Valentine’s Day Game: I love you for…


Have you told your family lately that you love them?  


Was it casual “I love you” you drop on the way out of the door in the morning or a quick, hurried “Lov’ you” at the end of a phone conversation?  


Do you take the time to say “I love you” like you mean it?


Valentine's Game for the whole family: I love you for... Love and Laughter come together in this simple, but meaningful Valentine's Day Game.

A few years ago I was reading an article discussing the role of praise in children’s art.  “Great job!” and “That’s the best piece of artwork ever!” were considered bad statements because they were too general and decreased a sense of accomplishment and motivation.  Instead, parents were encouraged to mete out a specific praise like, “I love how you used color blue in your painting.”


But isn’t it the same with “I love you” I thought.  “I love you” often seems meaningless on par with “See you later” and “call you maybe.” Three little words that stand for nothing.  


What do we really mean by “I love you” when we say it from the bottom of our hearts? 




I love you for being here because without you a piece would be missing in my heart.” 


I love you for you because there has never been and there will never be another person like you and I’m so lucky to have you in my life.”


I love you for your smiles.  When I see you smile, I can’t help smiling too.” 


I love you for your stories because I have never looked at the world that way before.”   


I love you for every day spend with you is a day worth living for.” 


When we make an effort not to finish a sentence after “I love you” but really build up on it, it acquires depth and meaning.   And if it can be turned into a game, even better! 

We have been playing this game on Valentine’s game for a few years now and it became a dear family tradition.  In fact, every year when I put together a yearly Shutterfly book and ask kids what family activity they enjoyed most, they always say Valentine’s Game.  (I swear we do lots of other fun things together as well). 



Valentine’s Day Game – I Love You For …

What to do

For a few weeks preceding the Valentine’s Day, all family members are encouraged to write down (and the kids who can’t write can dictate to you) “I love you for…” notes to each family member.  Write as much as you can.  The photo below is from the previous year when we were a family of five.  


Valentine's Game: I love you for ... Love and Laughter go together in this simple, but meaningful game.

Notes don’t say who is the author or who it is addressed to.   


The fun comes from guessing!


Our animals are included in the game.  That’s how we end up with notes like, “I love you for sniffing my butt.”  Who can it be addressed to?  Hmm..  Dog, of course!  You still need to guess who wrote it.  

Don’t forget to place a cute container in a prominent place for a few weeks prior to the holiday.  Next, to its place some colorful post-its/ notebook and pencils/pens.  If the kids love it, they will use it.  Last year we used Valentine’s Day truck (a paper craft from Oriental Trading Company).  


Valentine's Game: I love you for... Love and Laughter come together in this easy-to-set-up but meaningful Valentine's Day Game.


This year I was cleaning up my Scrapbook closet and came upon a stack of Valentine’s Day paper.  We found two suitable containers in our recycling bin and decorated them.  We put one in the kitchen and another on the bedroom floor. The more containers, the more love notes.  


Valentine's Game: I love you for... Love and Laughter come together in this simple, but meaningful Valentine's Day Game for the whole family.

As you can imagine, little kids enjoy putting the notes in. 


Valentine's Game: I love you for... Love and Laughter come together in this simple, but meaningful Valentine's Day Game for the whole Family.

When to play
We save the game all the way till after Valentine’s Day dinner.  Then we read each message, in turn, guessing who it was about and who wrote it.  Laughing like crazy.   And laughing together is always a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day!


This Valentine’s Game will inspire you to stop and think about all the wonderful things that you find special about each other.


What is your favorite way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? 


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29 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Game: I love you for…

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  7. This is really sweet. <3 I definitely don't tell my parents this enough. I think my mom would really appreciate it–thank you for the awesome gift idea! <3

  8. I love this Eva… I love the idea of saying more than just I love you. I think I love you can never be over used. My parents never really said I love you even though I knew they did. It could be a culture thing. We are extremely close and every time I talk to my dad I always tell him I love him. He never knows what to say but I know he adores and loves me. That is why I love that my husband tells me and our children he loves us everyday. I think its so important. I ask each of my children… every day… Why are you so smart? Why are you so perfect? Why are you so beautiful or handsome? They always reply…” Because God made us this way.” I am going to try this. Now I just need to decorate a container. Thanks for inspiring me… you always do.:)

  9. This is such a cute game and it’s great you got the family involved! I love that you’re coming up with new ways to teach kids kindness and empathy!

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    Very creative and cute valentines day game. It’s a great tradition you have there! I think it should be a must in all families.


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