Photograph by Bhofack2, Dreamstime
Photograph by Bhofack2, Dreamstime

Inspire friendships in kids

Valentine’s Day might be all lovey-dovey for adults. But for kids? They probably just want the candy! And while learning the history of the holiday is part of the fun, this year try encouraging a different kind of sweet by celebrating friendship and family with these ideas from Nat Geo Kids.

Animal friends

Friendships come in all shapes and sizes. So inspire your kid to think about what their own relationships look like with these supercute photos of weird animal buddies. Does your daughter have a friend who’s the complete opposite of her, like the lion cub and dog duo in this photo gallery? Or does your son have a pal who—upon first glance—might seem like an enemy, such as a cat that hangs out with a bird? Identifying what’s special about their friendships helps kids see that they can be pals with anyone. (Watch these videos of adorable panda friends and tiny bobcat buddies for even more cuteness.)

Friend of the Earth

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Help your kids be sweet to their friends—and the Earth! Turn everyday items such as newspapers and cookie cutters into these recycled Valentine’s Day cards, or use our endangered animal cards to spread some love. Your children will show how much they care about the environment, endangered animals, and their pals. For more to love about the Earth, check out photos of heart shapes in nature. Then head outside and see who can spot the most heart shapes—outside or inside—in 15 minutes. Need a break before the next round? Learn Weird But True! facts about the heart. (Bet no one knew that earthworms have five of them!)

Friend in the kitchen

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Family and friends warm the heart—and soup warms the stomach! Have your kids invite over their buddies for a Soup Off! Challenge from the Nat Geo Kids Cookbook. Follow our basic recipe, then let everyone get creative and add some surprise ingredients!