift
- Me Too by Megan Trainor
- Savage Love by Jason DeRulo
- Pink Pony Club by Chappell Roan
- The Git Up by Blanco Brown
- Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle (because their dance always ends the night with this one, much to my husband’s nauseation)
One other thing my daughter enjoys each year is the photo booth, complete with crazy props. We have a few boas, hats and glasses we can pull out for dressing up, but I also plan on printing some of these free photo props on cardstock and attaching them to wooden skewers.